The Glass Sentence (Mapmakers Series #1)

( 5 )


* “Wholly original and marvelous beyond compare.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Boston, 1891. Sophia Tims comes from a family of explorers and cartologers who, for generations, have been traveling and mapping the New World—a world changed by the Great Disruption of 1799, when all the continents were flung into different time periods.  Eight years ago, her parents left her with her uncle Shadrack, the foremost cartologer in Boston, ...

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The Glass Sentence (Mapmakers Series #1)

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* “Wholly original and marvelous beyond compare.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Boston, 1891. Sophia Tims comes from a family of explorers and cartologers who, for generations, have been traveling and mapping the New World—a world changed by the Great Disruption of 1799, when all the continents were flung into different time periods.  Eight years ago, her parents left her with her uncle Shadrack, the foremost cartologer in Boston, and went on an urgent mission. They never returned. Life with her brilliant, absent-minded, adored uncle has taught Sophia to take care of herself.

Then Shadrack is kidnapped. And Sophia, who has rarely been outside of Boston, is the only one who can search for him. Together with Theo, a refugee from the West, she travels over rough terrain and uncharted ocean, encounters pirates and traders, and relies on a combination of Shadrack’s maps, common sense, and her own slantwise powers of observation. But even as Sophia and Theo try to save Shadrack’s life, they are in danger of losing their own.

