Award-winning author Maria V. Snyder brings readers into a world of molten magic, where storms can be captured within a glass orb and a magician's powers can remain hidden
until challenged by enemy forces.
As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowan understands trial by fire. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan's glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancersparticularly the mysterious and mercurial Kaderequire Opal's unique talents to prevent it from happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap into a new kind of magic. Yet the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balanceincluding her ownOpal must control her powers powers that could lead to disaster beyond anything she's ever known.
About the Author
Maria V. Snyder is the New York Times bestselling author of the Study series, the Glass series, the Healer series, Inside Out, and Outside In. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Meteorology from Penn State and a Master of Arts degree in fiction writing from Seton Hill University. Unable to part ways with Seton Hill, Maria is currently a teacher and mentor for the MFA program. Find her on the Web at MariaVSnyder.com.
Read an Excerpt
The hot air pressed against my face as I entered the glass factory. The heat and the smell of burning coal surrounded me in a comforting embrace. I paused to breathe in the thick air. The roar of the kilns sounded as sweet as my mother's voice.
"Opal!" Aydan yelled above the noise. "Are you going to stand there all day? We have work to do." He gestured with a thin gnarled hand.
I hurried to join him. Working in the heat had turned his gray hair into a frizzy mop. Dirt streaked his hands. He grimaced in pain when he sat at his workbench, rubbing his lower back with a fist.
"You've been shoveling coal again," I admonished. He tried to look innocent, but before he could lie, I asked, "What happened to your apprentice?"
"Ran off once he figured out how hard it is to turn fire into ice." Aydan grunted.
"Well, I'm here now."
"Sorry, I had a test." I sighed. Another frustrating, fruitless endeavor. Not only had I failed to light the fire, but I knocked over the candles, spilling hot wax all over my classmate Pazia's clothes and burning her skin. Her expensive silk tunic was ruined. She sneered in disdain when I offered to replace her shirt. Nothing new. Pazia's hostility spanned my entire four years at the Keep. Why would I expect my last year to be any different?
After starting my fifth year of lessons at the Magician's Keep, I had hoped to be able to do more with my magic. Pazia's abilities had grown so much since we sat next to each other during our very first session that the Master Magicians considered allowing her to take the Master-level test.
I'd learned about Sitia's history, politics, how to fight and about the uses for magic, but my ability to tap into the power source remained elusive. Doubts flared and the nagging feeling of being limited to one magical skill churned in my chest. And it didn't help my confidence when I overheard my fellow students calling me the One-Trick Wonder.
"Jealousy," Aydan had said when I told him about my nickname. "You saved Sitia."
I thought of the dayover four years agowhen I helped Liaison Yelena capture those evil souls. She had done all the work, I was merely a conduit. I tried to downplay my involvement, but Aydan remained stubborn.
"You're a hero and those children can't stand it."
Remembering his words made me smile. Calling fifteen- to twenty-year-olds children was typical for Aydan, a proud curmudgeon.
He tapped my arm with a blowpipe. "Stop daydreaming and gather me a slug."
I grabbed the hollow rod and opened the oven. Intense light burst from the furnace as if a piece of the sun was trapped inside. I spun the end of the rod in the molten glass and twisted it up and out, removing a taffylike ball before my eyebrows and eyelashes could be singed off again.
The cherry-red slug on the end of the iron pulsed as if alive. Aydan blew through the pipe then covered the hole. A small bubble appeared in the molten glass. Resting the pipe on the metal arms of his gaffer's bench, Aydan rolled the pipe back and forth, shaping the glass.
I helped him as he created an intricate vase with a twist at the bottom so the piece actually rested on its side yet could still hold water. In his hands, turning glass into art appeared to be an easy task. I loved the unique properties of molten glass which could be molded into such wonderful objects. We worked for hours, but the time flew.
When he finished his artwork, Aydan stood on creaky legs and said the words that were the reason I came to help him after my Keep classes. "Your turn."
He exchanged places with me and grabbed a hollow pipe. While he gathered a slug, I made sure all the metal tools lying on the bench were in their proper places. All I needed was my annoying younger brother telling me to hurry, and my patient older sister helping me to complete the feeling of being in my family's glass factory.
Sitting at the bench was homefamiliar and comfortable. Here and here alone, I was in control. The possibilities endless and no one could tell me otherwise.
