The Shattered Lens

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<The Shattered Lens>
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians (series)
Follows The Knights of Crystallia
Precedes The Dark Talent
Released December 2010 (Scholastic),
July 19, 2016 (Tor)
Publisher Tor books
ISBN 978-0-7653-7900-9
Page Count 291
Word Count 53,643

Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians: The Shattered Lens is a middle grade novel by Brandon Sanderson. It is the fourth volume of the five-part series Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians.[1] It was originally published by Scholastic (with the title Alcatraz Versus The Shattered Lens) in December, 2010. After Brandon bought back the rights to the series, it was published by Tor and was released on July 19, 2016.


Can Alcatraz save a city under siege?

If the island of Mokia falls, so could the rest of the Free Kingdoms--and then the entire world would fall under the sway of the Evil Librarians. Can Alcatraz save the day once more?

Armed only with a few pairs of glasses, a small supply of exploding teddy bears, and his incredible Talent for breaking things, Alcatraz is determined to try. All he has to do is defeat an army of giant Librarian robots, a force of regular-sized but extremely evil Librarians, and worst of all: his own mother!


Alcatraz hears about the Librarian's siege of the city, Tuki Tuki and wishes aid to be sent to help. However, the Council of Kings does not wish to get involved there, especially as the king of Mokia, Talakimallo was taken out of the city to a safer location. To get the Knights of Crystallia to help the people of Mokia, Alcatraz escapes to Mokia as the knights will only go to keep him or other Smedrys safe.

Running away from a group of knights who are trying to keep Alcatraz 'safe', he and Bastille manage to get to a Colorfly with Kaz's help. On the way to Tuki Tuki, the Colorfly is shot down and the gang end up outside the Librarians forces that are attacking the city. Attempting to sneak past the forces at night, Alcatraz's Smedry Talent accidentally triggers, alerting the Librarians of their presence. After fight many Librarians, the three of them manage to get to the dome protected the city and gain entrance.

Meeting General Mallo, Alcatraz gets a run down of how the siege is going poorly for the Mokians. Realizing the General is actually the king, Talakiamallo who never left, Alcatraz convinces him to not surrender to the Librarians and hold out until help can come from the Free Kingdoms.

Talakimallo is incapacitated during a Librarian attack via tunnels dug into the city, and Alcatraz as the next highest ranking person takes lead of the defense of the city. With Grandpa Smedry leading forces that will arive in seven hours, Alcatraz comes up with a plan to destroy the robots the Librarians are using to attack the city.

Finding his mother amongst a group of captured Librarians, he questions her about the attack and where the book she stole from the Royal Archives is. Unable to get answers he wants, his earlier plan goes ahead and Bastille is knocked out and taken captive. Alcatraz sends Kaz to inform his grandfather that they must arrive before midnight to save them.

Questioning his mother again, Alcatraz learns his fathers plan is to give Talents to everyone, something he knows will cause chaos and must be stopped. The Librarians make yet another attack on the city, and Alcatraz is captured, however he manages to escape quickly after the arrival of Grandpa Smedry and the Knights of Crystallia who were meant to be hours away. Grandpa Smedry's Talent had triggered, believing he was late and thus the knights arrived in time to save the city.

After commandeering a vessel, Alcatraz rescues Bastille from the Librarians, but the ship is then shot down. Believing he is a failure, Alcatraz engages his Breaking Talent and uses it through a pair of Bestower's Lenses and Bastille's Fleshstone. Falling unconscious from the effort, Alcatraz later awakes to find out that he broke all Librarian weapons, saving the day. He also broke all the Smedry Talents at the same time however. Speaking with his mother who was recaptured after previously escaping, Alcatraz decides to go with her to stop his father.

Cover Gallery[edit]


Chapter Nicknames[edit]

For the chapter numbers in Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens, Brandon Sanderson decided to change all of the numbers to significant (or funny) numbers. Here is the (known) significance of all the chapter names.

Explained in-text that Alcatraz was too stoopid to include chapter 1, which Alcatraz says is a shame because it has all the stuff that would make the book non-confusing.
Explained in-text that Alcatraz skipped chapters 3, 4, & 5 because they were so boring.
Also known as 3.14159265. Fairly close to what the chapter number should actually be.
4 1/2
Again, fairly close to what the chapter number should be.
The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
12*12, also known as a Gross. Furthermore, it is a multiple of 6, and this is the sixth chapter.
Act V, Scene III
This chapter is the one where (almost) all the dialogue is pulled from Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act V Scene III, and it is the last scene in Hamlet, the one where most of the characters die. It is fitting because this is a battle chapter.
Lots of "A"'s at the beginning of the chapter. Also, if the "+" is thought of as the letter "t", the sound of saying the name of the letter "A" followed by the sound of the letter "t" results in saying "eight." This is probably not a coincidence since this is the eighth chapter(but definitely could be).
This is a German joke, as the German word for "No" is "Nein".
1010 is 10 in binary, which matches up with the fact that it is the 10th chapter.
Jean Valjean's (the main character's) prison number from Les Miserables.
July 7th, 2006, the day Brandon was married.
6.02214179 x 10^23
Avogadro's number, a constant dealing with the number of atoms or molecules in a substance.
Four Teens and a Pickle
"Four Teens" is a play on "fourteen," the actual number of the chapter
The phone number from the hit 80's song 867-5309/Jenny.
A very significant number in Brandon's cosmere books, having to do with Adonalsium.
Or, more completely, USS Enterprise NCC-1701, the name of the ship in the original Star Trek series.
4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 is the sequence of numbers that appeared in the television show Lost.
Brandon probably lost count of the chapters, or just couldn't think of anything at this point.
∞ + 1
Infinity plus 1 is still infinity.

Statistical Analysis[edit]

Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens consists of one foreword, twenty-one chapters and one afterword, reaching a total 53,643 word count.

Word Count 53,643
Page Count 291 Tor hardback
Chapter Count 21 Including foreword, and afterword.


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