Glove of Satin, Glove of Bone, by Rachel White
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Release Date: June 8, 2016
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Enne Datchery and Muriel vas Veldina, ex-lovers and witches with a shared apprentice, are tasked by the Citadel, to repair an old grimoire together, despite the fact their relationship is tense at best.
The situation is further complicated when the book is stolen, and tracking down the thief stirs even more of Muriel’s past. It swiftly becomes clear to the two that dealing with their fractured relationship is going to be the easy part of the assignment—if they can live long enough to complete it.
I admit, going into Glove of Satin, Glove of Bone, I totally judged this book by its beautiful cover. And its intriguing blurb. And that title! Did someone say lesbian witches? On a quest? And there’s a missing book of spells? Okay! My expectations were probably a tad bit high, so maybe that’s why I’m so torn about this book.
The author does a good job transporting us into the world in which the story takes place, where witches and warlocks co-exist with non-magical folk and are governed by a ruling committee called the High Circle. The characters were fairly well-developed, especially Muriel, with her feminine allure and wicked past. I even found her partner and former lover Enne fascinating because of how downright rude she was to absolutely everybody that crossed her path. I thought the side characters were interesting and I wouldn’t mind reading more about them down the road. The villains, however, were a complete letdown and lacked originality.
I thought the author had a good story, but it lacked focus. I didn’t have the slightest clue what to make of Muriel and Enne’s relationship, and their constant sniping and bickering was off-putting. I also wasn’t particularly impressed by the “glove of satin, glove of bone” metaphor as told in the story (which is a real shame, because it definitely made for an eye-catching book title). It felt flimsy at best, both in the explanation and its later parallels. I also thought more history on the magic book in question would have gone a long way to fill in some gaps and add more depth to the story. The writing was fine, but the excessive use of the word “Sol” was really distracting. For Sol’s sake, by Sol, What in Sol’s name, Sol be damned… you get the idea.
In the end, my biggest problem with the book was that it lacked pace and direction. What started out as promising resulted in a slow, tedious, meandering read. The conclusion to their adventures and the two heroines’ inevitable reconciliation – much like the book – fell somewhat flat. I feel like Glove of Satin had a lot going for it, but was ultimately lacking in execution.
Along with writing, Rachel has been drawing since she was a little girl and also loves to bake, particularly bread; don’t ask her about her sourdough starter unless you really want to know. Writing, however, remains her first and strongest passion.
Email Rachel at maw.of.monsters AT gmail DOT com
Purchase Glove of Satin, Glove of Bone at
Less Than Three Press
I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.