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ahogabWhat: A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz

Who: Chronicle Books

When: August 4th 2015

How: A copy of this novel was provided for review via Net Galley on behalf of the publisher.

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.

4cats2This is one of those pesky times where my old half star rating would have been nifty, because A History of Glitter and Blood would be a good, solid 3.5 stars.

When I went into A History of Glitter and Blood, I was not expecting what I got. Because what I got was pretty out of this world, if I’m being honest. So, I’m going to go over some of the aspects that were interesting about A History of Glitter and Blood.

1) If you are a fan of the unreliable narrator, boy is this book for you. Even though this book seems to be told from Beckan’s third person point of view, it’s interspersed with notes from the actual narrator (who writes in first person).

On the one hand, I loved this. On the other, it confused me. What actually happened? What parts were real, and what parts were fabricated? I guess that’s all a part of the unreliable narrator thing, I suppose.

2) The fairies aren’t particularly fairy-like. They don’t have wings, they don’t have powers. They’re pretty much humans covered in coloured glitter, and they live forever in the sense that each part of their body is attached to their mind. E.g. If their glitter falls off, they can still feel it. If their arm is chopped off, they can still feel it (and the arm can kind of feel things too, like cold and lonely).

I didn’t mind that, though. I didn’t need these fairies to be super ethereal creatures. I mean, fantasy is subjective, so to shit on these fairies would be like saying there is only one kind of fantasy, and that simply is not the case.

The fairies are also eaten (a lot) by the gnomes. It’s kind of creepy.

3) Three of the characters are prostitutes. I already knew this because I follow Hannah on Twitter, and she hashtagged a lot about #fairyprostitutes (or something similar). There aren’t really any scenes regarding the prostitution, though. There’s flashback-type reminiscing, but that’s it.

4) Gender and sexuality are pretty fluid in this novel, and I loved it. Boys loved boys, and girls slept with girls, and boys loved girls who loved boys who loved boys. It was deliciously diverse, and I adored every second of this aspect of A History of Glitter and Blood.


There’s not much more I can say about A History of Glitter and Blood, because it was beautifully simplistic in all its weirdness and wonder.

I would love to own a copy in its physical form, because the drawings and clippings and whatnot were super tiny and unreadable in my e-ARC version, and I think not holding my Kindle to my nose to look at them would make for a bit of a more comfortable experience.

If you’re looking for a completely unique novel that examines loves in all its different forms, but has a fantastical element, then A History of Glitter and Blood is the book for you.

© 2015, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

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Posted on: August 4, 2015 • By: Chiara

18 Responses to Review: A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz

  1. Alise says:

    This one is worth giving a change just for the promise of subterranean gnomes, to be honest ;) The diversity and open approach to sexuality would definitely be a breath of fresh air, although I’m a little iffy about novels that end with going “Okay, what just really happened?” Great review :)

    • Chiara says:

      Right? How awesome are they, haha XD The diversity was super on point, and I love how open sexuality was in the story. The ending is explained, so there’s not too much questioning about what happened. It ends quite nicely, actually! Thanks, dear ^.^

  2. Beth says:

    This sounds… interesting. The synopsis doesn’t do it much justice, though – I was imagining a middle grade read when Goblins popped up! I like the idea of all the diversity and the new take on fairies – it sounds pretty refreshing!
    Beth x

    • Chiara says:

      I think the synopsis doesn’t really do it much justice at all! I know a lot of people went in expecting a different kind of book, and then were thrown by what it actually was. Which is sad because it’s awesome! The diversity was brilliant, and I did love the new take on fairies ;D

  3. I am a huge fan of unreliable narrators and fairies so I guess I better check this one out, eh? ;) Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much Chiara and, as always, fabulous review! ♥

  4. I’m intrigued. This sounds really unique and unlike the many fairy books I have read. And subterranean gnomes? That and the title are really interesting me. Plus your review. Might have to pick this up sometime!

  5. Oohh, how intriguing! :D I’m interested by the premise and the unreliable narrator, but I love LOVE clippings and drawings in books because they add a little bit more magic to the story IMO. :) Great review, Chiara!

    • Chiara says:

      If you like clippings, then you will LOVE this! There are all sorts of little extras woven in, and I want a physical copy just for those :D The premise is also really awesome, as well as the unreliability of the narrator :D

      Thank you, Ana!

  6. I am super intrigued by this book and I want to read it so badly! I love the sound of the concept, characters and that it had an open approach to sexuality!
    Wonderful review Chiara!

  7. Kayla says:

    I just got this one in the mail, so I can’t wait to read it!

  8. Emma says:

    This book sounds intriguing ! Glad that you enjoyed it. Great review!

  9. Romi says:

    Apart from the fairies being eaten by the gnomes, which I’ve now heard twice is creepy and that fact alone seems like it should warn me off, I’m so keen to give this a go. It has a title that I LOVE, the whole idea of these fairies and characters just trills unique and dark and fascinating, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be amazing for me. But possibly incredibly creepy, which I’m hesitant around. I don’t like the creepy, Chiara! And unreliable narrators rial me, also, but I- apparently- care not, because this is on my tbr already and I’m gonna give it a go! I WILL GO THE DISTANCE.
    I’m also mildly confused about the actuality of these fairies. They are just glittery? I, too, don’t really care about fantasy having to be all one way, but so long as they don’t come across as just being glittery humans, is all.

    • Chiara says:

      The eating isn’t explained in any kind of horrific detail, if you’re worried about that! It’s just kind of … mentioned.

      It’s not too creepy, I promise! There are some creepy-ish moments, but overall it’s a fantasy novel :D I really hope you like it, since so many things about it appeal to you!

      They are kind of just glittery humans, except they kind of live forever? IDK, I kind of liked the fact that they weren’t too different to how we are – it was a different take on fairies!

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