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All that Glows

All that Glows #1

by Ryan Graudin

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Emrys, a fiery Faery, was sent to London to guard the prince from the Old One who is out to destroy the crown.  Emrys is to guard Prince Richard, “Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be king.”  Richard’s wild ways attack soul-feeding Green Woman, but also Emrys.

In a move that goes against every Faery rule, Emrys reveals herself to Richard and finds herself falling in love with the mortal.  Now she is in a fight against time to discover who the Old One is so she can keep Richard safe.  And if she can keep him safe, she will have to make the ultimate choice—loving Richard or keeping her magic.

 All that Glows is an entertaining story that has suspense, love, and intrigue.  Although others see Richard as an unruly party boy, the reader gets to see the side of him that is unsure and lonely.  As the novel progresses, Richard becomes more and more likable as he grows out of his boyhood partying ways and into a man worthy of being king.

There are several fights between Green Woman and Emrys, and the story ends with a final battle between the faeries.  These scenes add suspense and the reader is allowed to imagine these scenes unfolding since they are described without graphic or gory details.  Like the fight scenes, the love scenes are also tame.   Richard and Emry kiss and Emrys admires Richard’s physique, and although there is sexual longing, the two do not act on this desire.

 All That Glows is an excellent story.  However, there is a fair amount of scenes that revolve around clubbing, alcohol, and sexual desire that may be inappropriate for younger readers.

Sexual Content

  • When Richard looks at Emrys she describes the feeling as, “the strange jolt that seized me when our eyes met.”
  • When Richard takes Emrys to a club, Emrys thinks, “I hate the way he’s looking at me, all slow and squinty, like he wants nothing more than to get his fingers on the zipper of my dress.”
  • Richard kisses Emrys. She describes it as, “a nameless desire in the way he kisses me.  I feel it rising in me as well, swelling like clear, triumphant notes.  He pulls me closer, his kiss growing deeper, a never-ending crescendo.”
  • When Richard kisses Emrys, “it’s so easy to lose myself in the feel of him. His tongue just barely grazes the edge of my lips.  My hands slide up around his neck, anchor in his shaggy hair, pull him closer.  With a single finger he traces the ridged pathway of my spine all the way down to the small of my back…It’s like being in another universe, a time apart.  Nothing else in the world matters but how he’s touching me, making me move.”
  • In another scene, Richard kisses Emrys and she savors, “the taste of him, rest in his warmth . . . he pulls me closer . . . our kisses grow bolder, deeper. Forging new ground . . . I lose myself in his kiss.  In its perfect glowing feeling.”
  • Richard, “leans in closer, so that I feel his breath grazing my check. Deliciously hot.  Here (away from the bed’s feathery sheets), I think it will be easier to stop.  I let our lips collide, press soft into each other . . . ”
  • In another scene when Richard and Emrys kiss, she describes it as, “it’s like I’m diving into him, swimming down, down and never coming up for air. And I never want to.  His tongue grazes mine, inviting me deeper.  To places I could never go in the presence of so many watchers.”


  • A Green Woman (soul feeder) tries to sink her teeth into the prince. “The teeth beneath her mottled lips grow ragged, meant for tearing tendon from bone. “ Emrys throws herself at the soul feeder.  She then uses her magic to throw the soul feeder, “back with such force that the stall door crumples around her body.”
  • While in the restroom, a man comes in and approaches Emrys. “He’s less than an arm’s length away when he reaches out, his fingers twitching and eager.”  Richard hits the man and stands, “over the howling drunk as he writhes on the floor clutching his face and his awful, running nose.” When the man again reaches for Emrys, the drunk prince knocks him out.
  • After the fight in the club, Richard shows his sister his injured hand. She replies, “Well, you must have had one hell of a good reason to hit him.”
  • When a Banshee (soul feeder) tries to seduce Richard’s friend, Emrys jumps at her, “only dimly aware of the scattering remains of beer glasses and sloshed whiskey.” Emrys throws a spell at the Banshee taking away her voice. Then Emrys’ hands, “envelope her (Banshee), crushing over her larynx.” As she is holding the Banshee, Emrys puts a spell on the soul feeder so she cannot talk about what happened.
  • A Banshee and a Black dog attack Emrys and another fairy. However, Emrys uses a banishing spell to make them flee.
  • Emrys goes into a club to try to question a Green Woman. The Green Woman throws a spell meant to kill Emrys.  Instead it hits a girl.  “The girl’s body lies close to my feet . . .  Her eyes are open—but there’s nothing behind them.”

