Monday, January 27, 2014

Becky's View: All That Glows by Ryan Graudin

All That Glows by Ryan Graudin
♦publisher: HarperTeen
♦release date: February 11th, 2014
♦hardcover, 480 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦source: from publisher for honest review
Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.

When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

Review: In the world of All That Glows, British royalty dating all the way back to Camelot has been secretly protected by the Frithemaeg, a guard of faeries trained to fight off evil creatures that are after royal blood. The blood of royalty holds power and magic that every Green Woman, Banshee, and Black Dog would happily kill for. The story is set in modern London, a dangerous place for fae, as all modern technology saps them of their powers. Still, they risk it to defend the crown.

Emrys is charged with guarding Richard, the Prince who will soon be king. The danger is high enough, but he makes it worse by being lazy and out of control. I found both main characters a bit unlikable but still intriguing, though in turn that left me disconnected from the love story. While it was sweet, and was explained away as a “soul-tie” between Emrys and Richard, it often felt like a college fling.  Not to mention, he spent most of the time getting stinking drunk and dodging responsibilities where he could, so I was never quite sure what his initial appeal was for Emrys, aside from superficial good looks.  As for Emrys, she is flawed and flighty but shows great heart in her friendship with Breena and her love of being a fae. She was, however, somewhat terrible at her job!  Granted she was thrown off by being so drawn to Richard, but for being his guardian, he often had to come to her rescue or they would have both been lost. However, being unappealing to begin with gave them much room to grow, and they did redeemed themselves quite a bit by the end.

There's a mystery that keeps the reader guessing the identity of the villainous faery through about two-thirds of the book, but one bit of foreshadowing gives it all away a bit too soon. The faery-lore is interesting and the structure of their world works, but I wish there would have been a bit more delving into the history of it, the connection to Arthur Pendragon and Camelot, since that was the very beginning of the Frithemaeg.With that aside, the ending still sparkles with magical excitement as both Richard and Emrys fight for survival and for love. It's a fun, fast and fluffy read, not exactly what I'd hoped for, but entertaining still. 
Find Ryan Graudin online: Website  •  Twitter

 Purchase All That Glows:  Amazon  • BookDepository  •  Indiebound


  1. Awesome review Becky :D I'm glad you enjoyed this book, but sorry you didn't love it. Ahh. I have to read my copy of this as well. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the characters that much; that they weren't very good at things :\ but happy that you liked the ending :D That is always a plus with me, lol. Thank you for sharing. <3

    1. Yup, a good ending can definitely save a book. :) Thanks for commenting, Carina!

  2. I've seen reviews for this one all over the place and I read one raving review so it's nice to see a more neutral review. I'm glad that it was still entertaining, while it lacked in a few aspects like the connection with King Arthur and Camelot. But fantastic review! <33

    1. I haven'tseen too many other reviews, good or bad, but I'm sure more will come out with the book's release. Glad to hear it is loved by some , though! Every book has its perfect audience! ;)

  3. Such a beautiful cover but mixed reviews. I didn't realize it was a Fae book. I'm not sure this one is for me. Thank you so much for the great reveiw!

  4. I love the cover . All the reviews I have seen have been good . I love fae books and looking forward to reading this.

  5. The cover on All That Glows is stunning! I usually find fantasy YA very polarizing, but I like that this story is set in modern-day London. Hopefully that adds a little bit of a contemporary feel. I haven't picked up a fantasy story in a while, but this one sounds intriguing, if not as romantic or mysterious as intended.