Book Review: “The Glass Sentence” by S.E. Grove

Just before the dawn of the nineteenth century, the world of The Glass Sentence changed forever. Up until that point, history had progressed much like it has in our world – pyramids, the Dark Ages, the Crusades, and more were all things of the past, and the world was poised to embark on a bright future as the year 1800 dawned. All of that changed with the Great Disruption, which thrust all the different lands of the world into different ages of time. In Boston it might be 1799, but lands across the sea were taken back to 1457, or 1620, or 1912 – all of the epochs of time laid out across the globe. The world had changed, and a new era of exploration and mapmaking – the likes of which had never been seen before – became necessary to help people start making sense of their world again.

The Glass Sentence picks up almost one hundred years later, as thirteen-year-old Sophia watches her uncle Shadrack, a famous cartographer, make a plea to Parliament to allow the borders of New Occident (the name given to a large portion of American after the Great Disruption) to remain open to travelers and adventurers from around the world. The stakes are high for her – Sophia’s parents, explorers themselves, disappeared when she was very young, and if the borders are closed, they’ll never be able to come home to her. But Sophia’s hope of finding her parents again will soon have to take a back seat to more pressing problems: Shadrack has been kidnapped by mysterious men with scars on their faces, and the note he left behind for Sophia will force her to leave her comfortable home in Boston in search of her own great adventure.

I LOVED this book. I knew I loved it just a few pages in, as soon as I understood the conceit that Grove had set up for her world, and that was before I got to really get to know Sophie, Shadrack, and so many other characters (who I’ll leave for you to discover for yourself) that I now love so well. Grove has hit upon a wonderful balance of history, adventure, and magic, and using those three pillars has built a world full of limitless possibility. Currently this series is set to be a trilogy, but I already know, after just one book, that I’ll be sad to leave it behind. I could continue to gush on about The Glass Sentence, but I want to leave every bit of enchantment for you to experience firsthand – let it suffice to say that I found it original, delightful, and utterly full of wonder. Do yourself a favor and get your hands on a copy ASAP!

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.