Fantasy Book Review: Glass Rhapsody by Sarah Chorn

Fantasy Book Review

Title
Glass Rhapsody
Author: Sarah Chorn
Publication Date: June 30, 2021
Genres: Epic Fantasy
ShelvesFemale-authored, Female-fronted

Although the middle book, Oh, That Shotgun Sky, was released as a novella, Glass Rhapsody is really the third book of a trilogy that began with Of Honey and Wildfires. It's a continuation of both stories - which pleased me greatly, as I feared we might not see those brave women of Fletcher again - and, if not a true conclusion, a transitional piece that sets the stage for a shift from Shine Territory to Union City.

For most of the read, I was prepared to call this a story of consequences and, as such, it's full of sorrow, breaking, loss, addiction, and regret. Like all of Sarah Chorn's books, it's as emotionally heavy as it is narratively beautiful, and it is quite literally haunted by the ghosts of the past. Ultimately, however, it also proves to be a story of healing, of letting go of that past, and opening one's self to the promise of a new future . . . and the risk of fresh sorrows to come.

Family is once again a key theme here, and that's where Chorn offers us the bulk of the saga's emotional resolutions. Arlen and Cassandra get moments together as siblings, but they also get their moments -  both alone and together - as children of Christopher Hobson. They're the heart of the story, but it's the family connections of Elroy/Pearl and Grace/Teddy that gets those hearts beating again. Romance is a key theme again as well, and while it's even more tentative and melancholy than in the first two stories, with relationships held back as much by fear of rejection as feeling unworthy of another's love, it is also responsible for healing those hearts. We are not done with Cassandra and Ianthe, which means we're not done with the tears, and we've barely scratched the surface of Arlen and Elroy, which means we've got a lot of fear and regret to wade into. Bringing it all together is a relationship I don't want to give away, but one which binds family and romance into something sweet and hopeful . . . and very much appreciated.

The only place where I felt Glass Rhapsody faltered, just a bit, was in the plot-driven climax. I understand (and appreciate) where Chorn is taking the story next, but the ending felt more like an avoidance of conflict than a proper resolution to it. I was anticipating something powerful, something to rival the fireworks that closed out Of Honey and Wildfires, but it's a quiet resolution, and one that largely happens off the page, leaving us (fittingly, perhaps) with consequences rather than events. That's a small quibble over the last 5% of the book, though, and certainly does not take away from the emotional climaxes that lead into it.

Rating: ♀ ♀ ♀ ♀ 1/2

My sincere thanks to the author for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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