Drugs and Alcohol

  • The prince goes to a club several times through the story. In each club scene there is drinking.  In one scene, the bartender says, “All the girls buy him drinks, and he gets drunker than a jilted woman on her wedding anniversary . . . he’s gonna get us shut down for all that underage drinking.”
  • While at a club, the prince dances and, “amber liquid sloshes from the top of his beer bottle. . . ”
  • When Emrys tells Richard that his life is in danger he, “emerges with what he’s hunting for—a bottle of whiskey and a weighty crystal glass.”
  • After Richard’s father dies, Richard has a hard time coping. He says, “. . . just a few weeks ago I was at Eton and my biggest worry was whether or not the prefects would find my stash of booze.”
  • When the fairy queen asks Emrys to report on Richard’s behavior, the queen asks, “How’s the prince coping? Drowning in the neck of a liquor bottle?”
  • Richard gets so drunk that he passes out.
  • At a dinner party, champagne and wine, “flows abundantly” and, “the crowd of faces grows increasingly flushed and the laughter grows volumes louder by the hour.”


  • Richard says “bloody hell” after being attacked by a soul feeder.
  • After a night of partying, Richard’s father yells, “I’ll go to hell and back before I let you spend twelve months pissing in the corner of some pub.”
  • When Emrys shows herself to Richard he says, “Shit. I’ve gone crazy.”
  • Richard and Emrys get into an argument. Richard yells, “Maybe that (being dead) wouldn’t be such a bad thing!  Then you’ll be free and you won’t have to babysit me and wipe my ass every second of the damn day!”
  • In an argument, Richard’s sister yells, “Like hell I am,” she huffs. “You don’t just get to tell me I have a flipping Faery godmother and that we’re being attacked by some old thing and then go traipsing off into God-knows-where.”
  • Damn and hell are used several times.


  • There are fairies, spirits, and spells. Throughout most of the book, Emrys uses a veiling spell, which makes it so mortals cannot see her.
  • Emrys uses a banishing spell to keep people away and a spell that wipes people memories. She uses a variety of other spells as well.
  • Emrys talks about Henry VIII and the ghost of his wives as, “disturbed, unrested souls—cluster around, haunting him in all their vehemence.”
  • There are Tower ravens, “prophets clad in black feathers” that warn Emrys that someone is out to kill all of the royal family. In another scene, several of the Tower ravens go to Emrys to warn her about the Old One. They tell Richard that the Old One is, “coming for your crown and head.”
  • Emrys explains soul feeders. “There are spirits whose powers are strengthen by a mortal’s death…They like to hunt in the cities, usually at night.”
  • Banshees suck out mortals’ souls with a scream. They can also shape shift into weasels, stoats, hares, and crows.
  • A Green Woman appears as a beautiful, green-clad blonde to seduce and kill men.
  • Emrys explains that royal blood contains blood magic that can be transferred, which is why the Old One wants to kill him.
  • Emrys explains that there are many types of supernatural creatures including Herne the Hunter, who is a very old spirit who guards the woods of Windsor.

Spiritual Content

  • There’s several references to “the Greater Spirit.” One of the characters tells Emrys, “may the Greater Spirit go with you.”
  • Emrys promises to erase a Black Dog’s memory and tells him, “I swear it by the Greater Spirit.”
  • After Richard’s father dies, Richard says, “Sometimes I wonder if he’s watching me . . . I wonder if he likes what he sees.”
  • Emrys looks at the Thames and thinks, “In dusk’s illuminating glow, the surface of the Thames looks less full of sewage and debris and more like the mighty brown god it once was.”
  • When a faery dies, Emrys says, “We do not know what lies beyond this plane. We can’t imagine where our sisters might be now—yet we know they aren’t gone.”
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