BOOK REPORT for All That Glowsby Ryan Graudin


Cover Story: Soap Opera Softness

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BFF Charm: Yay

Swoonworthy Scale: 8

Talky Talk: She Said, Magically

Bonus Factor: Modern Faeries, Royalty

Relationship Status: Gateway Drug

 All that Glows

Cover Story: Soap Opera Softness

It would be hard not to guess this book is about faeries, what with that ethereal girl looking so faerielike on the cover. But I don’t really get the pink tint to everything, nor the fog, nor the fake looking bush. Is this faerie a new character on a daytime soap? (She’d fit right in on Passions!)

I do, however, really enjoy the title treatment. But I’m always drawn to anything vaguely reminiscent of space.

The Deal:

Emrys is a member of the Guard, a group of faeries tasked by Queen Mab to protect the English royal family. In particular, Emrys is assigned to be Prince Richard’s personal “Frithemaeg”—in other words, his faerie godmother. At first, Emrys, a centuries-old faerie in the body of a young woman, doesn’t want the job; dealing with a 17-year-old royal with a penchant for pubs is not her idea of a good job. Plus, a threat of an Old One causing trouble is looming.

When Emrys arrives at the prince’s side, however, something inside her is immediately attracted to him. Is it just a response to the royal “blood magic,” the power that has flown through their veins since the reign of King Arthur? Or could it be something more?

BFF Charm: Yay

Emrys is described as a “fiery, redheaded Fae.” As a somewhat fiery, sometimes redhead, I’m drawn to the description immediately. Getting to know her throughout the book, I learned that she’s much more than that flat description: She’s an old soul struggling to find her place in the modern world of mortals; she’s a dedicated soldier and loyal friend; she’s a girl who can’t help but be a little afraid of overpowering and unexpected feelings. She’s complicated, yet real—even as a faerie. Plus: She can do magic.*

*There seems to be a trend in my Book Reports where I like a character more if they are a superhero/can do magic/etc. I blame my reading of too many fantasy novels/watching superhero cartoons in my formative years.

Swoonworthy Scale: 8

The taboo feelings Emrys has for Richard cause some pretty intense swoon moments, and in this case, the “I can’t! But, oh, do I ever want to….” moments are filled with just the right amount of tension and excitement.

Talky Talk: She Said, Magically

Ryan Graudin did her research while writing All That Glows. The novel is a good mixture of modern language with a few “faerie-sounding” words (based on Old English?) mixed in to remind readers that the Fae are an ancient and inhuman race. She’s also got quite a way with descriptions (see Swoonworthy Scale, above).

I’m not entirely sure that this is a standout among books about faeries, however, but that’s because I’m not all that familiar with the genre. But Emrys is a good narrator, and it’s fun to read about both her magical life and the much more mundane one Richard leads through her eyes.

Bonus Factor: Modern Faeries

In many books, faeries are found flitting about the woods or lounging in forests in medieval times. In All That Glows, however, faeries can be found in the middle of present-day London. It isn’t pleasant for them—modern electronics and the lack of nature make them literally sick—but the younger fae can at least stomach it. The combination of ancient magic and modern technology makes for an interesting mix.

Bonus Factor: Royalty

Although I’m not that enamored of members of the English royal family, I do have to admit that they’re a fascinating breed. All That Glows takes a look at a fictional prince and his family from within. Is it accurate? Who knows. But it’s interesting nonetheless.

Casting Call:

Elyse Levesque as Emrys

Jamie Bell as Richard

Relationship Status: Gateway Drug

Although I’m a huge fan of fantasy, Book, I’ve not read too many faerie novels. Not because I wasn’t interested, but because I wasn’t sure how many variations on the subject there could really be. While you weren’t an entirely fresh take on traditional Fae stories, you were entertaining, and I thank you for opening my eyes to the genre.

All That Glows is available now.

Mandy lives in Austin, TX, where she's an editor/writer for an educational non-profit by day and a pop culture junkie by night. When she's not ensconced in a book forForever Young Adult, Mandy can be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.