All thoughts fled when Aydan placed the pipe in front of me. Glass cooled quickly and I had no time to dwell on anything but shaping the molten ball. Using metal tweezers, I pulled and plucked. When the slug transformed into a recognizable image, I blew through the end of the pipe. The piece's core glowed as if lit by an inner fire.
My one magical trickthe ability to insert a thread of magic inside the glass statue. Only magicians could see the captured light.
Aydan whistled in appreciation of the finished piece. Technically his ability to light fires with magic made him a magician, but since he didn't possess any other talent he hadn't been invited to study at the Keep. I shouldn't have been invited, either. I could make my special glass animals at my home in Booruby.
"Damn, girl." Aydan slapped me on the back. "That's a dead-on copy of Master Jewelrose's red-tailed hawk! Did you make that for her?"
"Yes. She needed another piece." I never knew what I would create when I sat down at the gaffer's bench, but my time spent helping Master Jewelrose care for her hawk must have influenced me. The core glowed bright red and called to me with a song of longing. Each of my creations had a distinctive voice that sounded inside me. No one else could hear its call.
"See? That's another talent you have." He bustled about and placed the hawk into the annealing oven so it could cool slowly. "Magicians can now communicate over vast distances with these animals of yours."
"Only those who have the power of mental communication." Another skill I lacked, mind reading. For those who possessed the ability, they only needed to hold one of my animals and they could "talk" to each other through the magic trapped inside. I'd admit to feeling a measure of pride over their usefulness, but I would never brag about it. Not like Pazia, who flaunted everything she did.
"Pah! It's still one of the most important discoveries of recent years. Stop being so modest. Here" he handed me a shovel "put more coal in the kiln, I don't want the temperature to drop overnight."
End of pep talk. I scooped up the special white coal and added it to the fire under the kiln. Since Aydan sold his glass pieces as art, he only needed onea small shop compared to my family's eight kilns.
When I finished, my garments clung to my sweaty skin and strands of my brown hair stuck to my face. Coal dust scratched my throat.
"Can you help me mix?" Aydan asked before I could leave.
"Only if you promise to hire a new apprentice tomorrow."
He grumbled and grouched, but agreed. We mixed sands from different parts of Sitia. A secret recipe developed generations ago. It would be combined with soda ash and lime before it could be melted into glass.
As I tried to trick Aydan into telling me where the pink-colored sand came from, a messenger from the Keep arrived. A first-year student, he wrinkled his nose at the heat.
"Opal Cowan?" he asked.
I nodded and he huffed. "Finally! I've been searching the Citadel for you. You're wanted back at the Keep."
"I don't know."
"Who wants me?"
He glowed with glee as if he were my younger brother delivering news of my impending punishment from our parents.
"The Master Magicians."
I had to be in big trouble. No other reason for the Masters to send for me. As I rushed after the messengeran ambitious fellow to be running errands for the Masters in his first year, and who'd already decided I wasn't worth talking toI thought of the mishap this morning with Pazia. She had wanted to get me expelled from my first day. Perhaps she finally succeeded.
We hurried through the Citadel's streets. Even after four years, the city's construction still amazed me. All the buildings had been built with white marble slabs streaked with green veins. If I was alone, I would have trailed my hands over the walls as I walked, daydreaming of creating a city made of glass.
Instead, I ran past the buildings as the brilliant color dulled with the darkening sky. The Keep's guards waved us throughanother bad sign. We vaulted up the stairs two at a time to reach the administration building. Nestled in the northeast corner of the Citadel, the Keep's campus with its four imposing towers marked the boundaries. Inside, the buildings had been constructed from a variety of colored marble and hardwoods.
The administration's peach-and-yellow blocks used to soothe me, but not today. The messenger abandoned me at the entrance to the Masters' meeting room. Hot from my sprint, I wanted to remove my cloak, but it hid my sweat-stained shirt and work pants. I rubbed my face, trying to get the dirt off and pulled my long hair into a neat bun.
Before I knocked, another possible reason for my summons dawned. I had lingered too long at the glass factory and missed my evening riding lesson. In the last year of instruction at the Keep, the apprentice class learned about horse care and riding to prepare us for when we graduated to magician status. As magicians we would be required to travel around the lands of the eleven clans of Sitia to render aid where needed.
Perhaps the Stable Master had reported my absence to the Masters. The image of facing the three magicians and the Stable Master together caused a chill to shake my bones. I turned away from the door, seeking escape. It opened.
"Do not hover about, child. You're not in trouble," First Magician Bain Bloodgood said. He gestured for me to follow him into the room.
