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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-14 22:46
Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder (2016 Review)
Storm Glass - Maria V. Snyder

Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Four years attending the Magician's Keep, and Opal believes she's nothing but a disaster and a disappointment. Instead of being able to learn and practice new powers like other students, her one and only ability is placing a thread of magic within the glass figures she creates, which can then be used as a means for cross-country communication. Definitely not combat related, thus she is shocked to learn the Master Magicians have an assignment for her.

(WARNING: This reviews contains MAJOR spoilers.)

I quickly fell in love with the world of the much conflicted Ixia and Sitia all the way back in Poison Study. Not only was the book a perfect reminder of why I love immersing myself in works of fiction, but it created pleasant excitement for the future instalments penned by Snyder. It was then unfortunate that the following segments of the series only declined, leaving me disappointed and pessimistic. What my gripe essentially stemmed from was the character development of Yelena, and how she evolved drastically into a famous, almighty Soulfinder than could accomplish everything and anything. But whilst Yelena's magic varied to the extreme, Opal's was very limited... At first. It offered zero offensive and defensive capabilities, but it was extremely useful and beneficial to the Sitian council and magicians as a whole. This, after the sheer extent of Yelena's power growth, was refreshing and I welcomed the unique simplicity. Imagine my irritation that as the book progressed, new magical discoveries were made, each more powerful than the last. It's an easy assumption to make that history will repeat itself.

Opal suffered through quite a lot in her ventures, and made more one than one mistake along the way. Her insecurities could've been endearing, but I felt they became a little too much when she continuously refused to accept praise or compliments of any kind. She also displayed a hunger for power, which in itself was slightly off-putting, though to be fair, if I were considered a "one-trick wonder", I'd probably feel sour about it as well. Despite these faults, which definitely threatened her likeability, I thought she was an average protagonist with the potential for improvement. Perhaps if she was given room to breathe and grow into her own person, and not overshadowed by Yelena, which of whom played a part in this book and was mentioned regularly.

Of course the love triangle ticked me off, as they usually do. I just don't understand how they can appeal to anyone. It seemed, at least to me, that Opal settled with Ulrick because Kade didn't reciprocate her interest - it's ALWAYS selfish, in one way or another. It doesn't matter which one I favoured (Kade though), it just becomes unbelievably tedious.

However in regards to the other characters, I believed there to be a satisfactory variety. I actually became a little fond of Leif, whereupon I initially hated his immaturity. Zitora I liked, Pazia was a tad annoying, as was Ulrick. Kade was a delight, and I immediately wished him the love interest. The plot itself was eventful, yet at times confusing as it veered off into different directions. I don't think it needed to be as complicated; sometimes a straightforward story does the job just as well. I very much liked the in-depth look at the Stormdancers in particular, and I would've loved if they were focused on a little longer. Hopefully they make appearances in the next two books of the Glass trilogy.

Speaking of glass, I enjoyed the detailed scenes of craftsmanship found throughout the pages. I never thought I'd find an interest in such a thing, but the writing was very well done and inspired me to perform some additional research. I do appreciate when an author can ignite enthusiasm on a certain subject otherwise ignored.

In conclusion: Looking forward to delving into more Chronicles of Ixia, but let's hope they rise to the standard of the very first. It just strikes me as the protagonists get overly powerful, which takes all the fun out of them struggling for their survival.

Notable Scene:

The roar of the wind and sea ceased the moment the monster wave engulfed me. For one heartbeat, my world filled with gurgling sounds and foamy green light. Then the force of the crashing water slammed me into an unyielding object. The sea grabbed my limp body and tossed it about. Confusion dulled the pain until my forehead smacked into a jagged rock.

© Red Lace 2016

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/04/14/storm-glass-by-maria-v-snyder-2016-review
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review 2014-05-29 18:20
Review: Spy Glass
Spy Glass (The Chronicles of Ixia) - Maria V. Snyder

SPY GLASS is the sixth book in Maria V. Snyder’s CHRONICLES OF IXIA and the third and final book in her GLASS TRILOGY. In SPY GLASS Snyder concludes Opal’s conflicting emotions about the men she loves and her own magic. Opal has come a long way from the girl we meet in FIRE STUDY (review) and it has been a really interesting journey.

 

Maria V. Snyder does a brilliant job in concluding Opal’s story in SPY GLASS. On the whole I found it to be a really interesting read, but the plot of the book is quite convoluted and I would put the book down and be uninteresting in picking it back up for a couple of days. The book was quite slow and the plot never really seemed to pick up, but I did enjoy seeing how Opal’s journey finished.

 

SPY GLASS opens with Opal still coming to terms with the consequences of her actions at the end of SEA GLASS (review). She is staying with her parents and is unsure about what to do with her life, as her whole future has changed. Her mother is driving her crazy planning Mara’s wedding; Yelena sends Valek to offer Opal some guidance – after his visit Opal decides to return to Fulgor. From this point the plot of the novel should take-off, but whilst there are some interesting revelations it mostly fell flat for me.

