As the daughter of Cassaforte’s premier glass maker family, Risa Divetri has longed for the day when she will attend one of the insula schools. There she will learn the enchantments and blessings her family uses in their workshops to make the glass art prized throughout Cassaforte.
Or she would have, if the gods had chosen her.
Instead, she is told by the priests that she is not needed at the insulas. Risa takes this rejection hard, and believes that she is an unwanted burden to her family– until the day when it is announced that King Alessandro, ruler of Cassaforte, is dead. Then Risa rescues a beggar from the streets, her parents are abducted, and the seven noble houses of Cassaforte begin to fall. With the help of her friends and a cheeky palace guard, Risa has to step up to save Cassaforte from the machinations of a false king, and along the way prove how extraordinary she really is.
I picked up The Glass Maker’s Daughter one day for want of anything else to read. When I started reading it, I was at first interested and then enthralled by the story. Cassaforte, which is inspired by Renaissance Venice, is lush and layered–V. Briceland was really thorough with the details that make a setting come to life. Risa, despite at first seeming to be the stereotypical, fiery 16-year-old girl, turns out to be lifelike and believable as a character. The side characters, too, seem like real people who have their own stories, rather than simply existing to give the protagonist someone to talk to. And for those who want more stories about Cassaforte, The Glass Maker’s Daughter is currently followed by two books: The Buccaneer’s Apprentice, about Nic Datorre, a young servant-turned-hero, and The Nascenza Conspiracy, which stars Risa’s younger brother, Pedro. So what are you waiting for? Pick up a copy the next time you stop by the library or bookstore!