Eli isn’t just a teenage girl — she’s a made-thing the witches created to hunt down ghosts in the human world. Trained to kill with her seven magical blades, Eli is a flawless machine, a deadly assassin. But when an assignment goes wrong, Eli starts to question everything she was taught about both worlds, the Coven, and her tyrannical witch-mother.
Worried that she’ll be unmade for her mistake, Eli gets caught up with a group of human and witch renegades, and is given the most difficult and dangerous task in the worlds: capture the Heart of the Coven. With the help of two humans, one motorcycle, and a girl who smells like the sea, Eli is going to get answers — and earn her freedom.
Eli is a fascinating character. Having been cobbled together by pieces of this and that by a witch, she feels like she’s never her own person. She’s always being forced to do the bidding of someone else lest she be unmade – aka murdered. When she meets Tav and Cam in the City of Ghosts, she begins to change and become more defiant as time goes by. Her character grows and becomes more defined as the story progresses.
Her partners in crime, Cam and Tav, equally as remarkable. Tav is non-binary and goes by the pronouns they/them, which is amazing, if a bit confusing for the reader at first. Or, possibly, it was just me. But I love the inclusion of LGBT characters, especially in novels geared towards young adults. Tav is actually my favorite character throughout as their bravery and persistence keep them all moving forward. Cam is the best friend we all need in our lives. He is considerate and compassionate no matter what’s going on or how badly confused he might be.
The problem, however, is with the world building. You are given only the vaguest idea of what the worlds are like. The City of Ghosts is the human world, so I didn’t need a lot of information there, but the Labrinth and other areas outside of the human world aren’t given much description or explanation.
The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass has an amazing and interesting premise, awesome characters, but falls short in the area of world building. If you’re the kind of person that goes into the book for the characters, this would likely be a good choice for you. However, if you’re the kind of reader who loves rich settings to go along with your intriguing characters, this might be a miss for you. Either way, I’ll definitely look into the sequel to see where our heroes go next.
*Thanks to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.