Thursday, April 5, 2012

Book Review: Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder

Storm Glass (Glass #1)

Maria V. Snyder


With her unique magical abilities, Opal has always felt unsure of her place at Sitia’s magic academy. But when the Stormdancer clan needs help, Opal’s knowledge makes her the perfect choice—until the mission goes awry. Pulling her powers in unfamiliar directions, Opal finds herself tapping into a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. Now Opal must deal with plotters out to destroy the Stormdancer clan, as well as a traitor in their midst. With danger and deception rising around her, will Opal’s untested abilities destroy her—or save them all?


As a general warning I am writing this review way after the fact of reading this book (though I do plan to reread it soon, so I may write up a new review then) but I despaired to post up my reviews of the next two books in the trilogy without first introducing the series to those who have not read it.

Storm Glass takes place in the same world as the Study Series. You don't really need to read the Study Series to understand this book, though you will understand a couple of the characters and Opal's earliest encounters with them if you do.

Opal originally appears in the Study Series as the holder of some strange glass magic and it proves to be very important. Storm Glass picks up with this character where Fire Study leaves off: a girl with a strange magical ability being brought into magic classes; a girl who has friends with very important people but is not so important herself.

The first half of the book deals with her growing through her teenaged years. Opal is such a different character than Yelana (Study's protagonist) that I believe for some it may be a shock. Opal is not self-assured, is easily bullied and embarrassed. She is excited about her magic but at the same time resentful of it.

She goes through love, betrayal and growing up. Opal is very naïve in this first book, but through all of that she tries so hard to help the people she believes to be right.

Romance is heavier in this book than in other Snyder books, but it is more for character growth and plot reasons then for well the romance itself. I loved learning more and more about Sitia, and discovering more and more about Opal's abilities. It was a similar feeling to learning about Yelena's, but at least Yelena had had documented magic while no one knows when it comes to the glass magic.

I think my favourite culture has to be the Stormdancers. Their magic is so interesting and the use it goes to is well thought out in my opinion. The way each clan has their own special magic and specialization makes like exploring a bunch of tiny worlds.

In Depth Spoiler Review

AUGH ULRIC, AUGH DEVLIN, AUGH KADE. Poor Opal she does not have good luck with men at all. Part of it is of course how little esteem she has for herself and how stupid some of these boys are but yes, no luck.

The Devlen twist threw me for a complete loop. The fact that he had somehow switched bodies with Ulrick, then he had been the one to torture Opal all those years ago and then on top of it wooed her and all that just disgusted me. I don't blame her for her mixed feelings at all.

I was also incredibly intrigued by Opal's ability to drain magic and just how scary that is for Sitia, which relies on magic all the time (while Ixia it is a NO MAGIC ALLOWED club).

In the end I was very glad Kade and Opal got past their knotted feelings and realized they loved each other as they had been my favourite couple from the beginning.

The book has a different feel from Snyder's Study Series, and that has a lot to do with how different the main characters are. I do like the character of Opal, however flawed she may be and I enjoy the inclusion of characters from the Study Series. I recommend this to anyone who read the Study Series, I also recommend it to fans of good world building and original takes on magic.



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