With curly gray hair sticking out at odd intervals and a long blue robe, the old man's appearance didn't match his status as the most powerful magician in Sitia. In fact, Third Magician Irys Jewelrose's stern demeanor hinted at more power than Master Bloodgood's wrinkled face. And if someone passed Second Magician Zitora Cowan in the street, that person would not even think the young woman possessed enough talent to endure the Master-level test.
Sitting around an oval table, the three Masters stared at me. I quashed the desire to hide. After all, Master Blood-good had said I wasn't in trouble.
"Sit down, child," First Magician said.
I perched on the edge of my seat. Zitora smiled at me and I relaxed a bit. We were both members of the Cowan clan, and she always made time from her busy schedule to talk to me. And, at twenty-five years old, she was only six years older than me.
I glanced around the room. Maps of Sitia and Ixia decorated the walls, and an oversize geographical map with its edges dropping off the sides covered the mahogany table.
"We have a mission for you," Zitora said. She had twisted her honey-brown hair into a complex braid. The end of the braid reached her hips, but she fidgeted with it, twirling it around and through her fingers.
A mission for the Masters! I leaned forward.
"The Stormdancers' glass orbs have been shattering," Master Jewelrose said.
"Oh." I relaxed in my chair. Not a magical mission.
"Do you know how important those orbs are, child?" Master Bloodgood asked.
I remembered my lessons about the Stormdance Clan. Their magicianscalled Stormdancershad the unique ability to siphon a storm's energy into an orb. The benefits were twofold: tame the storm's killing winds and rain, and provide an energy source for the clan's other industries. "Very important."
"And this is a critical time of the year. The cooling season is when the storms from the Jade Sea are most frequent and strong," Zitora said.
"But doesn't the clan have master glassmakers? Surely they can fix the problem?"
"The old glassmaker died, child. Those left behind were trained to make the orbs, but the glass is flawed. You need to help them find and correct the problem."
Why me? I was still learning. "You need to send a master glassmaker. My father"
"Is in Booruby with all the other experts, but.." Master Jewelrose paused. "The problem might not be with the glass. Perhaps the old glassmaker used magic when he crafted the orbs. Perhaps magic similar to yours."
My heart melted as if thrown into a kiln. Events had become too hot too quick and the results could have cracks. I had worked with glass since I could remember, yet there was still so much to learn. "When when do we leave?"
"Today," Zitora said.
My alarm must have been obvious.
"Time is of the essence, child." Master Bloodgood's tone saddened. "When an orb shatters, it kills a Storm-dancer."
I gaped at Master Bloodgood. There weren't many Stormdancers born in the clan; to lose even one could threaten the western clans of Sitia. "How many?"
"Two have died. The first time an orb failed, the clan thought it was a fluke, after the second, they stopped dancing."
A fire of worry flared in my stomach. Just one full-strength storm could wipe out the four clans whose lands bordered the Jade Sea, leaving behind a wasteland. A huge responsibility. Problems with the glass I could probably handle, but with magic No way.
"Go pack your saddlebags, child. You will leave as soon as you are ready. Zitora will go with you."
"And how many guards will accompany me this time?" She sighed.
The entire population of the Keep knew Zitora's displeasure over being accompanied by guards on her missions. Having only passed the Master-level test five years ago, most magicians still thought of her as an apprentice instead of the second-most-powerful magician. And with the horrible events that led to the death of Roze Feather-stone, the former First Magician, the Councillors of Sitia were being overprotective of the three remaining Masters.
"Just the two of you this time," Master Jewelrose said with a smile. "You can move faster."
Zitora stood with a burst of energy. "We'll leave within the hour."
"Contact us if you need help. Opal, have you finished my new glass animal?"
"Yes. It's at Aydan's factory. I think you'll like this one."
"I love them all. It's a shame they lose their spark after a while." Master Jewelrose grew thoughtful. "But it makes sense. The magic inside is a certain quantity. Once used, it's gone."
"Job security for Opal." Master Bloodgood stroked the map in front of him. His gaze settled on me. "We have been searching for another magician to apprentice to you. No luck so far. The Council's been bugging us to share your wonderful glass messengers."
Right now, I made them for the Masters and for magicians who were on assignment. At least one magician carried one of my glass animals in each town.
"It would be helpful if we could find another able to duplicate her skill." Master Jewelrose agreed.
