This is an oldie that never made the GR transition. I think I read it in 2012.
I’ll state right off that I have a fondness for the way Holly Black writes and may be biased towards her books. I adored Tithe for many of the reasons people despise it. Black’s characters are not whiny ass pansies, they have dark edges and do questionable things, they’re never perfect and I find her books intoxicating because of it.
Red Glove is the sequel to White Cat which you must read first if you’re going to read the series. It picks up pretty much where White Cat left off and begins with more woe, worry and grief for our protagonist Cassel as he returns to boarding school. Because of his abilities (which I’m not revealing because you need to read White Cat!) Cassel is once again drawn into a number of shady situations (to put it mildly) but this time he’s aware of everything he’s doing and he is torn up because of it. Cassel has an innate sense of decency despite the fact that he’s grown up with mobsters and a mother who makes her living bilking sugar daddies out of their fortunes. But as Cassel says, “Temptation is tempting.” Because of his uniqueness he is being seduced by mobsters and the FBI and gets involved in a murder investigation all while dealing with his tumultuous love affair with his sweetheart Lila.
I admire Cassel and his struggle with right and wrong and his ability to keep his sense of humor. Seriously, play out this little scenario, where his mom is demanding that he be an accomplice to her crime and tell me how well adjusted you would be if this was your idea of normal:
Mom says: “... grab the plastic bag over by my suitcase.”
The bag contains pantyhose. I put them on her desk.
“They’re for you.”
“You want me to look homeless, desperate but also kind of fabulous?”
“Over your head,” she says
Oh, poor, sweet Cassel!
Honestly, why don’t they adapt these for film?
Red Glove has no schmaltz, no sickening gooiness, no self-involved, superficial brats like so much other YA and no weak females. Some may argue that Cassel’s mom is weak, unstable or crazy (and all of that may be a little true) but I see her as an opportunist, like the rest of her family members, using her powers to the fullest advantage for herself.
I grew to love Cassel’s character even more in this book and though his relationship with Lila remains complicated none of it ever feels contrived and the things that happen fit in with the magical plot and the power plays. I can’t wait for the next installment and hope more people check out this over looked series.