ABOUT THE BOOK
young adult fantasy published by HarperTeen on 11 February 2014
Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’ magic and heart to the test.
When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.
The one thing that comes to mind after reading All That Glows is that while it isn’t bad, it isn’t good either. There are many things that could have been improvised to make it all a little more of an engaging read but, alas, All That Glows fell short.
On the one hand, Emrys is very skilled at making use of her magic despite being young in terms of Fae age. On the other hand, she feels a connection to Richard only because he senses her presence, which later turns out to be because Emrys desired it. Having lived through centuries of history, you’d think that Emrys would have an amazing personality and a badass attitude. You’d be wrong. The one thing that I found interesting was her gripes about mortality and death.
There are many things that are not consistent with the plot and the most striking of all, is the pairing of Emrys with Richard. The core of All That Glows is the love story which is, sadly, weak at best. I couldn’t grasp how Emrys, being an elegant Fae and hundreds of years old, connects with a supposedly ‘notorious, partying bad boy.’
From what I gathered, Richard isn’t notorious at all nor he is a bad boy because getting drunk every other night isn’t the definition of being bad. On the contrary, it makes him ordinary. There is no reason given whatsoever for his being the way he is. It takes the biggest shock of his life to turn him into the opposite of irresponsible and in just a span of a few weeks. I wasn’t sold at all.
All That Glows is overwrought with metaphors that either results in very unpleasant imagery or don’t make much sense. The book picks up its pace, especially towards the end of the book, when the action takes the front seat and Emrys manages to shine for a bit. In all, the execution of an amazing premise is lost in the lackluster romance and an unrestrained use of metaphors.
‘At one time, I could count on the world. Winter’s hard freeze, the bitter howls of gray wolves, the colors and laughter of May Day and the bonfires of Samhain, the twines of magic holding me together . . . Things once constant, now suddenly not. Nothing, not even the immortal, is safe from decay.’
‘Death — the aftermath of it — is a strange thing to watch from the pedestal of immortality. I’ve seen death in every way: as a thief in the night, as the heat of fever, as the lust of a warrior. Yet I’ve never really understood grief, or what it does to those left behind.’