My skill. Singular. The One-Trick Wonder. I should be content with providing those messengers for the magicians. Content with my role in life. But I'd seen the wonders magic can do and I wanted more. Magic and glass had so much in common. Both were fluid. Both held endless potential to be shaped and used in various ways. I desired to gather the magic to me and spin it into a marvel.
"Let's go." Zitora strode toward the door and I hurried after her.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I loved it. I want everyone I know to read it (along with the Study series of course). I picked it up last night and before I knew it, it was 4am. The only problem I have with Maria Snyder's books is that I wish they'd go on and on forever. They never seen long enough - even thought this one was over 440 pages. I enjoyed Opal's story and was glad she ended up with who she did. I also liked seeing characters from the Study books in the story. I can't wait for the next one to come out and look forward to anything that involves the Ixia/Sitia world.
Opal studies at the Keep with the other magicians. She doesn't feel she's living up to expectations. She continues with her glass making skills at a shop outside of the Keep, creating animals that help the magicians communicate from a distance. While making glass figurines, which helps her relax, she's urgently called back to the Keep. There's a problem with the Stormdancer's Orbs. They're shattering, killing the Stormdancers and making it impossible to fill the orbs with energy. Opal must travel there to discover the why the glass is shattering. While there are other glass experts, it's possible that the glassmaker used magic to enhance the orbs. Opal must leave immediately to help solve the situation. During the journey, Opal and her magician companion are attacked; it's clear that someone doesn't want the Stormdancer's Orbs working or maybe someone just wants to steal the secret recipe for themselves. Opal must be careful not to reveal too much information to anyone, unless she wants her life to be in severe danger. Can she solve the Stormdancer's problem and help them fill the orbs before it's too late or will she be stopped? Opal's adventure is set in the same world as Yelena from Poison Study, Magic Study, and Fire Study. Characters overlap in the series, extending knowledge from the previous series. It's good to read the previous books prior to this series, but it isn't necessary. I really enjoyed reading about the workings of glass blowing. It's something I've always wanted to try. Opal's tale is just as addicting with danger, romance, betrayal, jealous, and magic. It's hard to put this book down, it's so addicting. I'm already eagerly awaiting the next installment of the tale - which comes out Sept 1st of this year.
Storm Glass is an adventure which follows a character that was in the Magic Study series. Recommend reading that series first as it introduces and develops many of the characters that are in Storm Glass, as well as defines the main character. It is a good book, although it moves too fast through some of the "magic" details - how, why, etc. - leaving the reader a little confused and feeling like something was missed. There is a mild cliffhanger at the end, leaving us wanting for the next book.
I loved the first 3 books and i was hoping she would keep going, and when she did I read this book in 2 days ( work is so annoying getting in the way of reading time). Great story line! I get sucked in to the setting its old fashion but not really. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
In Sitia the Stormdancer clan is near panicked over some recent deadly incidents. An apparent diabolically clever traitor has killed some glassmakers and destroyed the glass orbs they were creating that is needed to catch elemental power. They know this unknown adversary must be stopped before the realm is devastated beyond recovery by the power of unabated torrents.------------- Master Magician Cowan assigns glassmaker and apprentice magician Opal Cowan to investigate the deadly incidents as he believes her two skills make her uniquely qualified to learn what is going on. The two males who seem interested in her, Kade the Stormdancer who grieves the death of his twin and Ulrick the glassmaker who is a long time friend, help her. None of them realize the peril they place themselves in from crafty foes; none of whom have any compunction with killing someone even a person they have known for years.----------------------- This is a terrific mystery fantasy told mostly by the unconfident Opal, who believes she is a failure due to her inability to expand her magical skills, which is ironic as she was a heroine in MAGIC STUDY. The action-packed story line is fast-paced, but character driven while the whodunit is fun to follow. Fans of the Study trilogy will enjoy returning to that world as Maria V. Snyder writes an entertaining coming of age simply superb fantasy whodunit. ------------- Harriet Klausner
Apr12:Characters: No but hell no. I should never have started this series. Maybe Janek was worth it?Plot: Pretty damn crappy.Style: It was good to get back into this world. But man this was a bad way to do that. I suppose the author has veered more down the romance with many paragraphs describing men's eyes.
