Glasswright’s Apprentice

Posted by : atcampbell | On : December 4, 2001

Glasswright’s Apprentice by Mindy Klasky

The discussion of Mindy Klasky’s first novel drew ten participants. This is a fantasy novel about a young woman, Rani, who accidentally witnesses a prince’s murder and gets accused of committing the crime. Fearing the wrath of the vengeful king, she goes undercover as she tries to find a way to clear herself.

We were engaged by the premise of the story. Klasky’s prose style was so clear and readable that we all finished the book. The complicated caste system in this book’s society was carefully constructed. We were impressed by how the plot enabled Rani to experience life in each caste.

This book had several problems. Perhaps the biggest was that we didn’t like Rani. Her willingness to do anything to protect herself, no matter how much it hurt good people, kept us from sympathizing with her. During the course of the book she lies, steals, and even kills a good man simply to save her own skin. We also think Klasky’s writing style needs improvement. While individual sentences are clearly written, there were several instances of repetition and of stating the obvious. For example, after Rani narrowly averted a rape attempt by a soldier, the text informed us that Rani did not trust the man. Several people in our group were also disappointed that despite the title, this book contains few scenes of people working with glass.

Overall we can only give a mild recommendation to Glasswright’s Apprentice. We do think the author shows talent, and we hope she develops it in future books. After the meeting we had a nice dinner at Threadgill’s.

–A. T. Campbell, III