“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.” Shelfari
What I Thought
This is Maria V. Snyder’s second series in the same world and the characters from the first series are well established and some continue on in this series – so be aware! Start with her Study Series then move to this one – that’s a fantastic series and why I even decided to start on this series.
I actually really liked this book even thought I guessed what was going to happen most of the way through the book. The setting of this story are the kingdoms of Sitia and Ixia – naturally two polar opposites when it comes to magic use. Sitia embraces it and Ixia loathes it. The characters and how they were portrayed was decent if not a little frustrating. At times they seems a little flat or slow.
Even with the minimal funkiness the rest was really good. The theme of grief and loss play heavy into most of this book and Snyder manages to not have it be melancholy. My favorite quote from the book is actually about grief:
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 Cowan
I think that another centeral theme to this story was confidence and trusting in your abilities. The protagonist, Opal, spends most of the book hemming and hawing about how she’s only a one note magician and that she’s not special at all while every other character in the book is telling her that she’s something special. It does get old quick but I think that it was necessary and I think that theme will continue on into the next book in the series.