“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. . . . 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.” -- Booklist, March 1st, 2003
“ In a series with so many predetermined factors, Pierce injects enough twists to keep the franchise fresh.” -- Horn Book
The Barnes & Noble Review
Bestselling fantasy author Tamora Pierce continues the Circle Opens series in this fourth energizing book filled with lightning magic and a killer on the loose.
When Tris Chandler -- a 14-year-old lightning mage whose braids contain spellbinding magic -- meets Keth Warder, she sees instantly that the older glassblower has his own lightning skills yet to be harnessed. Tris soon becomes his all-knowing teacher, and the two discover that Keth's electricity-filled glass balls can produce images of near-past events. Unfortunately, the town of Tharios also has a ghostly murderer stalking young girls (much to the chagrin of Dema Nomasdina, the investigator), but as Keth further develops his magic, his glass creations become crucial to finding the killer before he or she takes another victim.
Using the vivid descriptions and in-depth characters that her fans have come to appreciate in her work, Pierce winds up her quartet with a powerhouse that will keep you entranced to the end. The author's own magic doesn't lie only in the exciting plotline; it shines through in each scene, letting each personality play off another with fantastic style and finesse. Another Pierce page-turner that'll keep young audiences fired up for other tales. Shana Taylor
Tamora Pierce closes her The Circle Opens quartet of fantasy novels with Shatterglass. Tris, the weather mage introduced in the previous series, Circle of Magic, now travels to Tharios, where a glassmaker's magic may help him identify a serial killer-if Tris can teach him how to use his power. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Tris—of the mighty temper to match the braided lightning in her red hair—learned to control her weather magics in Pierce's earlier fantasy quartet, "Circle of Magic." Now she is four years older and closing the "Circle Opens" quartet. The fourteen-year-old mage finds her hands full when she is assigned her first student. Keth is a lightning-shy glassmaker with a temper equal to her own. When their studies are complicated by a serial killer on the loose in the ancient city of Khapik, Trish enters its carny world of entertainers with only her great bear of a dog, and Chime, her living glass dragon, as backup. Pierce creates a classic murder mystery/police procedural inside her fantasy world. It's an amusing exercise within the parameters of a priesthood class whose sole aim is to eradicate all evidence of crime before the constabulary can do their work. As a result, of course, Tris must become the bait for the next strike of the murderer. Pierce seems to enjoy stretching the boundaries of her mock-medieval landscape and genre. With amusing characters like Tris, it seems a pity to close the storyline at this point. Then again, there is always the possibility of a new quartet a few years further along in the lives of Tris and her adopted siblings. 2003, Scholastic,
With this book, Pierce finishes The Circle Opens series, the second quartet starring four gifted teenaged mages whose magic is amplified by nature. The finale features Trisana Chandler, a weather mage, and her adventures in Tharios, a city enslaved by a strict caste system. Pursuing an interest in glassmaking, Tris encounters Kethlun Warder, a glassmaker with weather magic. Using magical glass globes, Tris and Keth struggle to track down a serial murderer nicknamed the Ghost, all the while battling the Tharian government in its apathy toward the lower classes, the Ghost's targeted victims. As always, Pierce's gift lies in her ability to create a fantasy setting in pure totality. Pierce evokes the differing manners and costumes of the privileged Tharians, the yaskedasi entertainers, and the despised, unclean prathmun with rich detail. Although fans might be tiring of the stock murder-mystery scenario, they will appreciate fresh news of Tris and her friends. Nevertheless, the plot lacks cohesion: Pierce succeeds in building anticipation around the hunt for the murderer, but the revelation of his identity and the final chapters fizzle out in a resolution that is strangely empty. Furthermore, the empathetic pull that Pierce's characters usually draw from readers is nearly nonexistent here. There are no places in the book that demand an immediate reread as in Alanna (Atheneum/S & S, 1983/VOYA April 1984) or Lady Knight (Random, 2002/VOYA February 2003). Pierce is certainly one of the best fantasy authors for teens, and this title is well crafted. Her devotees and fantasy mystery readers will enjoy this title, despite some disappointments. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only byoccasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2003, Scholastic, 368p,
In Pierce's preceding series, Circle of Magic, four young mages learned to harness and use their unusual powers. The Circle Opens Quartet features these same mages going out into the world and taking on apprentices. Here Tris, age 14, is the mage; she can control the weather and make it do her bidding. She is visiting the exotic city of Tharios—reminiscent of India with its many classes of people and strong beliefs about untouchables, purity and pollution—when she encounters a talented, tormented journeyman glassblower named Kethlun Tris recognizes his magic and is therefore obligated to take him on as a student. Keth creates glass balls that show the immediate past, and reveal a murderer at work. Tris and Kris must work together to identify the killer before he strikes yet again. Suspense and fantasy blend well in this series, and fans will enjoy this exciting conclusion to the quartet. Pierce's gift for creating strong female characters is much in evidence, and this is a lively and involving read. It could stand on its own but is best read within the context of the series. (The Circle Opens Quartet, Book 4). KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2003, Scholastic, 368p.,
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 Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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+)