By Jaimie Aurelio
K.E. Blaski’s Glimmer of Steel is filled with excitement and horror. Blaski does an amazing job at painting a whole new world but also keeping us grounded in our own mundane world. She does something that is truly difficult to do-connecting the fantasy world with our reality.
Glimmer of Steel is a young adult novel that dapples in serious themes. There are several deliciously horrifying instances in the novel. For example, toward the beginning, our hero Damen is face to face with caged creatures who have been experimented on. The creature “had been changed into a twisting, oozing mass of flesh. Flipped inside out… Their smell was familiar, though: the iron smell of blood, and underneath, something rancid.” (Blaski, 2017). Blaski includes strong imagery so that the reader is very much aware of how much pain and gore the characters go through.
Blaski also includes strong female characters in Glimmer of Steel. Jennica, who is a young woman from Earth gets sent to the fantasy world, Astrune. She is frightened and confused when she wakes up in an unfamiliar world but despite all that, she is fierce and brave. Even when faced with countless trials and fears, Jennica remains fearless. At one point, our heroine learns that her soul will be taken from her and she will live the rest of her days as an empty vessel. She able to remain composed in front of her evil husband-to-be, even going so far as to trick him into believing her every word. Jennica is witty and smart and I found myself wishing I could dive right into the book and fight battles with her.
I was constantly on my toes as I traveled through Astrune with these colorful characters. Even with all the gore and adventure, Blaski artfully wove in romance and touching moments. Jennica and Damen are endearing as we watch them learn about each other and fight against their fears. Through Glimmer of Steel, readers can look forward to exploring serious themes through another world.
Wanna experience Astrune for yourself? Get yourself a copy of Glimmer of Steel here!