The underground city of Caverna prides itself on the array of hallucinogenic cheeses, wine that makes you forget, and the only expressions are taught by Facesmiths. Neverfell has spent the last years of her life hiding as the apprentice to Cheesemaster Grandible, with a mask covering her face. After meeting Facesmith Madame Appeline, she’s determined to get a face of her own so she can go outside. A chance encounter reveals Neverfell’s secret to the world, a secret that puts her at the center of a group of powerful people.
“Well… I do. I don’t have a big plan, and nobody tells me anything in case it marks my face. If you wanted to find things out, I’m afraid you’ve kidnapped the wrong person.”
A Face like Glass is reminiscent of Wonderland, with a range of bizarre characters, and food with strange effects, and going as far as a rabbit chase sending Neverfell tumbling into the public eye of this reality outside the cheese tunnels she was raised. A vivid and lush world of oddities, with a strong-willed, and albeit naive, heroine in Neverfell, A Face like Glass is captivating, humorous, and mysterious. Hardinge’s world of Caverna is stunning and gritty, beckoning you into this dark and glamorous world of expression and emotion. The characters are quirky and a touch bizarre, but each hide a hidden agenda. It’s hard to determine who to trust, with the most honest character other than Neverfell being her friend Erstwhile, who truthfully declares to her that he lies. This is a fun read, perfect for young adults.