The Glass Dagger by M.D. Presley

Series: Sol’s Harvest #3 Rating: 5/5
Date of Publishing: February 6th 2019 Genre: fantasy, fintlock
Publisher: self published Available: Amazon
Number of pages: 466 Author’s website: https://www.mdpresley.com/
https://www.sigilindependent.com/

Quote of the Book

“When Luca experienced Graff’s mind, he knew sure as his name that the render was chosen to save all of Ayr, but looking now at the pitiable man slouched down in his saddle, Luca could not help but wonder at what would possibly choose such a cracked vessel to be an instrument of deliverance.”

“A Dobra Listener, Luca was well-versed in the lies people told themselves and others. While many might expect the latter to claim the crown, Luca knew well enough that people first become acquainted with dishonesty within their own heads.”

Blurb

Some Monsters Secure Our Safety.

Everyone fears a Render, those chosen by Sol to sever the bonds of life with their glass blades. And no Render is more feared than Graff, who single-handedly held the line at Stone Cleaver. Hundreds died by his hand during the Grand War, and hundreds more in the intervening years, despite Graff not spilling a single drop of blood. A relentless monster, Graff has set his sights on the child Caddie, and not even Marta can stop him.

And now Luca doubts if she even should.

Their band shattered and original mission scattered to the winds, Marta must ally with old enemies as new friends betray her. Worse still, Marta now suspects something dark dwells deep in the child she now considers her own.

Personal notes

One of the most unique worlds I have come across.  I would like to thank the author MD Presley, for the opportunity to read an ARC of this book. I’m always surprised after some of the stuff I say, he still offers one.

Song of the Book

Brand New is the band I always think of for this series of books, because the songs are sad, dark and gritty with bursts of beauty in the lyrics. The lyrics don’t always match the book exactly but the tone of a lot of their music does. This one is a bit less tortured than some of their older ones but haunting still. Also check out Luca by them. I was hard pressed to choose between the two.

Review

This series is like deep fried crack – it’s addicting and these marathon reads where I don’t do a damn thing else for three days because I can’t quit reading, are not healthy.

The Woven Ring was one of those books that while I maybe didn’t like Marta that much at first, the beauty of the world, incredibly tight plotting and the overall story just impressed the hell out of me.

The Imbued Lockblade continued the story, focussing on Luca, and again enthralled me by opening up the world and letting us see a different culture and side to the society, while progressing the story and dropping a bit of a bomb at the end.

The Glass Dagger continues the story in the same style, with a current timeline picking up at the close of The Imbued Lockblade and a past, working forward timeline, giving us a new POV, that of Solace Graff. Now to be honest, I was a little hmm… about getting his background. He didn’t spark my interest quite like Luca did, but he ended up being an interesting character and we follow him as he leaves his home and sets off to school in Lisford with a single goal in mind – to be the greatest Weaver in all of Ayr.

Of course, we all know he is a Render and not a Weaver so his background story thread is how that initial goal went off course, and how he became one of the most feared Renderer’s around.

Graff, I still see him as not a nice guy and his single-minded focus bordering on brilliance makes him practically a zealot in his beliefs and goals, but damn, I didn’t expect to have any sympathy for him like I did, and/or be so interested in his story as much as I was.

Marta has grown from someone I didn’t like a whole lot in book one – and not sure if I like her now honestly, but I softened to her a lot and really, she’s become a character I just can’t help but admire as her story progresses. Marta might be jaded and hard, but she’s willing to do anything to protect Caddie even when she has doubts about what’s right or wrong. She just barrels on through no matter what the consequences might be for herself.

Caddie has grown, she’s kind of scary at times and I have to admit I do like where things are going with her.

Luca for some reason has always been a character I liked, some of that I think has to do more with his relationship with Isabella, than Luca himself. He’s a character whose biggest strength is also his biggest weakness – he’s willing to do pretty much anything to survive. Unfortunately, that anything also means sacrificing loved ones if need be, to save himself. He’s kind of an ass actually.

There is just something about the style of these books, this world, these characters that makes them unputdownable. Every book in this series I’ve read over a couple days. Dropping everything in my life to get back to these characters that admittedly, are not the nicest people but their stories draw you in and their world draws you in.

The Glass Dagger is probably the best of the three technically. It was to the point and never felt dense with the mechanics of the magic, or world building. The story balanced well and didn’t hang-up on any one part of Graff’s life for too long, so we could get back to see what was happening with Marta and co. (Graff was so damn interesting I doubt I’d notice if we stayed with him overlong anyway). It was just a super smooth book.

It wasn’t as tense in its build-up through to the end as The Woven Ring, or even The Imbued Lockblade. In fact, it kind of mirrored Graff in its goal, and set about showing us his side in a purposeful way. So, even though we didn’t know Graff’s story, we knew enough about events up to the point in time where we are now, making the biggest tension for me to be about Luca, and would he be OK (even if he didn’t deserve to be) and would he go through with helping Graff and his plans. And let’s face it, as sympathetic as his character became, I didn’t want Graff to win negating some of the tension that might have been present otherwise. I guess if I have to find a criticism – there was less tension over all would be the only one, and really, I’m just grasping at this point because the story didn’t need it.

I have been continually impressed with this series and I am glad to report that this book continues to deliver. I hope that it’ll start picking up some momentum with readers because it truly is one of the hidden gems of fantasy.

 

Other thoughts

Damn you author for making me eat my own words – First, a portion of the prologue scene which I didn’t like in The Woven Ring came back around and second, it happens to be an overlapping POV a personal pet peeve of mine. So, I double have to eat my words for frickin’ being on the edge of my seat in anticipation for this scene when I realized the way the story was going we would end up with an overlapped meeting because there was no way they hadn’t met, even briefly! And all I could think for the whole freaking chapter was – when is it, where is it? It’s got to be here at this time, and show me the scene already, please!  Darn it all! (Now that’s how you do an overlap POV people! Take note.)

I always think of the Breaths as fireflies/lightning bugs flitting around or those paper lanterns floating to the sky, in a myriad of soft colours.

This review was written by Jennifer (BunnyReads)

Previous reviews of the Sol’s Harvest series by Jennifer:

The woven ring

 

The inmbued lockblade

 

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