Friday, February 16, 2024

"Kling Klang Gloria" by Jenni Sauer

I think this may be Sauer's best book yet.  Certainly, it is her most complex book yet.  Kling Klang Gloria is a follow-up to Rook di Goo, meaning it is book two of the War on Taras series.  It reads fine as a stand-alone, but you are going to enjoy the last section more if you have already read Rook di Goo.  And, since that last section is my favorite part of the book, overall, I definitely do recommend you read the first book first.

And now you're like, um, Hamlette?  Jenni Sauer has like five other Evraft books out too?  Which you have also reviewed?  How is this book two?

I'm so glad you asked!  This is book two because it is the second book in the War on Taras series, which takes place in the Evraft Galaxy.  The other books take place there too, and they sometimes involve characters who were in these books.  And that's about as much explaining as I can do.  I suggest visiting Sauer's website or connecting with her on social media to learn more.  Or just read the books and figure it out!  That's what I did ;-)

Anyway, Kling Klang Gloria starts out as a Sleeping Beauty retelling of sorts, then morphs into a King Thrushbeard retelling.  Princess Zariya wakes up from a cryogenic sleep and discovers her planet, Taras, has been overrun by their enemies.  The palace where she grew up has been leveled and the capitol city razed.  What's left of the Tarisian population is scavenging for survival and avoiding the occupying troops as much as they can.

Zariya is welcomed back by the only remaining royal guard, Thrush, who has faithfully waited all these years for her to awaken.  Together, they set off across the planet, looking for safety and purpose, basically.  Slowly, Zariya learns what happened to her planet and her people, and she slowly picks up clues as to Thrush's past, too.  Woven throughout the book are flashbacks to how and why Zariya was frozen and what her life was like beforehand.

Zariya was viewed as a spoiled and nonsensical girl all her life, treated as if she did not have a mind or will of her own and should just be a pretty puppet.  The only person who ever understood her was a boy named Arian, her only friend, but the two drifted apart as they grew up, leaving Zariya bereft and confused more than once as Arian stepped farther and farther away from her.  Zariya loves to fix things with her hands and has a genius for mechanical things, but struggles to understand social expectations and emotional cues, which makes me assume she is meant to be somewhere on the autism spectrum.  Maybe?  

Thrush starts out didactic and gruff, but mellows as he starts to trust Zariya and protect her because he wants to, not because it's his duty.  The two grow close and begin taking hesitant steps toward a romantic relationship, but this is more a coming-of-age story than a love story.  Their romance is sweet and very slow-burn, and I liked it a lot.

Particularly Good Bits:

Funny, that living scared her more than dying did.  But she had gone to so much trouble to survive, that was exactly what she intended to do (p. 18).

People were minefields of emotions and social constructs Ziya had never learned to read no matter how hard she tried (p. 267).

They weren't perfect.  Neither of them.  But maybe they could be imperfect together (p. 395).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG-13 for some intense situations, violence, fake marriage as a cover story that involves Zariya and Thrush sharing a bed (innocuously) multiple times, and some mentions of menstruation and tampons that might not be something younger readers would appreciate/understand.  There's no cussing, no smut, and no gore, but there are brief mentions of someone having been tortured and several instances of hand-to-hand combat and other acts of violence.

This is my 6th book read from my TBR shelves for the 2024 Mount TBR Reading Challenge.


  1. This author certainly has a talent for memorable and unique book titles!

    1. Debra, she certainly does! And they make sense once you get into them :-)

  2. I'm very curious to try this one, since I loved Rook di Goo.

    1. Katie, I thought of you several times while reading this, actually. I suspect you will be pleased.

    2. Awww, you did? That makes me happy! <3


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