Roy, Carter. The Glass Gauntlet
August 18th 2015 by Two Lions
Copy provided by MB Communications
Having found out that his father is the head of Bend Sinister in The Blood Guard, Ronan Truelove is being sent to a Blood Guard school with Greta and Sammy. Not being a wealthy organization, it's held in a fairly modest cabin on a mountain, but the three make some progress with various skills. When Ronan's mother needs to try to find his father, the children are left with Dawkins, and of course, the Bend Sinister attacks, with the evil Patch Steiner heading the attack. The group manages to escape, meet up again with Dawkins, and make their way to the Galls Gauntlet competition. The prize is a million dollars, but what the group really needs is the gauntlet, as well as the Damascene 'Scope. These two things will be used to restore Flavia's soul to her, once they get that back from Ronan's father. If they don't, she is in danger of dying, and when a Pure dies, it puts the whole world in danger. There they meet other children, including Agatha and Kieran, who are vying for the prize, which includes a million dollars. They are shocked to discover that unsportsmanlike behavior is rewarded. Dawkins finds some interesting facts out about his past, which help shed light on the present circumstances, but Ronan's father is still on the loose with Bend Sinister, and as long as he is, the Pures are not safe.
Strengths: This is an appealing series, with lots of action and a fresh world building. Sure, it's boy-saving-the-world, but it's not a medieval world, and he's not a reluctant hero. Greta and Dawkins are great characters, and even Agatha has her moments. The pacing moves the story along quickly. This is one book that my students have loved, and have asked repeatedly for the sequel. There is sure to be another one after this.
Weaknesses: I was hoping for more character development for Ronan and Greta, but Dawkins was really the only one we find out more about. I also had trouble fitting Patch Steiner into the picture, and there were no fantastic catch phrases like "super corn nuts crazypants", which I still adore!
What I really think: Definitely purchasing, and will look forward to book three.