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.
Y’all know how much I LOVE Maria V. Snyder. While looking for a quick read, I stumbled across another subset of her Chronicles of Ixia thing she’s got going on, the Glass series.
At first, I was skeptical. A glass magician? I’m sorry, but that just does not sound as cool as Yelena, one of her bad ass heroines I may or may not have a girl crush on. But when I discovered that the main character was Opal, the sister of the girl raped/tortured/murdered whom Yelena brought justice for, I KNEW I needed to read on.
Since the death of her older sister, Opal has felt alone. She’s felt ostracized by her classmates for the last four years, as they either fear her, dismiss her, or are overcome by jealousy at her important work. Granted, she feels like a one-trick pony. All she can do is create magical glass animal sculptures that can be used to communicate over long distances with other magicians possessing another one of her animals. Big deal. (Seriously. This was a pet peeve of mine. It really IS a big deal, and it irritated me to no end how casually Opal dismisses the integral work she does to protect and promote Sitia.)
When she is called on to help the Stormdancers and prevent widespread natural disasters, she doubts herself. But soon she shows everyone that not only is she capable of handling challenges, she can perform in unexpected and nearly miraculous ways. I love how she surprises even herself with what she can do.
But then the fit hits the shan. Forserious, all hell breaks loose. She is ambushed, but she and her mentor escape. Then, after saving the day, she is falsely accused of a crime and thrown in prison. She breaks out of jail with the help of her mentor, only to discover that it is a captor in disguise. She is forced to betray the Stormdancer’s secrets, only to escape before the evil ambushers can get what they want. She takes down street attackers, endures torture, and devises a master plan to basically save the world.
Needless to say, I was wrong when I dismissed Opal as a pansy. She’s just as bad ass as Yelena.
The one aspect that I absolutely hated was… wait for it… You got it. The stupid love triangle. Or was it a trapezoid at one point? It doesn’t matter. I know the varied love interests in the book were integral to the plot working out as it did, I just LOATHED it anyways. It was clear who she was really in love with, as soon as his character was introduced. Why, why, why it was all drawn out and complicated and filled with all sorts of drama and angst and awfulness? *sigh*
Other than that little mishap, this book was BRILLIANT! I am definitely looking forward to continuing the series. It is so spiffy seeing all of these various characters I’ve fallen in love with interact with each other in various capacities as each story unfolds. LOVE it!
I would say 4 out of 5 chickadees singing for this one! (Points subtracted for main character’s irrational self-doubt, and for the stupid love triangle/trapezoid thing.)