Red Glove is the sequel to Holly Black’s White Cat. Before White Cat I had never read Holly Black. Now, I wish that I had been following her career from the beginning.
The world that Holly creates is much like our own, except that magic exists and is something that is feared. There are curse workers who can manipulate your emotions, luck and dreams, with just a touch of their hand. Every person, worker or not, must wear gloves because even the slightest brush of bare skin can be fatal. Cassel Sharpe grew up in a family of curse workers and con men, but he himself did not fit into the framework. Cassel can con with the best of them, but he was not born with worker blood. Years ago, Cassel committed an unspeakable crime that he had been trying to forget, but in White Cat it catches up to him. White Glove followed Cassel as he uncovered a mysterious plot that was surrounded by lies and betrayal, and Red Glove is no different, (although Cassel is).
Red Glove is the continuation of Cassel's journey for the truth and a better understanding of himself as a worker. He grew a lot as a character in White Cat, and you can see the changes in his personality. At the end of White Cat we find out that Cassel`s mother has cursed Lila to love him, but in the sequel we get to see how Cassel deals with his feelings for Lila and the curse she is under. I cannot begin to explain to you the roller coaster ride that you take. Cassel's emotions take so many twists and turns that he keeps caffeinated just to survive. He deals with much more family drama, and frankly, I have no clue how he manages it all. There might not be a fictional character with more complex family dynamics than Cassel Sharpe.
The plot continued to intrigue me. Cassel was asked to help solve the mystery of his brother's murder, and while I was reading there were so many theories popping into my head. I couldn't wait to turn the page and find out whether I was right … or not. I must admit, sometimes my hunches were spot on, but mostly I was caught off guard. Red Glove will keep your brain working the entire way through. You will be thinking one thing and then the end comes and you don't even realize how far off you were.
There are so many things about Cassel that I love, and I discovered even more while reading this sequel. Despite all the awful, horrible, cringe-worthy things that Holly puts him through, his heart still shines through the facade the he puts up. I love Cassel because even though his family betrayed him he still loves them, and at the same time, he’s learning how to balance his loyalty with self preservation. He is one of those characters that is desperately trying to do the right thing, and the harder he tries the more he fails. Cassel is a character you cheer for.
I must mention Cassel's roommate Sam. Sam is so good-hearted and such a perfect match for Cassel in the best friend category. I wanted to hug Sam repeatedly while reading Red Glove.
Red Glove left me speechless.
Holly Black is a genius, and I cannot wait for Black Heart.
Red Glove will capture your heart; it captured mine.
Disclosure: I received an Advanced Reader's Copy from Simon & Schuster Canada. Receiving this ARC did not influence my review in any way.