The Glass Sentence plunges readers into a time and place they will not want to leave, and introduces them to a heroine and hero they will take to their hearts.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Gregory Maguire
…refulgent with nervy invention. Wheeled vessels of upright, living trees, named boldevelas. Faceless wraiths, called the Lachrima. The carta mayor, a lake-size map. And dinner dishes made of chocolate, suitable for eating as dessert!…Though I got a little lost following the strategies and ambitions of various potentates, factotums, seers and rogues, I am in no doubt about the energy of S. E. Grove as a full-fledged, pathfinding fantasist. The Glass Sentence is named "Book 1." I look forward to the next installment to place upon the pile. Intensely.
Publishers Weekly
★ 04/14/2014
In the alternate Earth of Grove’s thrilling, time-bending debut, first in the Mapmakers series, the world was sliced up, seemingly at random, by the Great Disruption of 1799 and reassembled with numerous present, prehistoric, and future “Ages” all connected. In New Occident, roughly the eastern third of the former United States, it’s now 1891, but to the north exists the Prehistoric Snows, and northern Africa is ruled by the ancient Pharaohs. Thirteen-year-old Sophia Tims is pulled into a web of intrigue when Shadrack, her famous “cartologer” uncle (half mapmaker and half magician), is kidnapped by religious zealots looking for the legendary “carta mayor, a hidden map that traces the memories of the whole world from the beginning of time to the present.” Joined by a boy named Theo and a ship full of pirates, she travels to Nochtland, a kingdom in what was once Mexico, in search of answers. It’s a cracking adventure, and Grove bolsters the action with commentary on xenophobia and government for hire, as well as a fascinating system of map magic. Ages 10–up. Agent: Dorian Karchmar, William Morris Endeavor. (June)
Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Rebecca Moore
In 1799, the Great Disruption threw different parts of the world into different eras, some apparently from alternate universes with bizarre creatures and people with metal bones. In 1891 Boston, now a part of New Occident, Shadrack Elli is a famous cartologer. He charts the new face of the world age by age and creates maps that impart memories. In his care is his thirteen-year-old niece, Sophia, whose explorer parents vanished many years ago. When Shadrack is kidnapped for his cartological expertise, Sophia and her Baldlands friend, Theo, embark on the adventure of their lives to try to rescue him. Along the way they meet surprising friends and foes and learn about how the Great Disruption has affected—and continues to affect—the world. An epilogue promises a second volume. Grove has created a world at once fascinating and confusing. The Great Disruption and its aftermath are not clearly explained, so readers may have trouble figuring out the rules of this world; while the author has immensely creative ideas, maybe a few too many come into play here. However, Grove’s descriptions are evocative and alluring, her creations unique, and her characters sympathetic and layered. Readers who stick through the confusion of the first part of the book will be rewarded with an intriguing adventure in a startling new world, with characters full of secrets revealed one layer at a time. Fans will eagerly await new adventures for Sophia and Theo in the Disrupted world. Reviewer: Rebecca Moore; Ages 11 to 15.
Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Anna Lindberg
The Glass Sentence is a great book. It combines fantasy, mystery, and a little horror in such a way as to make readers want to read the whole book in one sitting. It is so wonderfully detailed, readers can get a picture in their heads without all the wording being too incomprehensible. If readers want a book filled with adventure, The Glass Sentence is a good choice. Reviewer: Anna Lindberg, Teen Reviewer; Ages 11 to 15.
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—In the Great Disruption of 1799, time itself broke apart and fragmented, stranding countries and continents in different time periods, some of them thousands of years apart. Thirteen-year-old Sophia lives with her Uncle Shadrack in New Occident Boston, discovering the magic and science of maps. When her uncle is kidnapped by those seeking a powerful artifact, Sophia must journey through a dangerous, shattered landscape to seek out help and answers. An ambitious fantasy debut plunges readers headlong into a complex world built around the very nature of time. A fluid mixture of magic and science combine with the dramatic setting to bring freshness to a familiar plot arc. It will appeal to those who enjoy dedicated world-building and new worlds to explore, but it does suffer from some excess padding that may discourage reluctant readers. The complexity of the setting, plus instances of torture and character trauma make this a story to recommend to mature tween and teen audiences. For a first novel, this is particularly engaging, but not without room for improvement. This title is comparable to Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy (Knopf), and those who enjoy the works of Brandon Sanderson, particularly The Rithmatist (Tor Teen, 2013) are sure to snap this one up. Map-making has never been so fascinating.—Stephanie Whelan, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-03-17
In this opening volume of the Mapmakers trilogy, 13-year-old Sophia Tims travels into mysterious and uncharted lands in search of her kidnapped uncle and must save the world while she's at it. In the Great Disruption of 1799, the world came apart. Continents were unfastened from time and flung into different Ages. Europe plunged into a remote century, the Spanish Empire fragmented, and the United States became an uneasy mix of adjoining Ages: the Baldlands in the West, Prehistoric Snows to the north, New Patagonia to the south—and Sophia's Boston is now in New Occident. Sophia's parents are missing in a different Age, and politicians are about to close New Occident's borders, forever trapping them on the outside. When Sophia's uncle, master cartologer Shadrack Elli, is kidnapped, her search for him sets her on an adventure with the fate of the whole world at stake. Grove's intelligent and challenging debut is brilliant in concept, breathtaking in scale and stellar in its worldbuilding; this is a world never before seen in fiction. Sophia is a likable heroine, a girl with no sense of time who must use her wits and her uncle's maps to save the world before time runs out. Wholly original and marvelous beyond compare. (Fantasy. 10 & up)
From the Publisher
A Summer/Fall 2014 Indies Introduce New Voices Selection
A Junior Library Guild Selection
One of Publishers Weekly’s Best Summer Reads

“Not since Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass have I seen such an original and compelling world built inside a book.”
—Megan Whalen Turner, New York Times best-selling author of A Conspiracy of Kings

I think The Glass Sentence is absolutely marvelous.  It’s the best book I’ve read in a long time.  The world-building is so convincing, the plot so fast-moving and often surprising, and the ideas behind the novel so completely original. I love this book.”
—Nancy Farmer, National Book Award-winning author of The House of the Scorpion

“I loved it! So imaginative!”
—Nancy Pearl

“An exuberantly imagined cascade of unexplored worlds, inscribed in prose and detail as exquisite as the ... maps young Sophia uses to navigate such unpredictable landscapes. A book like a pirate's treasure hoard for map lovers like me."
—Elizabeth Wein, New York Times best-selling author of Code Name Verity

* “Brilliant in concept, breathtaking in scale and stellar in its worldbuilding; this is a world never before seen in fiction . . . Wholly original and marvelous beyond compare.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* “A thrilling, time-bending debut . . . It’s a cracking adventure, and Grove bolsters the action with commentary on xenophobia and government for hire, as well as a fascinating system of map magic.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670785025
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 6/12/2014
  • Series: Mapmakers Series, #1
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 47,153
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 810L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

S.E. Grove is a historian and world traveler. This is her first novel.

