Author: McCormick Templeman
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
(From Goodreads) Death hasn’t visited Rowan Rose since it took her mother when Rowan was only a little girl. But that changes one bleak morning, when five horses and their riders thunder into her village and through the forest, disappearing into the hills. Days later, the riders’ bodies are found, and though no one can say for certain what happened in their final hours, their remains prove that whatever it was must have been brutal.
Rowan’s village was once a tranquil place, but now things have changed. Something has followed the path those riders made and has come down from the hills, through the forest, and into the village. Beast or man, it has brought death to Rowan’s door once again.
Only this time, its appetite is insatiable.
I picked this book up at the library the other day for no other reason than I liked the cover and the description on the back of the book intrigued me. It read:
“The funeral should have been the next day. The town elders would have performed the rites, her body, pale as marble, covered in the funerary shroud. She should have been laid up on Cairn Hill, stones carefully arranged atop her resting spot.
These were the thing that ought to have been done. But sometimes things don’t go as planned.”
So with this to creepy introduction to go on, I started reading this novel without any real idea what it was about. I wondered if it might be a retelling of Snow White, after all she had a glass casket. Within a short time a number of deaths occurred seemingly by an animal and a young, raven-haired beauty in a red cloak arrived in the village. Little Red Riding Hood? While I didn’t know what to expect, the story that followed was certainly not it. However, it did stay wonderfully true to the feel of a Grimm’s Fairy Tale.
The Glass Casket started out rather slow. Much of the first few chapters are spent meeting various villagers and setting up the superstitions, customs and beliefs that exist in the community. Superstitions surrounding fairies, goblins and witches. In these early chapters, five of the king’s men had been killed in the mountains outside of Nag’s End, Rowan’s peaceful village. The villagers, with the exception of Rowan’s best friend, Tom, believe that an animal, maybe a wolf, was to blame for the gruesome deaths.
About a third of the way through the novel, the story really takes off. One brutal murder follows another and no one seems safe; this author certainly doesn’t have a problem killing off endearing characters! Suspicions and accusations begin to fly in the village and the plot twists keep coming. I found this to be a creepy mystery, complete with magic, fantasy, suspense, family secrets, and a tragic love story. The best part was that I didn’t see the end coming! I love it when an author can weave enough elements through a story to keep me guessing until the very end.
Overall, The Glass Casket is a wonderfully creepy fairy tale that I completely enjoyed!