Title: Storm Glass
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Glass #1
Release Date: July 17th, 2009
Untrained. Untested. Unleashed.
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?
After finishing the awesome Study series, someone on the blog told me that the author was writing a series about a secondary character, Opal. You don't really need to read the Study series to follow this one, but I think readers would enjoy it more if they had.
4 years after the events of Magic Study, Opal Cowen is a last year student at the Magician's Guild. She worries that her only magical ability is trapping magic inside crystals, but that's exactly why she gets chosen to help the Stormdancer clan. As events unfold, Opal goes from being insecure and don't knowing where she belongs to accepting responsabilities, trusting herself more and figuring out a lot of her problems.
Sometimes I liked her more than Yelena because she's more vulnerable, but other times I just wanted to tell her to snap out of her funk and start doing something useful. I loved the relationship she has with her family and how she still mourns her sister from time to time.
We get to know better some characters like Zitora, the little we get to know about her is very interesting, especially the question of what happenend to her sister; and Leif (I loved seeing him interact with Mara, Opal's older siste). We also get introduced to Kade, a really powerful stormdancer and Opal's love interest, Ulrick, a fellow glassmaker who's also Opal's love interest, although there's something about him I've never really liked, and Pazia, a very powerful magician that hates Opal and her fame.
Yelena, Janco, Ari and some other characters make a reappearance in this book, and I have to say the more I read about Janco, the more I love him. I was hoping we would get to see Valek, but at the end he doesn't show up.
The pace, as usual with this author, run along perfectly and the only problem I had with the plot was that I was expecting more from the villian and at the end it left a lot of questions unanswered. Apart from that, this was a great beginning, with a lot of new characters introduced, that explores more deeply the territory of Sitia and gives us a peek at the clans that we didn't know.
Why me? I was still learning. “You need to send a master glassmaker. My father—”
“Is in Booruby with all the other experts, which is a seven-day ride away from them. And besides…” 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.
Alarm must have shown on my face.
“Time is of the essence, child.” Master Bloodgood’s expression saddened. “When an orb shatters, it kills a Stormdancer.”
Sea Glass - Glass #2