Sunday, July 25, 2010

MARIA V. SNYDER; Storm Glass

Author: Maria V. Snyder
Novel: Storm Glass
Release date: 2009
Category: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Age group: +15, includes violence and sexual references.

**SPOILER WARNING may contain spoilers for Maria’s first Study series SPOLER WARNING**

As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it’s time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers–particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade–require Opal’s unique talents to prevent it from happening again.

But when the mission goes wrong. Opal must tap into a new king of power as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the deeper she delved into the mystery, the more distorted things appear.

With lives hanging in the balance Opal and Kade myst learn to control unknown powers... powers that could lead to disaster beyond anything they’re ever seen.

Review: I definitely recommend reading the Study series first. Although this novel is the first in the Glass series it follows on from Fire Study with the protagonist, Opal, being a minor character in Fire Study. While the main protagonist in the Study series becomes a minor character in the Glass series. Complicated, I know, but important.

Assuming you have read Study then: this book is a great follow on. It takes place five years after Fire Study, with Opal studying at magic school and experimenting with her powers. Most of the time I don’t like it when author’s change protagonists because I am too attached to the original characters but this time it really worked. I have loved getting to know Opal better, to read about her thoughts and feelings on past events and seeing how they effect her at the present.

Opal’s magic with glass is not a new concept. Tamora Perice, to name just one, has written about similar powers in her Circle books. BUT, coming from someone who has worked glass before, I thought Maria’s writing did capture the feelings and movements needed to work molten glass. Just because the overall idea was not original, does not mean that she did not put a new spin on this topic. I loved reading about Opal’s time at the kiln and ‘watching’ her create glass animals.

On the down side: Maria’s books all appear follow a similar story line. The protagonists are always being captured, and then they escape, continuously. This is a downside because I can always guess when it’s going to happen. Fortunately the details are different enough in each case that I can let this capture/release circus slide by. So much so that I have already bought the second book, Sea Glass, because I can’t wait to see what happens (despite knowing she’s going to get captured, again).

Four stars

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