*I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to the author, NetGalley and Farrago. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: The tyrannous Huntsmen have declared everyone in one village to be outlaws, since they insist on supporting the magical beings of neighbouring Darkwood. Why won’t they accept that magic is an abomination?
Far from being abominable, the residents of Darkwood are actually very nice when you get to know them, even Snow the White Knight, who can get a bit tetchy when people remind her she’s a Princess.
In order to stop the Huntsmen from wiping out all magical beings, Snow and her friends have to venture into the Badlands of Ashtrie, and seek the support of the Glass Witch – but she has plans of her own, and let’s just say they’re not good ones.
This is the third book in the Darkwood series, and hopefully not the last! I definitely recommend reading Darkwood and Such Big Teeth first, to really get the full picture of the characters and the wider storylines.
Gretel and Hansel Mudd return to join battle with the Huntsmen again, but this time they also have the dreaded Glass Witch to contend with. Luckily, they still have their faithful friends – Jack, Hex, Buttercup, Trevor, Snow, Gilde, Scarlett, Patience and Daisy – to help them with the increasingly dangerous challenges they face. Unfortunately, Morning Quarry is putting a plausibly pleasant face to one kind of evil, while another kind has chosen Hansel as its next victim.
Distracted by Jack smooching, Buttercup and Snow bickering, and her first ever menses, can Gretel hold it all together and logic them all out of this battle with her usual gadgets? It looks like they might need more magical help from a few more familiar – reimagined – faces!
This instalment is quite a bit darker than the first two: some of the Glass Witch’s punishments are quite nightmarish and there is far more random nakedness than you usually get in fairytales (not sexual nakedness… just not-having-on-of-clothes, as an occupational hazard of shapeshifting). Nothing to make it unsuitable for most middle-graders, but those of a sensitive (or prim) disposition may want to approach with caution!
As usual, there is plenty of humour and action; familiar fairytale folk and storylines twisted into something new and delightful, and more modern in feel, and some lovely messages about love, friendship and playing to your strengths.
The ending was very satisfying and provided plenty of closure, but honestly, I don’t care! I still want MORE from the Darkwoods and from Gabby Hutchinson-Crouch – there must be one or two more childhood legends lurking around for her to work her special magic on. Fingers crossed, eh?!
Humans will always be petty and jealous and mean. They will always attempt to unseat the Glass Witch. When this latest lot try, they will regret it, as humans do. She will dance on them, in a dress woven from their screams, and shoes of broken glass. She will have a ball on their re-moulded bodies, and she will dance all night with this new, powerful witch boy. Her brand new Prince Charming.– Gabby Hutchinson-Crouch, Glass Coffin
Glass Coffin is releases on 3rd June 2021, but you can pre-order it on Amazon right now!