Article, Booktalks

Shatterglass Booktalk

  • Grades: 6–8

If you discover a new, untrained mage, you have a responsibility to work with him until he is able to control his magic on his own, whether you want to or not. Tris has heard about her sisters’ encounters with novices, and she doesn’t want to be a teacher. But magic and Keth don’t give her that choice.

Suddenly the breezes she’d wrapped around her fled from her, vanishing around the corner, along with bits and pieces of all kinds of magic: protection magic, fire magic, health magic, it didn’t matter, it all streamed toward a shop, Touchstone Glass. It poured through the doors of the workshop at the back of the building in a solid silvery stream, and into the body of a man who stood in front of a furnace trying to blow shape into an orange blob of molten glass. As Tris watched, she realized that he had obviously lost control of the molten glass and the magic he was blowing into it. “Why don’t you let it go, and why in the world didn’t you draw a protective circle before you started to work?” she asked. The man, startled, yanked the pipe from his mouth, and the magical blob of glass broke free, and flew madly around the room, finally landing on its creator’s head. Smoke and the smell of scorched hair filling the room. He knocked it away, and as it flew around the room again, it began to shape itself. Large lumps became wings, smaller ones legs, the body elongated, pointed ears formed, and a long tail. Suddenly crouched on the workroom table was a clear crystal dragon about a foot and a half long, made out of living glass, with a glittering silver skeleton, and filled with tiny flashes of lightning bolts.

“I didn’t make it, you made it! You sent good magic after bad, including all the magics from this neighborhood, because you didn’t draw a protective circle. Now that you’ve created this being, you’re going to have to take care of it, feed it, though I can’t imagine what living glass should eat, sand maybe.”

“You created this being, and you won’t take responsibility for it?” she asked, furious. “Then I will, and I will be reporting you and your teacher to the Mages’ Guild!” And with that, Tris swept out the door, the dragon still on her shoulder, and her huge dog at her heels.

Step into the workroom, with its roaring furnace and sweltering heat, and watch as Keth struggles to learn who and what he has become, and what his life and his purpose will be now, since the lightening strike that changed his life, his goals, and his dreams so completely.

  • Subjects:
    Changes and New Experiences, Cooperation and Teamwork, Magic and Supernatural, Tolerance and Acceptance, Friends and Friendship
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