The Glass Series by Maria V Snyder

make avatarThe Glass series follows Opal Cowan, a glass magician who can trap magic inside glass. She crafts glass messengers for Sitia and helps with a glass crisis. Until the Stormdance clans orbs shatter, killing Stormdancers and leaving the coastal residents in life-threatening danger. Opal must find the true recipe for the orbs and fix them – fast. But as one crisis ends another begins when Opal is kidnapped trying to rescue Kade, a handsome Stormdancers captured by evil warpers. Trapped on the northern ice sheet of Ixia, with a huge storm close behind them Opal comes to terms with her death. She is prepared to sacrifice herself to save Kade. The second in the Glass series, Sea Glass follows Opal as she defies the council and journeys to free her lover from a warper. With more warpers after her and a warrant for her arrest being made public, Opal has to fear for her life as she sacrifices more than she realises to save one she loves.

Synder strikes again with the reintroduction of Yelena’s world, only this time the trilogy stars background character Opal Cowen and her amazing and powerful glass magic. Beginning with Storm Glass Opal learns the price of magic, power and trust are all tied together.

A spin-off of her popular Study series, the new trilogy features glass mage Opal as she studies magic in Sitia. She is determined to learn more about her complicated magic while fighting the resurfacing trend of using blood magic. A great reintroduction to familiar characters like Leaf and Janco, Storm Glass introduces its own rag-tag team of do-gooders.

Opal is a fun protagonist though she isnt as likeable as Yelena. Her low self-esteem, rising temper and eventual fickle emotions fail to make her a brilliant protagonist. The biggest flaw in her character is as much a plot issue as anything else. For a girl who thinks very little of herself appearance-wise (the eternal heartbreak of a girl with a beautiful older sister) she has an astounding number of romances. Her love triangle – or square, really – seems far-fetched; as though every male coming in contact with her must love her, and she falls in and out of love repeatedly! #rant
Love life aside, the only problem I have with the series is her building temper and distrust. The reactions of the Council to her magic exasperated me a little and, though necessary to the narrative, she needed to lighten up up on the repetitive mentions of Opal’s magical responsibility. The question of ethical magic use was tackled already in the Study Series and needed a new angle.
As for magic, the topic of magic loss, through blood magic or other means was interesting but seems to be a common theme in YA fantasy. People who have read the Pellinor series, Always a witch, or Chanters of Tremaris will recognise the theme.
The Glass Series is a fun read for lovers of the Study Series and allows them to spend more time with some of their favourite characters. The trilogy contains Storm Glass, Sea Glass and Spy Glass.

Storm Glass

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.

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Sea Glass

Student glass magician Opal Cowan’s newfound ability to steal a magician’s powers makes her too powerful. Ordered to house arrest by  the Council, Opal dares defy them, traveling to the Moon Clan’s lands in search of Ulrick, the man she thinks she loves. Thinks because she is sure another man now her prisoner has switched souls with Ulrick. In hostile territory, without proof or allies, Opal isn’t sure whom to trust. She can’t forget Kade, the handsome Stormdancer who doesn’t want to let her get close. And now everyone is after Opal’s special powers for their own deadly gain….

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Spy Glass

An undercover mission leads to danger, adventure and an impossible choice. After siphoning her own blood magic in the showdown at Hubal, Opal Cowan has lost her powers. She can no longer create glass magic. More, she’s immune to the effects of magic. Opal is now an outsider looking in, spying through the glass on those with the powers she once had, powers that make a difference in the world. Until spying through the glass becomes her new power. Suddenly, the beautiful pieces she makes flash in the presence of magic. And then she discovers that someone has stolen some of her blood – and that finding it might let her regain her powers. Or know it could be they are lost forever.

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Judging by the cover: Like the Study series the covers for the Glass series are colour coordinated. I love the colours they chose and the different shapes they feature. The Sea Glass starfish is gorgeous!


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