So far, this year looks like it’s going to be amazing in fantasy books, and The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons is one of those books that I can sense is going to be spectacular. I’ve only read one book by Kristen Simmons, a long time ago, but I can only remember good things about it. As soon as I saw that Tor Teen released a chapter excerpt of the book, I was all over it.
The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder.
In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.
The writing here so far is very engaging; it’s like being sucked into a vortex you’re helpless to resist. This is definitely the kind of writing that carries you away to the point where Oh, has it been five hours already? At this point, I like the main character Aya. In the first chapter already, she’s in a bind and she’s acting in a way that is very tough for her, but could mean survival. I love characters who have a deep sense of survival embedded in them, mostly because it means they’re not making foolish and rash decisions.
What I’m mostly looking forward to is the world building. Right now, from the novel it’s not really clear what type of world they’re living in, but oh my gosh I want to find out. World building is so important in fantasy novels, and I’m really really hoping that this one doesn’t disappoint. The blurb describes The Glass Arrow as a cross between The Handmaid’s Tale and Blood Red Road; I haven’t read The Handmaid’s Tale, but I know the premise of the story (and I’m going to see a ballet performance of it next week, squee!) and I absolutely loved Blood Red Road, so I have an overall good feeling about this book.
The Glass Arrow releases on February 10th, which is three days before my birthday, which in turns means that along with Red Queen, I’ll be gifting myself with this book.
Read the chapter excerpt here.