Sunday, September 5, 2010

Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder

Title/Author: Storm Glass (first in the Glass series) by Maria V. Snyder
Publisher/Year Published: Harlequin Teen in 2009
How I got it: I own it :)
Why I read it: I really liked her Study series and when I found out about this series I thought I'd check it out.

Summary from Goodreads: "As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowan 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."

This series is set in the same world as het Study series was, so to me it felt like meeting old friends I hadn't seen for a while. If you've read the series, you might recognize Opal as a character we meet in the final book I think (I'm not sure, it's been a while since I read the other books), she's a girl Yelena rescues and then Opal helps her in defeating evil (can't really say much about this without having major spoilers, so yes I know it's vague).

Anyway, Opal comes from a family of glassmakers and she has her own kind of glass magic, discovered by Yelena. Because of this, she's training as a magician at the Magician's Keep. She struggles at school, only being able to do one thing: create glass creatures other magicians can communicate through. She can't even use them herself, which I think would be really frustrating. At school, she doesn't really have any friends, partly due to what happened with Yelena in the fight against evil.
In her fifth year there, she's sent on a mission to help the Stormdancers and meets Kade, a Stormdancer who recently lost his sister when one of the orbs they use to harvest a storm exploded.
Of course fixing the problems isn't so easy as it seems at the beginning (just find out what's making the orbs break) and Opal and her friends get in all kinds of trouble, most of the time life-threathening. On her travels, Opal meets Ulrick, a boy from a family of glassmakers himself, he and Opal have a lot in common.
But the problem is, she can't forget about Kade and the spark they shared.
Throughout the book, Opal discovers new sides to her power, but as always, with great power comes great responsibility (I know, I'm a dork).

First of all I should tell you that a lot of this book won't make sense without having read the Study series first. I don't even know if my rambling made sense if you haven't read those, because I'm trying really hard not to give anything about the other books away.

I really enjoyed this book, as said before, it felt like visiting old friends and I like the world Snyder has created. I like how in her magic system not everybody can do the same things, everyone has their own talents.
And I love the idea of Stormdancers, can you imagine someone standing on the beach in the midst of an enormous angry storm, harvesting its power in a tiny glass orb? For me it creates visions of the sea slamming on the rocks, lightning flashing over the water and in the middle one handsome man in a bubble of calm. Who wouldn't fall in love with that?
So I could spot from a million miles away who would be Opal's love interest, but I completely agree with her choice. Kade is a complex character who struggles with the recent death of his sister. Something Opal can relate to, having lost her sister as well. I felt they had meaningful conversations and it wasn't like 'ooh, you are so cool and handsome, let's be together', which to me is totally annoying.

I also really liked the character development in Opal, she gets some serious reality checks and learns to deal with the problems she encounters. She also has to accept the consequences of her growing power. I liked Opal, she's a bit naive and tends to get in trouble a lot, but she cares a lot about her family and her friends and doesn't sit around waiting to be saved. She makes a few questionable decisions, but in the end she goes with what she feels is right and I can respect that.

I recommend this to anyone who enjoyed the Study series and who enjoys YA fantasy, but like I said before: read the other books first.

My rating: 4.5 stars.


  1. Thanks for commenting! I first read Crown & Court Duel years and years ago (back when they were published as two separate books, before they got put together and re-published as Crown Duel) and loved them. I don't actually read it that often anymore because I've simply re-read it so many times!

    As for A Stranger to Command, I read some when Sherwood Smith posted part of it online, before it was published. My memory of it is pretty fuzzy, but I think there was a heavy focus on war/strategizing, so it didn't have as many of the elements of Crown Duel I enjoyed (and no Meliara, of course!) It's neat that she's written more of Vidanric when he was younger, but I think the prequel wouldn't have the same hold on me that Crown Duel does. I should really read the whole thing though!

  2. I'd seen this around but had no idea that it was set in the Study series world. I've added to the wish list!