I’m not sure if you noticed, but I really like Tom Pollock’s The Skyscraper Throne series, and I’m hugely excited for Our Lady of the Streets. To lead up to its release in August, Jo Fletcher has been holding a reread of the books, and we’re now at the start of The Glass Republic. This summary will have spoilers for The City’s Son, but I’ll try and keep them to a minimum.
Pen’s back at school,following her being held captive by Reach, explaining her scars to her new “friends”. They don’t believe her, even when she tells the truth. Who would? Still, their disbelief and promise that they will find out what happened don’t matter for the time being, as it’s off to go see Parva. I started off by thinking more Pen! Heck yes! I loved her in The City’s Son. It’s great to see she’s the focus of The Glass Republic. I really like the idea of another version of Pen, and the added intrigue of the mirror world, which we were kind of introduced to in The City’s Son, but it seems like it’ll be a bit more involved in this one.
This quickly looks back to when Pen was first adjusting to her scars. It shows the awkwardness you get when you don’t fit in, and with her scars and the fact that for the first week, she really doesn’t fit in as she chooses not to wear makeup. There’s also lots of bad flashbacks for Pen, for abuse from both Reach and Dr Salt. I loved seeing how she reacts to everything, with her religion and her choice to work to become physically strong. It’s these little things away from the big fantastical elements that really build up her character.
This is a more happy chapter, in which Pen and Parva talk, and dance, and have fun. It’s a lot of fun, and sets Parva up as a totally different character to Pen, despite the physical similarities and them both being equally awesome. I definitely wanted to know more about Parva, how Pen and Parva came to be different, and life in the London-under-glass that we were briefly introduced to in The City’s Son.
Longer chapter, back to Beth for the time being. I’m glad she isn’t forgotten about, even though the focus has changed. She’s exploring the city, and finds a sewermandar. And names him Oscar. And has a text conversation with Pen that shows the friendship between Beth and Pen really well, and gives way to one of my favourite lines from this book: “I only went and got a bloody dragon!” This chapter brings out one of my favourite things about Tom’s writing and this world, the fantasy and imagination and description that creates such a beautiful new world for the story to happen. This chapter then sets up some more of the plot: Pen asks if there’s a way to go behind the mirrors. Beth’s not sure. Beth leaves, a little awkwardness in the air, and sees Pen dancing with someone who isn’t there.
What did you think of this? Leave comments here, at Death, Books and Tea, or use the hashtag of #SkyscraperThroneReRead. And don’t forget to go to Utter Biblio next Thursday for the next part of the #SkyccraperThroneReRead.