19-year-old Opal Cowan feels like a freak. She might be a powerful glass magician, but her skills are limited to just her glass. That and her connection to the events surrounding Liaison Yelena Zaltana four years earlier make her an outsider at the Magician¿s Keep. Then Opal is called to investigate a case of Stormdancers¿ glass orbs that have shattered, killing the Stormdancer working the magic. Opal suspects there¿s a conspiracy underfoot, and between that and the newfound discovery of her magical abilities, she¿s got more than enough to worry about.Maria Snyder of the Study trilogy fame knows how to write a rollicking, quest-based fantasy, and STORM GLASS is no exception. Despite a few characterization and narration issues, it remains overall an involved read.Opal is quite a different character than the beloved Yelena. She is shyer, much more reserved about her importance and power. Up till now, Opal¿s life had been defined by her being or feeling inferior to those around her, and one of the most touching themes throughout this book is Opal¿s struggle to be her own biggest fan, a theme that will resonate with lots of readers.Snyder writes with great attention to suspense and pacing, often ending chapters on a cliffhanger so that you have to keep on reading to know what happens. This is all well and good, and makes her books fast reads, but occasionally I wondered if I wasn¿t too swept up in the fast pacing, and couldn¿t slow down and concentrate on the characters or their predicaments if I wanted to.A couple elements in the story felt forced to me. Opal and Ulrick¿s romance began very quickly (and out of troublingly overprotective gestures too), and I wasn¿t allowed the time to warm up to Ulrick before they got together. Opal¿s traumatic history seemed not to have affected her as much as Opal said it did¿and then it rose up to become a significant part of this book in a way that felt, for me, a little like pulling at strings.Overall, however, I was satisfied with STORM GLASS, and wouldn¿t hesitate to read more of Maria¿s works. I¿d also highly recommend her books to reluctant fantasy readers. The headstrong protagonist, straightforward narration, and fast pacing will appeal to just about anyone!
Snyder also wrote the Poison Study trilogy of books which are similar (being set in the same world) and the stories loosely related to this book (characters from the trilogy show up here). Poison Study, however, is a much more mature book. The main character, Opal, is supposed to be 19 but she acts like a 16 year old - low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, a naivete about "romance". And while there are moments where you think Opal has learned from her actions and is maturing, the next scene has her acting younger again.The whole book has a feel as if the author didn't know where she was going with the story - it starts with one plot, moves into another - the players all acting like the first incident didn't occur and making stupid decisions - then a thread of the first comes back and then another whole sub-plot is added in about 3/4 of the way through the book. Nobody in the story behaves as if any of the previous incidents had even occurred (i.e. someone is trying to kill Opal but later in the story, nobody seems to be concerned at all about this fact). And the end of the story is wrapped up with a deus-ex-machina - very disappointing.It's fast and easy to read and the concept and world is very interesting. It would have been much better if only Snyder had stuck with one or two of the stories, and/or had come up with a better resolution.
Poison Study is one of my absolute favorite books of all time, I think I've read it three times now since the first time a couple of years ago. The last two books in that trilogy were disappointing to me, however. I was afraid that this trilogy would let me down as well. I never got too attached to Opal when she appeared in the Magic trilogy and I didn't think she would be able to carry a trilogy all on her own. So I decided to wait until all three books were out, and then try Storm Glass and see how I liked it. I read the entire trilogy in two days (the third book is available on NetGalley!). They are brilliant! I liked this trilogy much better than the first one overall, although Poison Study definitely remains my favorite of the books. Opal made a fantastic heroine. She makes mistakes. Lots of them. In fact, it is safe to say she messes things up much more often than she gets them right. It makes her character growth so compelling to read about, because you can actually see the way she learns and develops.She is The Glass Magician, and even though her powers are absolutely original and she is the only one capable of doing them, she still feels like a "one-trick wonder" and that she is weak and even useless. Regardless of how she feels about her abilities, she gets sent on an important mission and ends up involving herself in quite a doozy of a situation. Besides the magical drama she gets mixed up in, there is also plenty of romance to sink your teeth into. In fact, I'd love to talk about the men in her life with anyone that has read this, there are some interesting twists and turns that I think would make a good discussion.This is a very fast-paced book, it doesn't take long at all to read because you won't want to put it down. I definitely recommend having the others on hand, because you won't want to wait long before picking them up! You can bet that I won't be doubting Maria V. Snyder ever again.
