Children of The Black Glass

Children of The Black Glass
Age Range
Release Date
March 07, 2023
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Howl’s Moving Castle meets Neil Gaiman in this middle grade fantasy, set in a world as mesmerizing as it is menacing, following children on a quest to save their father who get embroiled in the sinister agendas of rival sorcerers.

In an unkind alternate past, somewhere between the Stone Age and a Metal Age, Tell and his sister Wren live in a small mountain village that makes its living off black glass mines and runs on brutal laws. When their father is blinded in a mining accident, the law dictates he has thirty days to regain his sight and be capable of working at the same level as before or be put to death.

Faced with this dire future, Tell and Wren make the forbidden treacherous journey to the legendary city of Halfway, halfway down the mountain, to trade their father’s haul of the valuable black glass for the medicine to cure him. The city, ruled by five powerful female sorcerers, at first dazzles the siblings. But beneath Halfway’s glittery surface seethes ambition, violence, prejudice, blackmail, and impending chaos.

Without knowing it, Tell and Wren have walked straight into a sorcerers’ coup. Over the next twelve days they must scramble first to save themselves, then their new friends, as allegiances shift and prejudices crack open to show who has true power.

Editor review

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What I liked:
Children of the Black Glass is a high fantasy debut story for Middle-grade readers. Wren and Tell are part of a community of remote mountain dwellers whose sole income is from mining black glass. They travel to a city every year to trade it and have all kinds of outdated ways compared to the city folk.
The story moves along at a pretty quick clip, and once the mountain people reach the town, it is obvious we have two very different cultures in this story. However, you will find some common themes that cross over to reality. For example: Taking advantage of people you deem lower class, assumptions made based on where people live, and worst of all, secret and receipt when parents choose to leave families.
Final verdict:
The story is vital for a debut author, and middle-grade readers will be fascinated by all the secrets revealed as Wren and Tell learn more about the fancy town they are now in. Adventure fantasy stories where children are the ones who must survive and rescue the adults always make for a high-stakes read.
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