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The Glass Casket Hardcover – February 11, 2014

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Michael Vey 4
Featured New Release in Teen Science Fiction & Fantasy

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (February 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385743459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385743457
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #902,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up—Rowan and Tom are best friends, having grown up together in the village of Nag's End. When five of the King's men are found brutally murdered, the townspeople investigate but find more questions than answers. Rowan's cousin, Fiona Eira, shows up at the village, attracting Tom's eye before she is found with her heart torn out. Her body is encased in a glass casket by her grieving father, and more gruesome killings follow. Tom and Rowan, along with most of the villagers, are desperate to find answers. Who or what is to blame? Could the murders be related to magic, witches, wolves, or ghosts? Templeman does a creepy (and bloody) job of describing the crimes and their culprit, but gives few details about a visiting duke, his ward, and most of the villagers. Since the story is set in a fantastical past, when few girls are taught to read and candles provide light, the occasional use of contemporary phrases sound out of place. Templeman includes nods to both folklore and classic literature in this atmospheric tale.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX

From Booklist

Templeman pulls a 180 from her incisive contemporary debut, The Little Woods (2012), with a fantasy involving witches, magic, and monsters. Rowan’s hometown of Nag’s End is a sleepy mountain village until the arrival of a number of unexpected visitors: a cadre of royal guards, who are mysteriously massacred; a duke who comes to investigate the murders; and Rowan’s cousin, Fiona, a beautiful young woman trapped by a terrorizing guardian. And there is a thing in the woods—a big thing—ripping people to pieces. Though familiar fantasy tropes are present, Templeman conjures her own strange spell, creating a world where contemporary dialog fits comfortably within a medieval context, and where a hanging sense of dread is more narratively potent than any one evil element. The story doesn’t always fire, but, in fact, Templeman is at her best when leaving plot behind, as when one character’s death acts as a sort of forbidden fruit leading to unleashed sexual passion—it’s challenging, dizzying material. The legion of Maggie Stiefvater fans out there ought to look this way. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus

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Customer Reviews

I love fairy tales, and this one is deliciously dark.
Our main character, young Rowan Rose, is the bookish, introverted girl who is supposed to be the driving point, but I still didn't relate to her as much as I should.
And while it was intriguing and mysterious, it was also a bit confusing, a little slow, and an ending that leaves a lot to be desired.
Jessica S.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Evie Seo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Fantasy is a genre that doesn't always work for me. If the world-and-character-building aren't thorough enough - or, in some cases, if they're so detailed, they end up being overwhelming - I probably won't enjoy it. If the writing is too descriptive and too wordy - or if it's too plain and straightforward - I won't be able to get fully immersed in the story. Then there's also the pacing, the setting, the fantastic elements such as magic or supernatural creatures, and of course, the plot line itself. So many things that could go wrong! That being said, I am thrilled to report that The Glass Casket didn't miss a single mark! McCormick Templeman's latest novel is the perfect combination of a tragic love story and a gorgeously imagined, skilfully woven, often times completely shocking fantasy tale, sprinkled with elements of horror and macabre. I absolutely loved it and it's definitely one of my top five favorite books I've read this month.

"One bleak morning in the eye of winter, five horses and five riders thundered into the remote mountain village of Nag's End. Without ceremony or respect for local custom, they charged through the square and up the steep alpine trail that lay just beyond. Hazarding the rocky terrain, they wove their way between snow-shrouded pines, climbing ever until they reached the icy plateau of Beggar's Drift - a place, it was said, that the Goddess had forsaken."

With these words, starts the magical tale of love and sacrifice, family secrets and dark prophecies, deception and revenge.

The Glass Casket had me glued to its pages from the opening lines.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Miller VINE VOICE on April 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Rowan Rose lives in a small village where girls aren't taught to read, candlelight is used as the only lights, and superstitions run wild. It's a predictable world until five of the King's men are found brutally murdered. Then, Fiona Eira, a long lost cousin of Rowan's shows up in town. She's beautiful and mysterious and Roman's best friend Tom falls in love with her instantly. The only problem is that death has shown up in the village and Fiona is another victim. Her heart is torn out and she is placed inside a glass casket. Tragedy strikes and the town searches for what might have brought down these horrors to their village.

My thoughts:
Honestly, the plot and mystery within this novel is very well down. I did not guess what the ending would be until more than halfway through the novel. Even then, I was still a little unsure. The horror and blood along with each murder is written about with exquisite detail. Templeman has done a very good job of pulling you into the story itself. Unfortunately, the characters are not done very well. I never felt like I really got to know any of them. They are definitely surface characters. You get to know most of the village, but never really like anyone. Plus, the point of view changes rather quickly, so you don't even stick with someone to really follow them. To me it felt like characters in a mediocre play where you anticipate the actor is going to bring them to life for you.I desperately wanted a character to connect with because the mystery was done so well.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sara VINE VOICE on February 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Life in Nag’s End is steady and predictable for Rowan Rose and her best friend Tom Parstle, until the day five riders thunder through town bound for Begger’s Drift, a place rumored forsaken by the Goddess. The arrival and subsequent sinister disappearance of the riders mark both the arrival of beautiful and mysterious Fiona Eira and the beginning of evil’s descent upon the superstitious village of Nag’s End. Rowan’s gentle scholarly father grows suddenly cold and distant, distracted by something he keeps closely guarded in his study, and forbids Rowan from speaking to Fiona, who she discovers is her estranged cousin. When Tom first sees Fiona, he falls suddenly and irrevocably in love with the dark-haired, scarlet-lipped beauty and begs Rowan to break her father’s commandment and convince Fiona to meet with him. As the youth of Nag’s End experience first love, unexpected pain, and dream of happy endings, a dark and violent force creeps into locked rooms, leaving nightmarish scenes and death in its wake. When tragedy strikes, madness and fear reach a fever pitch among the town’s inhabitants as they seek to unmask the evil in their midst. With THE GLASS CASKET, McCormick Templeman gives readers an ominous fairy tale filled with the darkest, bloodiest bits of their nightmares.

I have very mixed feelings about McCormick Templeman’s THE GLASS CASKET. On one hand, I found it impossible to put down. I felt compelled to unravel the mystery surrounding the disturbing deaths plaguing the people of Nag’s End; the horror and mystery aspects of the novel are remarkably well done. As Templeman demonstrated with her debut novel, THE LITTLE WOODS, and proved once again with this sophomore offering, her writing is sumptuous and richly detailed.
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