 

The thing that I think Snyder did the best in this book, and in fact did really well, was the interactions between characters. I really enjoyed how Snyder wrote and handled Opal’s many friendships. I also think that Snyder did a compelling job with the love triangle – seeing Opal’s conflict about who to choose, and what one choice could mean. I also enjoyed reading Opal figuratively fight the bad guy, although the bad guy himself appeared quite late in the book and felt a little two dimensional.

 

Snyder brings Opal’s story to a conclusion in SPY GLASS, and although it is not as compelling as the previous books in the series it is a good read.

 

Originally posted on The Flutterby Room.

Source: theflutterbyroom.com/2014/05/08/review-spy-glass-by-maria-v-snyder
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review 2014-03-13 15:39
Review: Sea Glass
Sea Glass - Maria V. Snyder

SEA GLASS is the second book in Maria V. Snyder’s GLASS series and the fifth book in her CHRONICLES OF IXIA series. SEA GLASS continues the story of Opal Cowan as she deals with the consequences of events in STORM GLASS (review), like the revelation that she can use her glass magic skills to take another magician’s magic, and struggles with who to trust – even herself.

 

I found SEA GLASS to be a very frustrating read for most of the book. Not because the story wasn’t interesting and compelling, but because I found some of Opal’s choices and responses maddening. It was like she hadn’t learnt from her experiences in STORM GLASS. Although, to be fair to Snyder, the choices and responses were very in character.

 

SEA GLASS follows Opal as she tries to locate Ulrick and return his soul to the correct body. Unfortunately for Opal this isn’t an easy task, which is made all the more difficult as it means defying the Sitian Council who have ordered her to return to the Citadel. Opal’s dilemma is laid out from the first page – does she obey the Council’s directive, or does she follow her instinct and try to locate Ulrick? The plot of SEA GLASS revolves around the choice that Opal makes, and the consequences of her choices and the choices of others.

 

As I mentioned earlier, quite often I found Opal’s choices maddening – especially her inability to ask for help – but it made for a really complex plot. Snyder did a really good job at making the plot of the story both complex and messy, whilst at the same time not overbearing and difficult to follow because there were too many threads. There are a lot of plots and subplots in SEA GLASS, so if that isn’t your thing then you may not enjoy this book.

 

Character-wise we’ve already met the main players, and apart from a few minor characters no new ones are introduced to the story. I really liked the fact that Snyder didn’t introduce a new character to the mix, that instead I got to enjoy reuniting with Devlen, Kade, Leif, Janco, Yelena, and Zitora. It was nice not to be drowning in characters. I also thought it was an interesting experience to have an idea of who the bad guys were, and to see how Snyder played with these expectations.

 

Originally posted on The Flutterby Room.

Source: theflutterbyroom.com/2014/03/06/review-sea-glass-by-maria-v-snyder
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review 2014-02-14 17:07
Review: Storm Glass
Storm Glass - Maria V. Snyder

STORM GLASS is the first book in the GLASS trilogy, and the fourth book in the CHRONICLES OF IXIA. It tells the story of Opal Cowan, who first makes an appearance in FIRE STUDY (review). STORM GLASS takes place five years after the events of FIRE STUDY and sees Opal at Sitia’s magic academy, where she is unsure of her place and powers. Opal has a special ability with glass, and events see her travel with a Master magician to discover what is causing the Stormdancer clan’s deaths.

 

At this point in the CHRONICLES OF IXIA Snyder chooses to switch narrators, which allows the focus of this narrative to switch from Yelena Zaltana to Opal Cowan. By doing this Snyder shows us another side of Ixia, and we get to learn more about another area of magic – glass magic. Although I really enjoyed Yelena’s story, I found Opal to be a really interesting character. She’s very different to Yelena and I think that worked well to separate the narrative voices. Opal is very unsure of herself and her powers, but at the same time she’s very clever and resourceful.

 

The basic plot of STORM GLASS is that for some reason the glass orbs the Stormdancer clan uses to control storms are breaking, killing members of the clan. If the Stormdancers cannot harness the storms, then people will be killed. However, there is a lot more going on than that. All of which could cause a lot of trouble for Sitia and Ixia, especially as there is rebellion in the air. Snyder does a brilliant job at showing Opal’s unease at the academy, and her growing self-confidence as the story continues. I also liked the fact that although we have a new narrator, there was the return of some familiar faces in this book – and hopefully in the rest of the trilogy.

 

If you have followed Yelena’s story and enjoyed it, then you should definitely consider exploring more of Ixia with Opal’s story. I’m really looking forward to continuing the story with SEA GLASS.

 

Originally posted on The Flutterby Room.

Source: theflutterbyroom.com/2014/02/06/review-storm-glass-by-maria-v-snyder
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review 2013-09-28 23:13
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Poison Study - Maria V. Snyder

Fantastic! :D You can check out my full review here.

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