The Architect and the Castle of Glass, by Jade Mere
Chasing his dream will send him into a dark and twisted nightmare.
Tahki’s only goal is to become a world-famous architect, even if that means betraying his father’s wishes by abandoning his comfortable life for one of unpredictable danger.
After Tahki blindly accepts what he thinks will be a dream job, his skills as an architect are put to the test as he is given the bizarre—and slightly unethical—task of turning a remote castle into a new-age machine for Prince Dyraien. The castle provides a challenge unlike any he’s had before, and Tahki finds the only way he’ll be able to succeed is to swallow his pride and work alongside Rye, a guarded young man who is quick to see the flaws in both Tahki and his work.
Yet the looming deadline proves to be the least of Tahki’s troubles. When a horrifying creature begins to haunt him, Tahki turns to Rye for help. The more he learns about the history of the castle, the more terrifying the hauntings become. Even with Rye by his side, Tahki realizes achieving his dream might send him down a dark path from which he can’t return.
No. of Pages – 230
Cover – Gorgeous!
POV – 3rd person, one character
Would I read it again – YES!
Genre – LGBT, Fantasy, Steampunk-ish
Triggers – child abuse (off page) mild violence
** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK FOR MY READING PLEASURE **
Reviewed for Divine Magazine
Wow! This was a rollercoaster ride. And it is not your typical read.
The best way to describe this book is an adventure. It takes you places you don't expect to go, makes you feel things that you wouldn't normally feel, and keeps you firmly in its grip from page one to The End, as it does it.
This story is as much about family, brotherhood, and friendship as it is about the mystery of the castle. It takes elements of various cultures (Tibetan, Japanese, American Indian) to create a unique world that has various countries and states, various religions, and manages to weave a well crafted story throughout them all.
For me, the characters shone through beyond most other debut novels. Each character had their own well explored personality, their own quirks and attitudes. Despite Tahki being reckless and never listening, he's trying so hard to prove himself and, through doing that, makes mistakes that teach him to be himself and who he really is. It's a beautiful journey that was incredible to witness. Rye was the mysterious, hard to figure out, love interest who was maybe too cranky to actually be a love interest, and I loved that. I never quite knew where I stood with him, until he opened up to Tahki. As for Sornjia, he was perhaps my favourite character of all. Though he didn't get a lot of page time, the times he did spent on page were brilliantly written, and I learned a little something new about him each time. In fact, I would LOVE to see him get his own novel. Nudge-nudge wink-wink. From the start, I do admit that I felt Tahki's doubts about Dyraien and understood why Sornjia was wary, but then I also understood Tahki's resistence to believing there was anything wrong. There were a million logical – and not so logical – explanations for what was happening to him, and I love that they were treated realistically, each and every time.
If anything, this story takes you on a psychological journey. It's a mystery that plays with your mind, makes you doubt yourself, and makes you wonder if you and Tahki are just as crazy as each other. But then Sornjia steps in and suddenly everything makes sense again. It's a crazy, brilliant ride.
I can't say too much about the plot without giving it away, so I'm just going to say this –
the world building was impeccable
the writing was right up my alley
the level of description, charactersation, and attention to detail were perfect
and I cried.
I can't ask for anything more.
For a debut book, I can honestly say that I have only ever been this excited and this firmly rooted in the plot, characters, and execution twice before: once for Sean Kerr's Dead Camp series, and once for the impeccable Wehr Wolff Castle, by Bentley Summers. This one is right up there, and will be joining the other two on my paperback shelf just as soon as it's available to buy.
“Tahki breathed deeply, his entire body relaxed, and he thought if he could have Rye like this, he wouldn't need fame, or the castle, or the approval of a prince. If Rye could be his from now on, he would ask for nothing more.”