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Publishers Weekly Review
Tamora Pierce concludes the Circle Opens quartet with Shatterglass. When lightning strikes glassmaker Kethlun Warder's shop, the bolt's energy infuses his work with magic. Tris teaches him to harness his power and, together, the two track a murderer. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
Gr 6 Up-In this concluding volume of the second quartet of novels about four young mages with unusual powers, it is Trisana Chandler's turn to take on her first student. Tris's visit to Tharios, a medieval city of castes, brings her into contact with a glassblower named Kethlun Warder. Keth has been struck by lightning, which has awakened his latent magical gifts and remains a part of his powers. He creates a living glass dragon and globes that show images of the victims of a serial killer. The Ghost has been murdering members of the city's entertainer caste and leaving their bodies displayed in various public areas. Along with a police mage, Tris and Keth follow the images, which results in a face-to-face confrontation with the killer. Like Pierce's Cold Fire (2002), this is a successful combination of fantasy and mystery, though this book is a more traditional mystery with the killer's identity not revealed until the conclusion. Keth's status as an adult and his existing knowledge of his craft make the relationship between him and Tris interesting, and their often-sarcastic repartee adds humor to a serious plot. The mage's guardianship of a girl who has been orphaned by the Ghost, and her responsible use of magic, shows how she has matured since Tris's Book (1998, both Scholastic). This fast-moving, action-filled story can stand alone, and is sure to be a hit with Pierce's many fans.-Beth L. Meister, Yeshiva of Central Queens, Flushing, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr. 6^-9. Visiting Thalios, 14-year-old student mage Tris is fascinated by the city's beautiful architecture and its glass-blowing arts. She meets Kethlun Warder, a journeyman glass-blower mage with rare, uncontrolled powers of lightning magic and the ability to create glass balls that reveal brutal murders. As a weather mage in training, Tris becomes Keth's teacher, and the two, working with investigator mage Dema, pool their powers to stop the crimes. In lively prose laced with wry humor, Pierce creates realistic, dimensional characters--Tris is spunky, independent, and thoroughly likable--and places them in exotic, imaginatively detailed locales. Kethlun and Dema's stories add depth to the plot, and there's plenty of suspense, as well as a social commentary simmering beneath the surface of the story (the human rights of the lower classes are being ignored by the city in an effort to maintain its beautiful facade). Like previous books in the Circle Opens Quartet, this one is an engaging blend of mystery, magic, and timeless social themes. It will stand well on its own, and it's also sure to satisfy Pierce's many fans. --Shelle Rosenfeld
Horn Book Review
(Intermediate, Middle School) As in previous books in The Circle Opens quartet, one of the young mages from Winding Circle--this time Trisana Chandler, the plump, headstrong weather mage--must take on a magical student and stop a murderer while abroad in an exotic locale. In Shatterglass, fourth in the quartet, the locale is Tharios, a hot, Mediterranean/Indian-flavored culture obsessed with castes and the uncleanliness of death; the student is Keth, a lightning-attracting glassblower recovering from a horrible injury; and the murderer du jour is targeting yaskedasi, lower-caste women from the entertainment quarter. With a large number of plot elements, Pierce has quite a few balls to keep in the air for most of the book; that a few drop before the end won't bother fans of her cheeky, down-to-earth characters, earnest magical effects, and low-key mysteries. In a series with so many predetermined factors, Pierce injects enough twists to keep the franchise fresh. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Book Review
Pierce continues her successful blend of high fantasy, grisly suspense, and wry social commentary in this conclusion to the second series starring her quartet of adolescent mages. With control over earthquakes, lightning, volcanoes, and tides, the plump bespectacled pepperpot Tris may be one of the most powerful mages in the world; but the 14-year-old's practical mind is more concerned about earning a living. A magical conference in exotic Tharios (which resembles a cross between the intellectual sophistication of Athens and the caste-ridden otherworldliness of India) seems a promising venue to learn some marketable magic. Instead, she bumps into Keth, a journeyman glassmaker, whose untrained powers over glass and lightning accidentally create a miniature living glass dragon, whom Tris delightedly adopts; less cheerfully, she takes on tutoring Keth in his dangerous magic, and he is equally reluctant to take lessons from a child years his junior. Meanwhile, Tharios is being stalked by a serial killer; and as the authorities worry more about avoiding ritual pollution than catching a murderer, Keth's magic just might supply the key to stopping his rampage. There really isn't much of a mystery here, since the eventual murderer turns out to be a total unknown, and the pace is too leisurely and repetitive to create much suspense. But Pierce (Lady Knight, 2002, etc.) more than makes up for these deficiencies with her appealing, well-rounded characters. Her fans will undoubtedly clamor for further updates on her likable young mages and their fascinating world. (Fiction. 11+) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.