Book Review: The Shadowglass by Rin Chupeco


Tea is a bone witch with the dark magic needed to raise the dead. She has used this magic to breathe life into those she has loved and lost…and those who would join her army against the deceitful royals. But Tea’s quest to conjure a shadowglass—to achieve immortality for the one person she loves most in the world—threatens to consume her heart.

Tea’s black heartsglass only grows darker with each new betrayal. And when she is left with new blood on her hands, Tea must answer to a power greater than the elder asha or even her conscience… 



I really don’t know how this book could have ended other than the way it ended so kudos to the author for really going for it. The conclusion to the series is quite bittersweet but I really loved it.

The third and final book in The Bone Witch trilogy finally lets us see where the story within the story meet up and we catch up with ‘present day’. Although that does still take quite a while as most of the story retains the structure of the previous two novels. But as we get closer and closer to that meet up you can’t help trying to figure out how things are going to go down to make them end up where they are. I love that the story structure encourages this type of thinking in that it’s s a bit of a puzzle the readers want to solve. Rather than the frame story ‘giving things away’ it gives us something to keep in mind as the story works towards this end and beyond. Honestly found the structure to be one of the highlights of the books for me and so glad that it kept it up for most of this last book in the series.

This is very much a final book in the series. Because of the structure there has been things set up since the start, but nevertheless the previous two novels have built the story until things now feel like they’re rushing towards a conclusion in this last volume. The result is that the pacing of this one is quite fast, everything feels like it’s moving along well and truly and that sometimes it’s tough for our characters to get some space to breath as there’s a lot going on here. Although that’s not to say that there’s no down time at all, as there are wonderful little moments here and there between not only our two main characters, but also others within the story. I always enjoy these little moments because these more vulnerable sides of the characters are what really make me empathize with them. I love feeling what the characters are feeling and for me it’s in these more…quiet and subtle moments where characters can really come alive.

I love the mystery that still needs to be solved in this one and that Tea spends a good amount of time questioning herself and what the reality is. Is she really that much of a monster that should could have done what everyone is accusing her of? Even her own brother is against her at this point. But the solving of that mystery and the revelation of the truth not only makes for great drama but also serves to advance the characters and their understanding of one another. And while reconciliation is all good it’s also good to know who is going to stick by your side when you’re at your lowest low and Tea finds that out in this book. There are some truly shocking moments in the story and I wondered myself how far into the darkness Tea was going to go, if she would be able to recover. And while this book leaves us not entirely in ambiguity, I’m happy that she always remained Tea right up until the end.

As for criticisms, well I did listen to this one in audio as well and I feel like there’s something that’s always a bit absent for me in these books. It’s not something I can really put my finger on and point at and say what it is–it’s frustrating for me as a reader as to why I’m not jumping up and down in excitement over these books and instead feeling they’re just…perfectly adequate. Because outside looking in they really are amazing books but there’s just something that hasn’t totally clicked with me. Perhaps on a reread…

Overall, this was a fascinating story and the structure really helped enhance the story for me. I think this is one series I’d love to reread at some point because there are so many fabulous details that can be overlooked when getting caught up in the bigger events of the story. 4/5 stars.

17 thoughts on “Book Review: The Shadowglass by Rin Chupeco

  1. Susy's Cozy World says:

    It can be so frustrating to not be able to pinpoint exactly what didn’t click with us perfectly! It happened to me too, and it is just the worst!! Argh!
    Back on the book at hand, I haven’t started this series yet, but I think that sooner or later I would do it. What you wrote about the quite moments intrigued me!

    • waytoofantasy says:

      It really is frustrating! Overall I really did like this series but something just felt…disconnected at times. I plan to reread the series in print–I think I might have better luck then. 🙂
      I think it’s a good series and has a lot of interesting things going for it!

  2. Tammy says:

    I’ve always wanted to read this series, but its one thats been pushed aside for other books. At least you have the satisfaction of saying you finished it!

    • waytoofantasy says:

      They’re pretty quick reads. I’m glad I read this series, it was like a dark epic fairytale of death and rebirth. That sounds weird when I put it like that but… was good. LOL

  3. librarycryptid says:

    Actually hearing that the pace is really quick in the last book encourages me to continue the series! The first book was way too slow for me but I liked the world building and characters, so I’ve been on the fence about continuing.

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