Ronan Truelove barely survived his first encounter with his father and the Bend Sinister. Now, he’s determined to become one of the Blood Guard, a sword-wielding secret society sworn to protect thirty-six pure souls crucial to the world’s survival. Eager to prove he’s got what it takes, Ronan is sent on his first mission with his friends Greta and Sammy to visit a weird-sounding school and take a series of tests called the Glass Gauntlet. Paper and pencils and nerdy scholarship—where’s the life-or-death challenge in that? But the Glass Gauntlet is actually something much more dangerous: head-to-head competitions against ruthless opponents. Nothing and no one are what they seem. Who can he trust, and who will kill him? Ronan has to figure it out fast because his enemies are multiplying, and soon he will have to pass the ultimate test: facing his father again and standing up to those who threaten not only him and his friends but also the world.
The Glass Gauntlet (The Blood Guard #2)Featured
What I Loved:
Just like the first book, this sequel, The Glass Gauntlet, brims with edge-of-your-seat action. The school that Greta, Ronan, Sammy, and Dawkins visit is an excellent level of creepy, and the new characters, such as Blue, are intense, competitive, and make for added adventure. The characters truly feel their age, and their desire to prove their selves is clear.
The dialogue is full of humorous quips, Dawkins's lines being some of my personal favorites. The plot takes several new twists, and readers might find themselves shocked on more than one occasion. The glimpse into Dawkins's past is especially well done, and I loved learning more about him.
What Left Me Wanting More:
Just as I felt for the first book, The Glass Gauntlet seems to give way to far more action than character growth. I appreciate the journey that Ronan is on, but his character seems to grow small inches when he could be growing much more. He continues to feel very protective over Greta, but his feelings seem to become stronger without development. Even so, the high level of action is sure to intrigue many readers and create series-long fans.
While I'm not sure this series is the best pick for me anymore, I would still highly recommend for middle-grade reluctant readers. Ronan faces daring adventures, wicked plots, and complicated family dynamics that will leave readers turning the pages as quickly as possible.