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Window Wall: Glass Thorns #4    by Melanie Rawn order for
Window Wall
by Melanie Rawn
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2015 (2015)

* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Window Wall is the fourth in Melanie Rawn's Glass Thorns series, following Touchstone, Elsewhens and Thornlost. The series blends fantasy and the stage, in a world filled with different magical races. I have enjoyed all the episodes though I do find that the overall pace is rather slow and I might have preferred it as a trilogy.

Wizard/tregetour Cade Silversun magically charges glass wands for Touchstone performances. His talented troupe (managed by Lord Fairwalk) includes skilled fettler Rafe, masquer Jeska, and capricious glisker Mieka. Cade has long been tortured by visions of possible futures, elsewhens, which readers share.

Touchstone journeyed to the Continent and returned with dissolute Prince Ashgar's betrothed, Tregrefina Miriuzca, who has since become their ally. The sinister Archduke plots against Touchstone. Cade had visions of a lost Fae treasure. And Mieka wed a lovely Caitiffer - their child, Jindra, and Mieka's mother-in-law share their home.

In Thornlost, Cade learned of the Caitiffers' forbidden talent of stitching spells, and that Mieka's mother-in-law spies on him for the Archduke. He also met talented aristocratic Megs and decided to stop himself from seeing any more painful elsewhens. But this changed him in ways that disturb Mieka greatly.

This new episode begins with a bang, an explosion that turns out to be sabotage - and there are more to follow. One good result is that Cade's younger brother Derien's magical ability is revealed. But can Mieka convince Cade to open himself up to elsewhens again, in the hope of avoiding further tragedy?

Cade and Mieka question a Fae, a dangerous action. There are attacks engineered by the Archduke and a financial betrayal that affects them all. And they are forced to seek help from their enemy - who continues plotting. The story moves ahead on many fronts in Window Wall, but slowly. This series requires, and rewards, patience.

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