Can you believe it’s been nearly five years ago to the day that the first official Rick Riordan Presents title, Aru Shah and the End of Time, hit store shelves? Not only did Aru Shah and the End of Time kick off the internationally beloved and best-selling Pandava Quintet, this title also opened the door for every other RRP series and standalone novel released in the years since.
And now, Roshani Chokshi is back with a brand-new addition to the Rick Riordan Presents imprint: The Spirit Glass, on sale September 5th. Curious to learn more? Check out the plot synopsis below, as well as an exclusive introduction from Rick Riordan himself!
Corazon yearns to finally start training as a babaylan (a mystical healer and spirit guide) under her powerful guardian, Aunt Tina. As soon as her magic awakens, Corazon plans to bring her parents back from the dead and no longer have to rely on a soul key to allow visits with her their ghosts for a few hours every Saturday night.
But when a vengeful ghost steals Corazon’s precious key, the fragile balance between the human world and the spirit world is thrown out of whack. Aunt Tina reveals that if Corazon wants her magic to awaken, then she just lay the ghost to rest by fashioning a new soul key.
With her rather bloodthirsty gecko companion, Saso, Corazon embarks on a quest through the spirit realms. But they must move quickly, for if the ghost gets through the spirit glass, all hope will be lost.
If Your Mirror Could Talk, What Would It Say?
A lot, it turns out.
In Roshani Chokshi’s take on Filipino mythology, every reflective surface is a doorway into the spirit world. Your mirror is always watching, always listening. If you could learn how to understand its silent glassy language, you might hear a few things about your past, your future, and the bad things coming your way. . . .
The Spirit Glass is peppered with beautiful whispered asides from the world’s many looking glasses. By the end of the book, I was glancing suspiciously at the full-length mirror in my hallway, wondering what secrets it kept and where it might lead. That’s the power of a Roshani Chokshi novel. Not only does it let you into a new world, but that new world seeps into your own and becomes a part of your life.
Here’s one secret my mirror might tell you: I read The Spirit Glass in a single day, because I simply could not put it down. Once finished, I paced back and forth, muttering to myself, Wow, I did not think I could love any protagonist more than I love Aru Shah. But now there is Corazon Lopez . . . Forgive me, Aru, for those words of blasphemy! The Spirit Glass is just that good. It’s making me question everything I thought I knew.
For instance, I had no idea that anitos were a thing. Why can’t I have a megalomaniacal glowing polka-dotted gecko as my magical companion? It’s not fair.
Why isn’t my house like Corazon’s magical House, sprouting new windows and porches when it’s happy, making me breakfast just because it loves me, producing an endless supply of comfy pillows and blankets for movie night in the living room?
Most important, what flavors of magical sorbetes could I buy at the Midnight Bridge market? That’s another powerful thing about Rosh’s novels: you will get very hungry for all the delicious food she describes.
Of course, Corazon Lopez’s life isn’t all geckos and ice cream. As a young babaylan-in-training, she is still waiting for her full powers to manifest. She’s understandably nervous. Will she be able to control the weather? Or raise the dead? Or turn sunlight into diamonds? She worries she will never be as powerful as her parents, or her aunt Tina, who can sing vegetables right out of a garden and read the future in drips of candle wax.
There’s also the small matter of Corazon’s parents being . . . well, dead. It’s lovely that their souls can visit for Saturday dinner, but a few hours a week isn’t enough! Corazon yearns to become a full-fledged babaylan so she can use her spirit key to manifest her parents all the time. Then they can be a proper family again.
Alas, many things stand in the way of Corazon’s aspiration. Aunt Tina is keeping secrets about the family’s history. She refuses to read Corazon’s future for fear of what it might hold. Corazon’s babaylan powers are stubbornly slow to manifest. And worse of all, during a chance encounter at the Midnight Bridge, Corazon makes a mistake that might prevent her from ever getting her parents back. To fix that mistake, the young shaman and her small but surprisingly bloodthirsty reptile sidekick must navigate the spirit world, overcoming ghosts and monsters and magic. But one thing you will learn in The Spirit Glass: you should never bet against Corazon Lopez.
My favorite part of this book—okay, I have many favorite parts—but one of my favorite parts is how magic bartering works. When you buy a spell, a charm, or a potion, you must offer something of equal value. How do you know what’s fair? You simply do. There’s a satisfying click as the balance of the universe settles into place, and both sides agree, yep, that was a good trade. Wouldn’t it be nice if all transactions were like that?
Corazon Lopez is offering you a trip through the multigenerational, multicultural, multi-mythological world of Filipino folklore—a world of seven thousand islands, 150 languages, myriad religions, and countless stories. You will be thrilled, surprised, enchanted, and hungry when you finish this book. What price could possibly be a fair trade for such an experience?
The best price of all? Just read the book. I think you’ll find, as I did, that when you finish The Spirit Glass, the universe will rebalance with a satisfying click, and you will feel that you got a very good trade indeed. Your world will seem bigger. You’ll see magic everywhere. And if you happen to catch the sound of your mirrors whispering to one another, well, to quote an old friend of mine, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
Well, what are you waiting for? Pre-order your copy of The Spirit Glass today!