The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman
Rowan Rose lives in a small medieval-ish town. Girls are not allowed schooling, and the town worships a goddess. It is a quiet town, and the only thing that is of any consequence is that a new girl, about Rowan’s age, has arrived. Fiona Eira is Rowan’s long-lost cousin, and is a very beautiful girl, but aloof. Rowan is required by her father not to speak to her as well. Then five riders from the king are found dead, laid out naked on the snow. The town officials decide these were wolf attacks...and when people in the town are suddenly killed- literally ripped apart, sometimes inside their locked houses--the officials still look for wolves.
The horror and blood are graphically detailed, as is the affair of Rowan’s best friend, Tom, and Fiona, which borders on necrophilia. The town officials finally agree to fight the “thing in the forest.”
Not for the faint of heart.
Containing elements of Snow White, and Snow-White and Rose-Red, and of course, many vampire stories, this is really its own folktale, featuring good witches and greywitches. The mystery is very well done and will keep surprising readers right up to the end.
Unfortunately, the characters are less well drawn, and we only really care about them as instruments to unravel the plot.
Recommended for readers ages 15 and up