Title: The Glasswright’s Apprentice (Glasswright #1)
Author: Mindy L. Klasky
Everything is measured by birth, and moving up in society is almost impossible. That’s why Rani Trader’s merchant family sacrifices everything to buy her an apprenticeship in the Glasswrights’ Guild. But being in the wrong place at the wrong time leaves Rani accused of the Royal Prince’s death. Branded a traitor, Rani doesn’t know where to turn or who to trust – but she is going to clear her name. Somehow.
I didn’t have high expectations for this book. It was one of those I’m-grabbing-this-off-the-shelf-because-it-looks-slightly-better-than-the-other-books-in-the-adult-section kind of decisions.
And so I got my expectations knocked over and trampled on by the awesomeness that is The Glasswright’s Apprentice. The book starts with a suspiciously angry instructor and a murder. And it just gets better from there.
Rani was an interesting character. Normally, she wouldn’t be the kind of character I would really like – I prefer characters a little spicier than her. But somehow, Mindy Klasky managed to make me like Rani anyway. I enjoyed following her as she tried to solve the prince’s murder (although her belief that her brother could do no wrong grated on my nerves sometimes).
Normally, this would be the point where I mentioned other characters. But even though there were a lot of characters in the book, Rani was the only one in all of it. So, moving on…
The way they did their names was really awesome – you could tell what caste somebody was by counting the syllables in their name. One syllable was the Touched, the casteless people. Two syllables were traders and merchants. Three syllables were guilds-people. Four syllables were soldiers. Five syllables were noblemen and royalty. Rani tended to jump castes during the book (am I the only person who draws the connection between Rani and Jair? Maybe that’ll play out in future books).
Funny thing – the entire plot would not be something I would normally read. First, Rani’s trying to find the instructor she suspects killed the prince. Then she’s trying to keep her identity secret so she doesn’t get executed for the murder, and then she’s trying to find her brother. But somehow, it managed to hold my interest for the whole 300+ page book. I think the amazingly well-developed (and highly interesting) setting helped with that.
I did have one thing that bugged me – any time Mair or the other Touched showed up. Not that I had anything against them, but they had a funny accent to their speech, and Mindy Klasky wrote it like it sounded. Which meant a lot of apostrophes. Which meant it was a whole lot slower to read than the rest of the story.
I loved this book. Now excuse me while I go find book two.