Review No.26 – Red Glove

Red Glove – Holly Black

Gollancz, 2011

Cassel Sharpe is an excellent liar. He has to be. For years he believed he was the only non-worker in his curse-worker family – then he found out he is a transformation worker, possessor of the most powerful magic around, and that his older brothers had cursed him to forget it. In prohibition America, where the mob and the government fight to recruit worker kids, it’s a dangerous secret. It’s bad enough that Cassel’s brother Barron has lost enough of his own memories to think that after everything he did, he’s Cassel’s best friend; worse still that their emotion worker mother has cursed the girl Cassel loves to love him back, a delusion he can’t trust any more than his manipulated memories. Then his oldest brother Philip turns up dead. The Feds think Cassel holds the answers, and what scares him most is that they might be right…

This is the second book in Holly Black’s ‘The Curse Workers’ series. A tight punchy storyline laced with dark wit, it takes the ideas introduced in White Cat to another level. Each of Black’s characters is believably flawed, equally capable of cruelty and compassion, and Cassel the curse-working con artist makes for an unlikely but somehow likeable hero. The final book in the series, released earlier this year, is Black Heart. Despite my already hefty to read pile, I doubt I will be able to resist it for long.

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