This is the first book in the Glass trilogy by Maria v. Snyder. This book follows Opal, the glass maker involved in some of the Poison Study stories. It was an okay book; but the characters lack a lot of the charisma seen in the Poison Study series. I actually listened to this on audio book and the audio book was very well done.Something is wrong with the Stormdancers' orbs. Storm season has almost arrived and two Stormdancers have been killed by shattering orbs. Opal and her mentor are sent to the Stormdancer clan to see if they can help fix the glass the orbs are created out of. There Opal meets Kade the only surviving Stormdancer in the clan. Upon completion of that mission Opal is sent on a mission with her hated classmate, Pazia, to look into some black market diamonds and also tasked with building a glass shop in the keep. The incidents with the orbs and the diamonds seem intertwined, but how? Can Opal figure out what is going in without getting into too much trouble?The plot and storyline were very well done. Snyder does well creating intricate plots and has a nice writing style that is descriptive, serene, and easy to read. The world of Citia is well thought out and this series flows seamlessly with the first series. The adventures get a bit overdone; you feel like Opal never has time to take a break she is constantly thrown from one panic to the next. This relentless pace might have had some impact on the biggest thing I didn't like about the book which was the characters.Unfortunately Snyder missed the mark with the characters in this book. Opal is a hard character to like. She spends much of the book in uncertainty, constantly feeling sorry for herself, and needing constant assurance of how talented she is. For some reason the surrounding characters constantly tell Opal how clever and smart she is despite the fact that Opal is dense and always confused about what is going on. There were a number of times during the book where it took Opal many pages to realize that something straightforward was going to happen. My husband and I listened to this together; and many times we would end up rolling our eyes as it took Opal forever to think her way through something that we figured out instantly. Then Ulrik or Kade would be "Oh Opal you are so smart!" It was ridiculous. The story would have been much better without Opal. The only thing I did enjoy about Opal's character were the increasingly interesting powers she developed as the book went on.The other characters were not much better. Ulrick, was boorish and selfish. I couldn't understand why Opal liked him, outside of the fact he was cute and could blow glass. The whole deal with Ulrick shadowing Opal was a bit overdone; I understood Ulrick was shadowing Opal, I didn't need as many reminders as Snyder gave. The villains were also fairly one dimensional; minimal time as given to their backgrounds or personalities. The only character I actually found interesting was Kade and he was out of the picture most of the time.In summary the plot development and writing style were very similar to the Poison Study series. The characters in this book have none of the fire and spirit to them that Yelena and Valek did though. I think the book would have been vastly improved with either different or more in depth characterization. Will I read the second book in the series? I am not sure right now. Opal's character drove me nuts; she was just so dense. But, I do really like Kade, so following the rest of the story for his sake might be worth it. We will see.
It can be very hard being the only student at school, when everyone considers you to be a one trick wonder. If anyone would know, Opal Cowan would. Opal is a glassmaker. As if only having one power wasn't bad enough, Opal also has to contend with the fact that she poisoned Yelena. Though Yelena has forgiven her and Opal can now call Yelena her friend. Someone or some ones are sabotaging the Stormdancer clan. Their glass orbs are the clan's most powerful weapon against the storms energy. The Stormdancers use the orbs to contain the storm's energy. The problem is that the orbs keep breaking. This is a very bad thing, because for every orb that breaks a Stormdancer dies. The magicians have called a meeting with Opal. They tell Opal that they want her and second magician Zitora Cowan to travel to the Stormdancer clan and help figure out what is causing the orbs to break. It won't be easy as someone is after Opal. Opal will have to dig in deep within herself for the magic that she possess.When I first heard that Mrs. Snyder was coming out with a new series, I was beyond myself excited. I loved her previous series with Yelena and was sorry when it ended. Maria V. Snyder is the first and only author who has ever truly turned me on to these types of books that incorporated fantasy and magic. I can still remember when I first read Poison Study. I finished the book in a matter of hours. I can also remember experiencing the tragedy when the release date for the next book kept changing. What I really loooooove about Mrs. Snyder's new Glass series is that it features Opal, a minor character from the prior books and allows her to become the main character, so that readers and fans can root for a new heroine. I am sitting on the edge of my seat for the next book..Sea Glass. I agree with Maria and the fact that I too also want to be a Stormdancer. I have one last comment and that is run to your local bookstore and treat yourself to a top rate author and her books!
