Sunday, August 2, 2015

Review: A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz

Title: A History of Glitter and Blood
Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Published Date: 18 August 2015
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

I received this book through NetGalley from Chronicle Books for review.

Sixteen-year-old Beckan and her friends are the only fairies brave enough to stay in Ferrum when war breaks out. Now there is tension between the immortal fairies, the subterranean gnomes, and the mysterious tightropers who arrived to liberate the fairies.

But when Beckan's clan is forced to venture into the gnome underworld to survive, they find themselves tentatively forming unlikely friendships and making sacrifices they couldn't have imagined. As danger mounts, Beckan finds herself caught between her loyalty to her friends, her desire for peace, and a love she never expected.

This stunning, lyrical fantasy is a powerful exploration of what makes a family, what justifies a war, and what it means to truly love.
(summary from Goodreads)

A History of Glitter and Blood is a one of a kind fantasy read that is both mind boggling and mind blowing!

My head is all over the place when it comes to this book and trying to put into words what I think of it is hard! I am no Hannah Moskowitz, that's for sure. Here's the thing. A History of Glitter and Blood is a clusterfuck. It's all over the place. Changing point of views without warning, unreliable narration, flipping between past and present on a whim, and all with illustrations, maps, excerpts and commentary inserted throughout the story. Yep, it's one heck of a clusterfuck. But here's the other thing - it's good. Moskowitz is masterful, creating such a purposeful mess. Her style of writing heightens the suspense. There's a heap of mythology here, with gnomes, fairies, tightropers and all of their histories; plus there's war and hard times, with the main characters prostituting themselves to survive. There is a lot going on. This story moves right along and the whole time you're hooked wondering what happened and what's going to happen. Seriously, what the heck is happening??? There's no doubt you need patience to keep up with this book, but my advice is to simply go with the flow. Moskowitz gets you there. Enjoy the ride. Feel your heart race, shake your head, just be blown away...and yeah, a little baffled.

Once I started A History of Glitter and Blood, I couldn't stop until I finished it. It's an engaging read. However, it's hard to connect with the characters sometimes. A History of Glitter and Blood is a book within a book, as Scrap writes about Beckan and their friends and what they're going through during the war, and as he isn't always there for some of the pertinent action, he makes it up. So because of this unreliable narration, relationships are being falsely portrayed and you're not getting to know these characters for exactly who they are. But we are seeing them through Scrap's eyes, and that does count for something. Because the most significant and heartfelt thing about A History of Glitter and Blood is the friendship and love these characters have for one another. These characters are truly connected. Their friendship breaks through race, class, war, and it's lasting. I can't say I was invested in any one character, but connecting to them as a unit is easy. It's the same with particular relationships, because though there's clear partnerships by the end, sex and intimacy occurs between practically every character at some stage. Romance doesn't exist here. They're a pack though and that definitely shines throughout the book.

I've never read anything like A History of Glitter and Blood. Likely, you haven't either. It's certainly unforgettable. Moskowitz has crafted a wonderfully messy read. 



  1. What a great review! I love how you regard it as messy and yet wonderful at the same time..... you have me intrigued about the book now, it sounds like a very interesting read and I LOVE the cover!

    1. Thanks, Thea. It's a bit weird, haha, but it works. The style of it suits the story. I couldn't put it down. :-)