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Shatterglass us hc
A Novel of the Emelan
Protagonist Trisana Chandler
Antagonist The Ghost
Setting Tharios
Author Tamora Pierce
Cover Artist
Publication information
Release Date 2003
UK Release Date
Series The Circle Opens
Preceded by Cold Fire
Followed by '
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Shatterglass is the fourth and final installment in The Circle Opens quartet by Tamora Pierce. The book is set in the city-state of Tharios, which is far to the south of Emelan. Trisana Chandler and her teacher, Niklaren Goldeye, are attending a conference of mages when Tris meets Kethlun Warder, a man who can make living glass objects from lightning. They must work together to hunt and capture a murdered dubbed The Ghost.

Plot Summary

Trisana Chandler meets Kethlun Warder, a mage with a dangerous power: lightning. During their first meeting, he was unconsciously using his ambient powers and accidentally created a living dragon out of glass. Tris saves the dragon from being smashed by Keth, and names it Chime. She later finds out that he was struck by lightning less than a year ago. This incident left him temporarily paralyzed and with a great fear of lightning. He learned to walk again, but his speech is a little slow, and he lost his ease at Glassblowing .

A twenty-year-old man just as stubborn as Tris, Keth won't accept Tris or any of her teachings. He argues with her constantly, and refuses to learn about his lightning abilities, fearing a relapse into paralysis. Tris is surprisingly patient with him as she guides him through meditation and control over his powers. Eventually, Keth learns to trust Tris's instincts, and grudgingly accepts her as his teacher.

Soon, mysterious murders begin to take place. All the murdered women are Yaskedasi, female entertainers who are looked down upon in the town for their immodesty. But when one of the murdered Yaskedasi turns up in the town's central fountain, everyone starts to take notice. The town has a fear of death. Each time a person dies, the place must be cleansed by the town's priests when they perform the traditional cleansing ceremony. This ceremony is not only religious, but magical as well, effectively erasing all traces of the murderer, making it impossible for the authorities to track the killer, nicknamed the Ghost by locals.

Keth has been asked by Demakos Nomasdina, a member of the First Class to attempt to find the Ghost by way of glass balls that only he can make. These balls hold scenes of past crimes in them, causing him to be a suspect at first. Keth and Tris struggle, first against the local authorities, then against each other in the creation of these globes. When Keth's friend Yali is killed by the Ghost, the race takes on new meaning. Tris must teach Keth to control not only his magic, but his emotions and his impatience, for the Ghost to be caught, while taking care of Yali's foster daughter Glaki, who is an academic mage.


The Ghost tries to murder Tris and this proves to be his downfall. She captures him with her magic and discovers that is a prathmun, the lowest of the casts. His father was a man of the First Class and his mother a yaskedasu. In the end he landed in the lowest class of the city, a prathmun only fit to clear the other's dirt away. He was trying to take revenge on the fine society from which he came by killing Yaskedasi and leaving them in public plases so that the death and impurity would stain the purity of the first class.

Characters in Shatterglass

Main characters


Minor characters

External links

See also

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