Book Review: Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder
When glass orbs start exploding in the hands of the most powerful magicians of the Stormdancer clans, it becomes clear that they might not be able to provide the harnessed power of the thunder storms for the local factories.
So they call in Opal, glass mage-in-training, to investigate, thus pulling her into a deadly conspiracy. On the side plot, there is Opal’s rival, Pazia, at school, and a love triangle between the powerful Stormdancer Kade and the tormented glassblower Ulrik. (DRAMA ENSUES)
I loved Snyder’s first series, and her latest release, A Touch of Power, got hit with a five canary rating. This book, however, didn’t zing my reading tooth. In fact, I don’t think it would have zinged if I had gotten a couple more fillings, covered the book with aluminum foil, and bitten down. Which is a right shame, because Snyder’s writing is there.
Enter my split-canary personalities:
Confused Canary: If you want to enjoy this book (and understand who all the characters are and their oblique references to traumatic pasts), you should read the previous series. Having gone through the Study series when it first came out (2005-2008) and then tackled Storm Glass in 2012, I had only the vaguest recollections of what happened to the rather minor character of Opal in book 3. I struggled.
Skeptical Canary: Storm Glass follows Opal Cowan as she deals with the aftermath of being used, poisoned, tortured, and of betraying her family in friends in Fire Study (the aforementioned book 3 of the Study series). She is now studying glass magic while slowly healing from the aftermath of her ordeal. Opal is gradually coming to grips with her past and–
Well, no. Not really.
Opal turns out to be a very resilient character that slogs on despite her past and without catatonic relapse after she is (MAJOR SPOILER ADVISORY, SKIP TO “Grumpy Canary” TO AVOID SPOILAGE) tortured again (not once, but twice) by the same man who had tortured her before, who was responsible for the death of her sibling, and with whom she’d been unknowingly sleeping for months. Nevermind the torture, betrayal, and trauma of the previous series: any of these issues should have sent any sane person into a mental tailspin.
Grumpy Canary: Instant love. Need I say more? And while I’ve seen Snyder use this trope wonderfully in her other books, I fail to see a realistic foundation for the tru lurve connection that is underscored at the end of Storm Glass. I can’t seem to win when it comes to romance. I blame it on these tricksy covers.
Fair Canary: I did finish the book. And I imagine I would have loved it a little (a lot) more if I’d gotten it straight after the previous series, with all its adventures fresh in my mind. That said, this book delivers on mystery and suspense. There is a walloping of dramatic tension when we realize who the baddie is but Opal remains oblivious, and the world’s mix of magic and dystopia is a helluva lot of fun. If you’re not as feathery-obsessive about the details as I am, you’re probably have a great time. The adventure delivers.
Conclusive Canary: All in all, I don’t think I’ll be reading the next book in the series–
Honest Canary: Oh who am I kidding? Of course I will be. Only reason I haven’t yet is that the local library doesn’t have it. Nook lendable, anyone?
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