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The Glasswrights' Master, by Mindy L. Klasky Book Review | SFReader.com
The Glasswrights' Master, by Mindy L. Klasky Genre: Faith Based Science Fiction Publisher: DAW Published: 2010 Review Posted: 7/7/2013 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated
The Glasswrights' Master, by Mindy L. Klasky
Book Review by Joshua Palmatier
Have you read this book?
The Glasswrights' Master is the final book in the Glasswrights series by Mindy L. Klasky. I've read the four previous books and enjoyed them on various levels. Some were better than others, of course. My favorite in the series is probably the third book, with its unique land and culture and the solidity of its plot. All five book deal with the story of Ranita Glasswright, with her starting as an apprentice in the guild before it is destroyed. Rani attempts to continue her studies throughout the books, and attempts to rebuild the guild itself, to return it to its former glory in her homeland. Throughout the books, she has many people who aid her, and relationships grow and change over the course of her story, some for the better, others . . . not so much.
And that is what is most compelling about the series overall: the way that relationships change as the years pass and Rani and those she knows are faced with trials and decisions that will not only shape them, but their kingdom and world as well. Not all of those that meet Rani and start out as her friends end up on her side in the end; and not all of those that stand against her are her foes in the end. People react according to their own wants and needs, and those wants and needs change as the world changes around them.
Another interesting part of the series is that each book is set in a different kingdom in this world, centered around Morenia and its king, Hal. But in each of the last four books, we travel to a new kingdom, unique and different in its own way from all of the others. These differences kept the series interesting, as we learn about a new part of the world and how the people in that world live. We don't get an indepth view of each kingdom, but we get enough of its flavor to be interested and keep reading.
In this fifth book, we travel to the southern kingdom of Sarmonia, when Hal, Rani, and the king's closest advisors and friends retreat there when the kingdom of Morenia is attacked by the Briantans and the Liantines simultaneously, the attacks orchestrated by the Fellowship of Jair, a secret organization that has slowly been sowing seeds of dissension in every kingdom as they seek to gain power over all of the lands. In the beginning, Rani, Hal, and others were part of the group, hoping that its goals were noble and working toward those goals themselves. It became clear to the reader by the third book that the Fellowship wasn't as noble or magnanimous as it seemed, or at least that it had been corrupted by those seeking power not for the good of others, but for themselves.
In Sarmonia, Hal hopes to gain the kingdom's aid in reclaiming his lost throne, while protecting his newborn son and heir. But the Fellowship is close on his heels. The final confrontation between Hal and the Fellowship, between Rani and Crestman, plays out in the forests of Sarmonia . . . and around an herb-witch named Kella, shifting back to Morenia and the capital of Moren only in the last few chapters.
The final resolution is in one aspect unexpected . . . and on another level, expected. Astute readers will have "guessed" the outcome of the Royal Pilgrim plot line after reading the fourth book. How that comes about couldn't have been predicted though. In the long run, all of the various plot lines are brought to a satisfactory resolution, and we leave the survivors in satisfactory places, where we've wanted them to be for awhile anyways. There were some unexpected plot turns in this novel, as there have been in most of the novels. Mindy L. Klasky is certainly willing to have horrible things happen to her characters--horrible, but realistic things. I had no major stumbling blocks in this fifth book (unlike the one I had at the very end of the fourth), and felt the plot was solid. A minor quibble is mostly a pet peeve of mine regarding the mini-insanity of King Hal, with the triple rhymes that plagued him. I couldn't stand them, exulted when they vanished (mostly) in book 2, but cringed when they returned in various degrees in the later books. They return here, in full force. But that was an extremely minor peeve of my own, easily read over.
Overall, the series and Rani's story was interesting. I'm glad I hunted down the books and read them, especially since these are not urban fantasy and not really epic fantasy either. The magic in the series is subtle, when it's there at all, so the fantasy is more about the world itself. I enjoyed the books. The third is still my favorite, but this fifth novel comes in a close second.
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