Mark Reads ‘Shatterglass’: Chapter 13

In the thirteenth chapter of Shatterglass, Keth learns a number of valuable lessons, but the group remains far from discovering the identity of the Ghost. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Circle Opens.

I really thought that Cold Fire would be the most agonizing book, given how Pierce framed the suspense of the story. Knowing Bennat’s true nature the whole time made for an unreal experience, but this? This is a completely different monster, and I NEED IT TO END. It’s ruining me. I usually have a running theory for what’s happening in a book, and even if I’m utterly wrong, at least there’s something.

I have nothing at all here. That’s kind of astounding to me when I think about it because that’s not a simple thing to pull off, and yet Pierce has done it. The characters inch forward in this chapter, and it’s remarkably satisfying despite that I don’t feel like I have a single clue about the Ghost’s identity.

So bravo, Pierce. I’m still furious because you need to stop toying with me, but touché. You’re winning.


This is not a filler chapter. I kind of resent that word because I feel it’s often used mistakenly. Just because there might not be a major story beat in a chapter of a book or an episode of a show doesn’t qualify something is filler. There’s some substantial growth within this chapter that’s absolutely necessary for these characters, so that alone disqualifies it as “filler” for me. Here, Keth listens to Tris talk about her own limitations of her magic, which perplexes him because he’s so used to thinking of her as if she’s some sort of invincible mage. However, he story about the blue pox in Summersea demonstrates to him that even Tris must accept a limit to her power. As Tris sees it:

She could see that he listened to her with every particle of his being. Finally now, to Keth she was not fourteen and unworthy; she was a mage, with a mage’s wisdom. They had come a long way since their first meeting.

That’s such a vital aspect of their relationship, especially since Tris knew she needed Keth to view her this way. On top of that, this helps Keth understand that magic is not the be-all, end-all solution to… well, pretty much anything. Magic is merely a tool that can be used to help solve a problem, but that’s the extent of it. I think I’m pretty comfortable stating that this is why Keth’s next globe goes so well for him. That epiphany guides his gentle control, which produces one of the best lightning balls thus far.

That doesn’t make it possible for him to pull the lightning out of the globe before it naturally does it, but I feel like that’s the point. Magic can’t solve everything for anyone. Also: HE MADE THE ENTIRE BARREL EXPLODE, WHAT THE HELL.

A Tiny Success

I don’t know if Tris’s attempt at wind scrying will contribute to the eventual capture of the Ghost, but I’d like to think it’ll play a part. With both her and Keth hard at work on ID’ing the culprit, I imagine we’re going to reach a very important realization soon. In the meantime? I understand why wind scrying is such a difficult concept. It’s not a matter of images slowly passing Tris by on her winds; she has to grab these visions and colors as they rush past her, propelled by their own energy. It’s both magically and physically exhaustive, you know? It’s no wonder that the act can so easily fuck with people’s minds. So does Tris need to practice more to gain the ability to stop the images? How does she do that while maintaining a balance of power between that and her work with Keth?

Another Murder

GOD, I AM SO FRUSTRATED!!! I thought that maybe this would be the chapter where Dema would be able to catch the Ghost in the act, but nope. The Ghost dumped a body in Khapik, likely due to the fact that they knew someone was on to them. Is it a step closer? Absolutely. But some poor woman still died, and that ultimately counts as a failure to me. Just… how? How can they catch him? Will Niko’s visions hone in on the real murderer, or is it too little too late?

The original text contains use of the word “mad.”

Mark Links Stuff

– The Mark Does Stuff Tour 2015 is now live and includes dates across the U.S. this summer and fall Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be the remainder of The Legend of Korra, series 8 of Doctor Who, and Kings. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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