It's been awhile since I read Maria V. Snyder's first trilogy, but this book follows right on its heels, explaining how Opal Cowen connects to Yelena, while leading into Opal's life of glass-making. The whole process is intricately described throughout the book, but without burdening the plot with too much detail.Despite the part that Opal played and her great contribution to Sitia, she does not consider her magical abilities to be anything worth boasting about and struggles with low self-esteem for most of the book. All the while, her abilities grow and blossom in the face of suspense and danger. Her specific talents keep her busy solving one magical dilemma after another, introducing her to new characters along the way, as well as bringing in familiar faces - some welcome and some not.The romantic aspects to the book involve her being torn between two men, Kale of the Stormdance clan, and Ulrick, a fellow glass-maker. While Opal shares qualities with both young men, I prefer her chemistry with the moody, quiet Kale over the self-absorbed Ulrick.One of the more interesting characters in the book aside from Opal is her school nemesis, who also happens to be in the running for becoming a Master Magician. Their interactions teach Opal a few things about herself, both magical and psychological, and they develop into unlikely allies.Theirs is one of several loose ends left in the book that will likely be continued in the next book, Sea Glass.
While I wished many a time that Opal would quit feeling sorry for herself, it was interesting to see how she (and others, such as Leif) fall in the shadow of Yelena. I prefer my heroines a bit more smart and self-confident, but Opal's misgivings about herself actually seemed pretty reasonable in context, and I found her surprisingly believable, if frustrating. Warning, though: Opal goes through a lot of very dark times when captured, and this isn't as off-camera as it had been in her previous appearance.In the end, despite misgivings, I found myself carried along with the story and the world, and I'm really looking forwards to the next book! Maria V. Snyder writes an excellent tale, and she's quickly becoming one of my favourite authors.
Very good book - a continuation of the Study trillogy. I enjoyed this very much - I liked the characters and the plot. I look forward to the next two stories in this thread.
I'd like to say that I found this book as amazing as I found the Study series but I just don't. It isn't because Opal isn't likable because she is. I think it is because for so much of the story she sees herself as the victim and allows it to happen. And I was so used to Yelena in the Study series who stood on her feet and fought back.So, opal as a character is likable yet wimpy for a little over a half of the book. But when she finds a backbone she does it well. Will I read t...more I'd like to say that I found this book as amazing as I found the Study series but I just don't. It isn't because Opal isn't likable because she is. I think it is because for so much of the story she sees herself as the victim and allows it to happen. And I was so used to Yelena in the Study series who stood on her feet and fought back.So, opal as a character is likable yet wimpy for a little over a half of the book. But when she finds a backbone she does it well. Will I read the next book in the series without a doubt, if only to see Opal through her growth.
I went through this one pretty quick. I liked Opal in the Study books so I was interested to know about her later. She's already starting to toughen up - which should make the next books better. I'm not quite sure how I feel yet...I liked it but it didn't thrill me the way Yelena's story did. But I'm still going to move on to book 2 to see what happens next! I was thrilled for the guest appearances of Yelena and some of her folks, and I can really see a similarity between her and Opal. Especially Opal with her boys and other people in the Keep. On to Sea Glass!
In the follow-up series to Maria V. Snyder's popular and fun Study series, Snyder returns to the Study universe with Storm Glass. This time, the series follows Opal, a young glass magician and friend to Yelena, the star of the Study series. Young Opal is the daughter of a glass maker who studies magic at the local magician university called The Citadel. Opal is believed to be a "One Trick" who can only do small bits of magic centered around glass. When Opal is commanded by the magician counsel to work with the glass makers for the Stormdancer clan to perfect their glass orbs for taming nasty storms, she finds that there is more to her magic than she originally thought. Though somewhat in the shadow of her now-famous friend Yelena, Opal becomes the hero of her own story.Storm Glass was as well-written and enchanting as much of the Study series. Snyder's writing is just as comfortable as before and the characters are just as enjoyable. The book was a fun read and I'm happy to pick up the sequel, but it's not without a few flaws. I admit that I was somewhat excited to return to the Study universe, but once I got back into it, I found that Storm Glass felt too much like Magic Study. While there are some new elements, many of the plot items felt recycled from the Study series and Opal didn't quite get the chance to shine on her own until the very end. Though it was fun to see what some of the Study characters were up to, it seemed like Snyder spent a little too much time on these old characters in Storm Glass instead of focusing more on new characters.I really enjoyed Storm Glass for the most part -it was filled with magic and adventure. The characters were enjoyable enough for me to care about, and the plot was decent enough to keep me reading, but seemed a little rehashed and somewhat confused at points. Better than some of the other YA fantasy I've read, but not the best.
