Monday, November 25, 2013

The Glass Word by Kai Meyer (Dark Reflections Trilogy: Book 3)

Mulluane | 9:10 PM | 6 Comments so far


When they emerge from Hell, Merle, her friend Junipa who has mirrors for eyes, and Vermithrax the flying stone lion find themselves in Egypt. Of course the Flowing Queen is with them as well, since Merle swallowed her back in Venice. There is something very wrong in Egypt--it is freezing cold, and everything is covered in snow. Winter is here, looking for his lost love, Summer. And another creature is here as well--Seth, the highest of the Horus priests. Betrayed by the pharaoh and his sphinx henchmen, Seth is seeking revenge. Together they travel to the Iron Eye, the vast fortress of the sphinxes.But what does the Flowing Queen want Merle to do there?

Meanwhile Serafin, the master thief, the beautiful sphinx Lalapeya, and Eft, the mermaid, are also headed for Egypt. They are traveling underwater, in a submarine piloted by pirates. Serafin is not sure what they can do to the fight the pharaoh, but he knows surrender is not an option. Egypt has captured and enslaved his beloved Venice, and he and the others must fight the empire no matter what the cost. But the final battle will not be one that Serafin has even imagined--and the cost will be high indeed.

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The Glass Word: (Dark Reflections Trilogy: Book 3) by Kai Meyer

| Author: Kai Meyer
| Genre: YA Fantasy
| Age Range: 12 and up
| ISBN-10: 0689877927
| ISBN-13: 9780689877926
| Content: Alternate Reality, Mermaids, Mythology
| Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; Reprint edition (October 2008)
|  Elizabeth D. Crawford (Translator)
| Cover Artist: Russell Gordon
| Paperback: 288 pages
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 3 Stars
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The Glass Word (Dark Reflections,#3)



♥ Mini Review ♥
Do you ever get the impression that a trilogy was never originally meant to be a trilogy? That is exactly the impression I get with Dark Reflections. I can't help but imagine a talented author submitted a good but heavy manuscript and a well meaning editor said it was too big to market as YA. The result was a padded story stretched over three fairly short books but so full of fluff it almost ruins the whole thing. Almost. Fortunately I stuck with it and in this third book discovered a good story lay just under the surface.

Fantasy Series Book Review by Mulluane


♦ What I Liked. All of the individual story lines make sense now. And I do mean all of them. What this tale ended up being, once you cut through all of the weird world building, was a mystery. A who-done-it and why puzzle full of misdirection and interesting twists. On the whole, I loved the continuing creativity and I enjoyed how it all wrapped up in ways I did not expect. Despite being YA, there was not a sappy, feel good ending either. It was bittersweet, partially tragic but true to the story.

♦ What I Didn't Like. I never did feel comfortable in this world. It was just too all over the place. I understand that an alternate reality is going to develop differently from ours and I accept that. However the mix of technology and ancient history wasn't one I could wrap my head around. Sabers and rifles, ancient gods and biblical references, steam factories and magical flying sunbarks, submarines and oar driven galleys, magic working alchemists and laboratory scientists. I also had a bit of a motivation problem. Not involving the grand scheme of things, because that is all explained in this conclusion. My problem lay in the motivation of the protagonists; the choices they made and the ones they didn't make but let others make for them. Alot of the time is was like they were just along for the ride because they had nothing better to do.

♦ Conclusion. In terms of plot and pacing, this was a great book. In terms of creativity alone it was priceless. Unfortunately, the worldbuilding nagged at me though out. I just could not accept the mix of really ancient with fairly modern. Of course, I am not exactly the target audience. Maybe a teen would be more focused on the story itself to the exclusion of the odd mix of magic and technology and less inclined to feel the need to develop any kind of bond with the characters. And I can't rule out the possibility that some things were lost in the translation.

When it is all said and done, I do not feel like my time was wasted. Meyer's handling of the fantastical will stay with me for a very long time. I mean seriously, shark-faced mermaids? Flying obsidian lions? Giant sea witches? Not to mention what can be done with mirrors. And that is just the non-spoilery stuff. The list goes on and on. For that alone I am glad I read this series.

♦ Additional Reviews ♦

Series Summary ~ Book One ~ Book Two

Ratings, Reviews, Similar Reads, Buy Books, Affiliate Links




Librarything: 3.72/5

Amazon: 4/5
(4 customer reviews)

What Should I Read Next?
Kindle: The Glass Word (The Dark Reflections Trilogy)

Audible: No

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Young Adult Fantasy Book Review of The Glass Word: (Dark Reflections Trilogy: Book 3) by Kai Meyer - Reviewed by Mulluane - on December 13, 2013 - Rating: 3 of 5 Stars




Mulluane is a 56-year-old proud grandmother of 4, who is passionate about her pets, blogging, traditional fantasy, and tinkering with webdesign. She is obssesively photo shy but she uses an avatar that accurately represents her dreams. ♥ You can also find her on:

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6 comments :

  1. The scattered setting does give me some pause. I'm intrigued, but I'd like to check it out more thoroughly before investing shelf space to the series. {Smile}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin (Now signed _fully_ {Smile})

    ReplyDelete
  2. Might be more of a library book Anne. There are some really cool elements to this story but it isn't one that is going on my reread pile. I know I'll never look at mermaids or stone lions quite the same again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope the library has it. Borrowing it does sound like a good idea in this case. {Smile}

      Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

      Delete
  3. Wow, that world sounds completely random D: I hate when books try to fit too much into one world, it seems best to pick a couple interesting things and weave them together instead of throwing ALL the genres in!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Indeed! On the one hand, the creativity was off the scale awesome but on the other, it overwhelmed. I am still internally debating how much was translation error and how much was original. I mean do Germans even use the phrase "He has lost his marbles!" (Quoted from book two) I guess they might but somehow I kinda doubt it.

    Sometimes it is the little things that jar the most.

    And thanks for stopping by! I always enjoy your input.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I remember that German friend of mine found "He has lost his marbles" jarring when translated into German, because it isn't used there. However, it may be that the phrase that was used there would feel odd in English. Then again, maybe not, but it's possible. {lop-sided Smile}

      My Latin teacher used to insist that colloquialisms of this nature are really tough to translate well. He made it sound like there's rarely a really good choice. Translate it direct, and it feels odd. Translate it with no colloquial language, and you change the characters a bit. I'm not surprised if switching to a different colloquialism doesn't really work either. {Smile}

      Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

      Delete

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