The Glass Word
This third volume of Meyer’s Dark Reflections fantasy trilogy takes place in an alternate universe where the Egyptian Empire, with its armies of mummy soldiers, has conquered most of the world. Two teenage girls from Venice, Merle and her friend Junipa, who was born blind and has mirrors for eyes, travel to Egypt, which is covered with snow in a new ice age. With them are Vermithrax, the powerful flying stone lion, and the Flowing Queen, the spirit that has protected Venice for many years. With the help of the disgraced High Priest of Horus, they reach the Iron Eye, the great fortress of the sphinxes, which holds the secret that can help them defeat the Egyptians. The Flowing Queen must battle with the Son of the Mother, the fearsome forefather of the sphinxes, who has been reawakened by powerful magic. At the same time, Merle’s friend Serafin, formerly a master thief, also travels to the Iron Eye with the mermaid Eft and the beautiful sphinx Lalapeya. When the two groups eventually meet, Merle learns the secret of her parentage, and what the cost will be if they want to defeat the Egyptians once and for all.
The Glass Word brings Meyer’s trilogy to a satisfying—if heartbreaking—conclusion. This is one of the most inventive fantasies I have read in a long time. In addition to flying stone lions, a mermaid with legs, personifications of Winter and Summer (who must meet again in order to end the ice age), and powerful sphinxes, Meyer creates the fascinating mirror world, which Junipa has the power to enter when she speaks the glass word, and which leads to other worlds, including, presumably, our own. I highly recommend this book, but readers should definitely begin with the first volume, The Water Mirror. Ages 12 and up.