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Read an Excerpt

The glass cases had been shattered, their contents gone. The bureaus lay open, their drawers bare. Here, too, the books had been pulled from the shelves and thrown to the floor. Sophia took in the destruction, too stunned to call out again. Everything, every single thing in the map room, had been destroyed or stolen. A broken glass map crunched beneath her boot and she looked down at the shards. There was a long, jagged scar across the leather-topped table. She touched it gingerly, as if to make certain that it was real. Then she raised her head and her eye fell on the wall map above the armchairs: the map of her parents’ voyage. It had been torn in half, ripped clear through from one end to the other.

Sophia stared numbly at the pins that lay scattered around her on the chairs and carpet, a single thought running through her mind: Where is he? Where is Shadrack? Where is he?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 8, 2014

    Excellent first novel! Can't wait to see if there are more in th

    Excellent first novel! Can't wait to see if there are more in the series. The premise of the story sounds like it will be confusing considering the multiple possible times, however you only have to deal with a few making it much easier to grasp.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2015

    more from this reviewer

    Boston, 1891: Nearly a century has passed since the Great Disrup

    Boston, 1891: Nearly a century has passed since the Great Disruption remade the world and threw all of the continents into different Ages. While Boston and the rest of New Occident moves forward in the 1890s, other parts of the world reside in drastically different Ages including some from the near past, prehistory and others that are entirely unknown.

    Thirteen-year-old Sophia Tims knows all about maps thanks to her uncle Shadrack Elli, one of the most renowned carologers in New Occident. With the borders closing any day and Sophia's parents still missing after ten long years with no word, Shadrack and Sophia prepare to leave New Occident and mount a proper search expedition.

    Unfortunately in midst of their preparations, Shadrack is kidnapped. With no idea how to find him beyond one small clue and a basic knowledge of what to expect in the Baldlands, Sophia sets off with an unlikely traveling companion and little else. As Sophia and Theo journey toward the Baldlands' capital of Nochtland they will uncover shocking truths about the Great Disruption and find themselves at the center of a vast conspiracy that could change the entire world in The Glass Sentence (2014) by S. E. Grove.

    The Glass Sentence is Grove's first novel. It is also the start of the Mapmakers Trilogy.

    Groves presents a rich fantasy with gorgeous world-building. Maps at the beginning of the novel introduce readers to Sophia's world as well as the outlying regions. The story opens right in the middle of the action as New Occident's borders are closed and never lets up.

    The story expertly plays with readers' ideas of history and causality imagining, among other paradoxes, a world where John Donne is known through his works before the Great Disruption as England has not yet reached (and may never reach) the time of his birth. These details lend a haunting quality to The Glass Sentence allowing readers with knowledge of the related world history to imagine what might have been.

    However readers who lack the historical background (due to youth or lack of interest) will still find an engrossing fantasy here. Sophia and Theo travel across New Occident and into the wilds of the Baldlands where they encounter outlandish travel companions and chilling villains.

    Chapter epigraphs from Shadrack's published works as well as other sources further the world-building and explain key details of this alternate history to readers while a narrative structure reliant on clocks and time-keeping help keep readers grounded in the story.

    Unfortunately with so many vivid and evocative details in the world-building and backstory, The Glass Sentence is decidedly lengthy at 493 pages. Although the arc of this novel is resolved in this story, the over-arching story of Sophia's missing parents will likely span the rest of the trilogy. Readers who enjoy thick, intricate fantasies will undoubtedly find a new favorite in this promising start to a series with both middle grade and young adult appeal.

    Possible Pairings: The Search for Wondla by Tony DiTerlizzi, Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale and Nathan Hale, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, The Boneshaker by Kate Milford, The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel, The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2014

    Great read

    This story has an innovative concept, great characters, and great writing. I would recommend it to anyone who likes scifi.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2014

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