Mountains Made Of Glass by Scarlett St. Clair

Today’s review is about MOUNTAINS MADE OF GLASS by Scarlett St. Clair. This short novel is the first in the new Fairy Tale Retelling series, but it reads as a standalone. St. Clair transports readers into a unique fairy tale that draws inspiration from Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson.

Author: Scarlett St. Clair
Series: Fairy Tale Retelling Book 1
Age Category: Adult
Publisher: Bloom Books
Publish Date: November 28, 2023
Print Length: 240

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Official Synopsis

“Could you love me?” he whispered. The question stole my breath and burned my lungs in the silence that followed.

I wanted to answer, to whisper yes into the space between us, but I was afraid.

All Gesela’s life, her home village of Elk has been cursed. And it isn’t a single curse–it is one after another, each to be broken by a villager, each with devastating consequences. When Elk’s well goes dry, it is Gesela’s turn to save her town by killing the toad that lives at the bottom. Except…the toad is not a toad at all. He is an Elven prince under a curse of his own, and upon his death, his brothers come for Gesela, seeking retribution.

As punishment, the princes banish Gesela to live with their seventh brother, the one they call the beast. Gesela expects to be the prisoner of a hideous monster, but the beast turns out to be exquisitely beautiful, and rather than lock her in a cell, he offers Gesela a deal. If she can guess his true name in seven days, she can go free.

Gesela agrees, but there is a hidden catch–she must speak his name with love in order to free him, too.

But can either of them learn to love in time?

My Review

MOUNTAINS MADE OF GLASS is the first book in the Fairy Tale Retellings series. Rather than retelling one particular story, it is an amalgamation of various folklore elements from tales past. Though it pulls from many different fairy tales, it is also unique to itself. Here, five Elven prince brothers magick Gesela away after she kills a toad, which happens to be their sixth brother. She finds herself in Prince Thorns’s home, who is the seventh Elven prince. To leave, she strikes a deal: she must guess his true name in seven days to gain back her freedom.

This short novel definitely exudes fairy tale vibes in the more traditional sense. This means, as St. Clair explains in the Author’s Note, there’s little explanation about the magic system, which often is just there and accepted. It also contains elements of both romance and horror, which are characteristic of Western folklore. With this in mind, readers should temper their expectations. MOUNTAINS MADE OF GLASS isn’t a full-blown novel with a well-developed magic system or relatable characters. Instead it’s a fantastical, dangerous, and alluring romp of a new-age fairy tale.

The writing style also transports the reader into a fairy tale state of mind. The prose is slightly poetic with just the right amount of detail. There are also some beautiful illustrations throughout the book itself. The world in MOUNTAINS MADE OF GLASS is deceptively beautiful, but becomes cruel and harsh whent he sun dips below the horizon. There is not really any deep meaning or theme in this story. It is pure old-world escapism, dubious romance, and encounters with all sorts of creatures.

I enjoyed it for what it is, though there were times I cringed at some of the dialogue. But perhaps some of the stiffness of it is all in good fun to keep with the fairy tale style. There is, of course, spice, the first instance of which I think falls into the category of “dubious consent,” or “dubcon.” Overall, though, I like this style of story telling and plan to continue with the series. It’s a quick read and I think fans of St. Clair will appreciate something a little different in her writing repertoire.

Rating: 3.75
Content warnings: sexual content, violence, blood
Reading format: Paperback

11 thoughts on “Mountains Made Of Glass by Scarlett St. Clair

  1. It’s nice to read escapist fiction now and then, although I do appreciate when authors add layers and themes, even to short novellas. That cover is certainly intriguing!

    1. I couldn’t agree more. Escapist fiction is great. And even though I know basically nothing beyond the most popular western fairy tales, I still appreciate that the author included elements from a bunch of lesser-known ones.

      1. It’s definitely a quick read & I loved it for that. Idk what’s going on with the question marks, either. It happens when others leave comments, too. It might be tied to the use of a specific emoji? Whatever is going on, it’s WP’s fault because I haven’t changed anything! ????

  2. It definitely sounds like this book takes a unique approach with how it blends different fairy tales into one retelling. This author is new to me. So, I’ll need to do some recon before adding it to my TBR, but it does sound intriguing.

    1. This is the third book of St. Clair’s that I’ve read and I’d put it in the middle. The one I liked the best so far is A TOUCH OF DARKNESS, which is the first book in her NA fantasy romance retelling of Hades and Persephone. To be frank, I didn’t have high expectations for it because she’s a powerhouse in the fantasy romance subgenre, but I was pleasantly surprised. I listened to it and really liked the narrator.
      The one that didn’t quite do it for me was KING OF BATTLE AND BLOOD.

        1. It’s one of the few fiction books I’ve listened to on audio (save for ACOTAR, which I’d already read) & I found it easy to follow along despite typically finding nonfiction easier to listen to on audio. Anyway, if you listen to it, I hope you like it!

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