Mist, Metal, and Ash

336p. (Ink, Iron, and Glass: Bk. 2). Imprint. Feb. 2019. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250112781.
Gr 8 Up—In a fantasy version of 19th-century Italy, Elsa must save the world from vengeful destruction by a mad politician—and from accidental destruction by those who mean well. Elsa and her friends each possess a rare skill; together, they are nearly unstoppable. But their friendship is fractured by circumstances. Nonetheless, they must find a way to infiltrate a dangerous rebel stronghold, find a stolen book, and rescue Leo, the friend who appears to have betrayed them. Leo, for his part, must determine how to win back the trust of his friends while keeping his brother and power-hungry father at bay. This fast-paced sequel to Ink, Iron, and Glass dives deep into issues around trust and commitment. A major theme is independence, including the right of individuals to choose their own path even if it involves risk. This novel is likely to be incomprehensible as a stand-alone, but it's a satisfying sequel.
VERDICT Purchase where the previous volume is popular.

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