It's confession time. When I first read this book blurb it only somewhat caught my interest. It was the cover that really grabbed me. Usually if I stumble across a cover I love but the book blurb doesn't grab me I hold off on reading the book. But one day I'm strolling through the library and what do you know? On the New Books for Teens shelf this book is staring at me so I figured why not pick it up. OMG! Best decision ever. I loved it! This is my first book by Maria Snyder but I do have her other book, Poison Study, sitting in my TBR pile. I will have to move it up in the list because I enjoyed this one so much. I can sympathize with Opal's self confidence issues and desire to be something more. Not to mention you can't help but feel sorry for her at the way she seems to draw trouble to herself like a magnet. It was a joy to see her magical powers evolve throughout the story and interesting to see how the love triangle she becomes involved with will turn out. I love Kade's character and was rooting for him from the start. A thoroughly enjoyable read and am so glad I found this author.
Just like her first trilogy, Snyder has written another amazing book. Snyder's writing style and descriptions are engaging. I absolutely loved this book about growing up, self-discovery and learning to trust yourself. I can not wait to read the next book in this series (especially since we have so many unanswered questions). One of the things that I loved the most about this book is that it took place in the same world and overlapped characters from the first books that we all know and love. I hope that we stay in this world, even through spin-offs because it has so much potential. In short, I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!
Storm Glass is the first book in a trilogy set some years after Snyder's Study trilogy. Nineteen-year-old Opal is a glass maker and magician-in-training, sent to investigate a crisis with the Stormdancer clan's glass orbs.Despite being the same age as Yelena was in Poison Study, Opal seems younger and less confident. Quieter. Her daily existence isn't threatened by constant danger and suspicion of those around her, and I was just thinking how much darker Poison Study was when... WHAM! Okay, I take back my assessment of it as light-YA-fantasy.I found the "explanations" about events from the Study books highly irritating (I've just read that trilogy, and if I hadn't you would be spoiling it unnecessarily!) but otherwise I enjoyed this. I felt a lot of empathy of Opal and found her emotional journey really thought-provoking. Appearances by characters from the previous trilogy were amusing (like Leif, about going to see his sister: "I need my danger-fix") and while there was nothing very profound or brilliant about it all, it kept my interest, much in the same way the other books did.However, I'm still reeling from the this-is-dark-YA-fantasy-too thing (because torture really isn't my thing). And the ending left a lot to be resolved. I'm not sure what to think about these two aspects... except that I desperately want to read the sequel!
Great book love the series
Fantastic story, non-stop action, very creative; I finished it in 24 hours. My one small complaint is that Opal keeps having the same feeling guilt, and coming to terms with her guilt over and over again.
*Book source ~ Purchased at Audible From Goodreads: 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's glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal's unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap in to a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she hadn't known she possessed… - powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she's ever known. Guest Reviewers T ~ My 16-yr-old son K ~ My 15-yr-old son First, we listened to the Study series and really enjoyed it, so we thought continuing in this world be entertaining. Well, it kinda sorta was. We like Opal as the protagonist and some of our favorite characters are back, such as Leif, Yelena, Fisk, Ari and Janco. Unfortunately, no Valek. There are new characters introduced with various results: everyone likes Kade, doesn’t like Ulrich and agrees Devlin makes a good villain. The mystery is twisty, turny and keeps us guessing and the villains are appropriately villainous. The overall story arc is pretty good even though by the end the mystery isn’t really solved and there are some ends not tied up. It is a trilogy, so we know they will be eventually. However, the narrator ruins it for us. Yes, we really, really enjoyed Gabra Zackman’s narration of the Study series, but we were prepared to give Jennifer Van Dyck a fair shot. However, she mispronounced some words, made Janco sound Russian and, in general, we didn’t care for her narration. So we won’t be continuing with the series. K and I have read the books, but T hasn’t. He’s ok with not listening to any more since he’s not a huge Fantasy fan anyway. Plus, Valek is his favorite character and since he won’t be showcased in Opal’s series, it’s no great loss to him. Quotes: “Yippee. I’ve been promoted from fire lighter to delivery boy. I’ll write a letter home to Mother. She’ll be so pleased.” ~ Leif “I know I hated magic for a reason," Janco said. "Congratulations. This is the first time you've had a VALID reason to hate something," Ari countered. "Remember your campaign against sand?" "Sand! Horrid little stuff. Gets everywhere. I had a perfectly good argue--" "Janco." Ari's voice rumbled deep in his throat. In a heartbeat, Janco switched gears. "Well, this blood magic sounds worse than sand.” “Everyone grieves in different ways. For some, it could take longer or shorter. I do know it never disappears. An ember still smolders inside me. Most days, I don’t notice it, but, out of the blue, it’ll flare to life.” ~ Opal