Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Glasswrights' Test by Mindy L. Klasky
Released: June 2003

The Glasswrights' Test is the fourth novel in Klasky's Glasswrights' Guild series, which tells the story of how a young woman and artisan named Rani Trader tries to rebuild her beloved guild from the ground up after it was held responsible for the king's death and disbanded years earlier.

But, before she can become a Master Glasswright and rebuild a new guild in Morenia, Rani must travel to another kingdom and have her skills tested by her former guild members - all of whom still look coldly on Rani for betraying the guild years ago. Additionally, a secret society known as the Fellowship of Jair challenges Rani to kill the current queen of Morenia with hopes of restoring the kingdom's power - but Rani suspects that the Fellowship may not really have the kingdom's best interests at heart after all.

It's nearly impossible for me to explain the full plot of The Glasswrights' Test to anyone who hasn't read the previous three books in the series, so if you're not familiar with the series, you'd be better off skipping this review. The story is so detailed and intricate by book #4 that you wouldn't be able to follow along unless you read the previous books.

Rani's story becomes darker and darker with each progressing novel in the series, and Klasky doesn't hold back with character deaths in this latest installment. In fact, the deaths are truly shocking and jarring, to say the least. I'm also continuing to love the romantic tension mounting between King Hal and Rani, and have no idea whether Klasky will finally bring them together in The Glasswrights' Master - the fifth and final book in the series.

Politics have never been my thing, but the author does an amazing job at creating this vivid fantasy world with its own castes, conflicts, and secret societies that I would definitely say mirrors our own. After having worked so hard to become a master at her trade since book #1, Rani still hasn't been able to achieve her dream and rebuild her guild. The Glasswrights' Test does set up an interesting lead into the last book in the series, which I suspect will be extremely intense and action-packed. Hopefully Rani is finally able to launch her guild and end up with the man who knows and loves her best.

The Glasswrights' Guild series is by far the best fantasy series I've read in recent years - and that means a lot coming from someone who generally doesn't favor the fantasy genre.

Books in the Glasswrights' Guild series:

#1 - The Glasswrights' Apprentice
#2 - The Glasswrights' Progress
#3 - The Glasswrights' Journeyman
#4 - The Glasswrights' Test
#5 - The Glasswrights' Master

Have you read this series and if so, what did you think? What are your favorite fantasy series? Share your comments with us below.

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