“She would drown herself in words, sink into the vanilla-smell of the binding, replace her blood with ink. She’d feast on the worlds and make herself anew.”
The Shadow in the Glass bills itself as a re-telling of the classic Cinderella fairy tale but it’s so much more than that. It’s dark and twisted and has all the elements of a true Grimm’s fairy tale. Eleanor is an orphan taken in by a well-to-do family as a child and loved as one of their own until her foster mother dies. Ella is in her early teens and is relegated down into house staff to languish under the never-ending work of maintaining the grand old house. She is worked to the bone and terrified by the prospect that her employer and former foster father is preying upon the girls in his employ and that she might be next.
Ella is educated beyond her station but has no way out of the miserable life laid before her, until she comes upon a book in the library. A papercut mixes blood and her desperation manifesting a haunting apparition of a woman offering her 7 wishes in exchange for her soul. Young Eleanor thinks she can out smart this ghostly benefactor by accepting the deal and just not using that final wish. As she begins to make her wishes, she realizes there is a terrible price to be paid with each one beyond just her soul.
This story is dark and haunting. You feel for Ella at every turn, she is desperately trying to make her life and the lives of her friends better but the choices she makes get her (and them) in hotter and hotter water with each one. I loved the blend of gothic Victorian London with the dark magic of this mysterious woman. We didn’t get much of a story of what was behind the magic, I think that would have bumped it up to five stars for me but it was still a fabulous story to get lost in. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this novel. All opinions above are my own.
If you had a chance to make seven wishes, what would your first wish be?