Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Book Review: A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge

Pros: fascinating world-building, interesting characters, twisting plot


Neverfell was found around the age of five in the tunnels of Cheesemaster Grandible. Seven years later, a series of errors has her emerging into the wider world of Caverna and the mysterious Court that rules it. For in a world where Faces must be learned and lying is a fact of life, Neverfell’s face can change expression with her emotions, and lying is beyond her skill.

The world of Caverna is fascinating. You’re introduced to it - and all of its various workings - slowly, through Neverfell’s eyes and experiences. While she’s told early on that everyone lies and manipulates, her own trusting and trustworthy natures make it hard for her to protect herself from the plots of others. As the book progresses, you learn more about the world and the darknesses it’s based on.

The plot takes a lot of turns I wasn’t expecting, which was a real joy. Neverfell’s a great character and her constant curiosity has her acting in unpredictable ways. She starts off hopelessly naive, but over the course of the book learns what society is like, and that not everyone she meets has her best interests in mind. The Kleptomancer is really fun, and I’d have loved seeing more of him and of the brilliantly insane cryptomancers.

This is a fun book, one that briefly touches on numerous discussion points, so it would make a great book club novel.

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