This story was so imaginative, so creative, I am struggling to find the words to give it justice.
Our teenage main character Eli, is not your average teen looking for her place in the world. She has been made, of what she isn’t completely sure. Over her lifetime as an assassin for the witch mother whom made her, she catalogs the items she comes to realize are part of her. Stone, blood, glass, etc. The items that sum up her form are what allow her to travel between the City of Eyes, Earth, Wastelands, and other magical places. She is part of all of them. She is from everywhere and thus she belongs nowhere.
Eli’s past mirrors the struggles of her new friends.
Eli has been taught that her human “part” is the weakest of her. Once she fails in a mission for her first time, she stumbles into an uneasy alliance with humans. Humans are easily killed by comparison, but they’re stronger than they seem. Like Eli, Cam and Tav have their own trouble finding where they fit in the word. Cam is a gay man, and Tav is a queer boi. In reading The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass, I learned that these terms are not one and the same.
One of Tav’s struggles in the story is that much of society can’t accept them. Tav has purple spiked hair, and a strong desire to right what is wrong with the world. Tav is the only character referred to as they/their. It took me a few sentences to keep up with this difference in storytelling, but otherwise it wasn’t a distraction. It was rather eye-opening to be honest. This element left me further impressed with Adan Jerreat-Poole for their writing talent.
A formidable trio traveling between worlds.
There are so many detailed worlds to keep up with. Earth we are familiar with, but on Earth there are still a few ghosts, and witches in hiding. In the children’s lair their are child witches who appear sweet and doll-like but are definitely dangerous. The Wastelands are filled with long forgotten tools and items, and a deadly red win that can kill you. Time has no meaning. Nothing and no one can be trusted. If you’re given a gift, you must take it. If you’re helped by anyone, you must give them a token of thanks. Trees have feelings. Dreams are dangerous and can hurt everyone around you… There’s so much creativity in this book. Even the books in this story are dangerous!
Overall, I was fascinated with the sheer details and feelings from Adan Jerreat-Poole in The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass. They’ve explained that this story was written at a time of deep emotion for them in their personal journey and it truly gives this book so much life. The friendships are complicated, the relationships and love are complicated. Nothing is as simple as it seems, and isn’t that just so human?