Title: Storm Glass
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Glass #1
PEEK – A – BOO
With her unique magical abilities, Opal has always felt unsure of her place at Sitia’s Magic Academy. But when the Stormdancer clan needs help, Opal’s knowledge makes her the perfect choice- until the mission goes awry.
Pulling her powers in unfamiliar directions, Opal finds herself tapping into a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. Now Opal must deal with plotters out to destroy the Stormdancer clan, as well as a traitor in their midst.
With danger and deception rising around her, Opal must delve into her untested abilities with glass and magic. With lives hanging in balance around her, Opal must identify and control the powers she didn’t think she possessed – before it’s too late…
I am fond of reading Novel series, as it really lets you stay with characters – that you fall in love with – for more amount of time. It leaves plenty of scope for future extensions in the story. It allows me to marvel at the author’s creativity, when he/she closes the loops of a wide spread plot in the end of the series. I can bring out innumerable reasons but the most important of them is that – I just LOVE reading Novel series.
The intriguing blurb on the back cover of this book, compelled me to read this first novel of the ‘Glass’ series. The book comes with a detailed map of the land where this story takes place. The map makes the travels in the plot, much easier to understand for the reader. The imaginary land is divided into two main territories Ixia and Sitia, which are further subdivided into military divisions and clan territories respectively. Ixia is ruled by Commander Ambrose whereas Sitia has a Council of members representing each Clan along with the Master Magicians.
The story is about a young girl of nineteen, Opal Cowan, and her interesting yet budding magical powers. She considers herself a ‘good-for-nothing’ magician except blowing magic in the glass wares, she makes. However, these magical glass wares, made by Opal, are much sought after. The whole journey is about growth of Opal’s personality while enduring through a series of surprising adventures, twists and turns.
The Glass Magician, as she is mostly known as, embarks upon a journey when the Master magicians need her to help the Stormdancer Clan. On her way to the Stormdancer’s territory she is attacked by a group who would go to any extremes to stop Opal from helping. This marks the beginning of Opal’s adventures while travelling across the spans of Sitia and Ixia in search of the culprits as well her lost love.
The story line feels a little sluggish initially but, by the end of first phase it picks up the pace. The landscapes and life of towns and villages is described vividly. One can easily imagine these scenes while reading the book. Opal travels almost all over Sitia and much of Ixia too. Sitia has variety of terrain ranging from The Flats and Cliffs to Emerald Mountains, from Avibian Plains to Illiais Jungles. Maria has brought out the beauty of each landscape wonderfully.
The frequency of twists and turns increases as the storyline moves further. The doubts of an untrained magician with lack of confidence, her faults in perceiving the situation, falling into traps and escaping from them; catches one’s attention. Opal makes lots of mistakes and messes things up. But she also learns from them. Due to this, the reader can see Opal’s personality growing step by step. It brings Opal closer to the reader.
Maria has beautifully weaved a story from a rather weak plot – of problems in glass making to upheaval of storm energies to releasing of Warper leader. The apprehensions of a young girl, who is too naive in trusting people and believes that she is looked down upon by her peers as One – Trick – Wonder, have been brought out beautifully. The self discovery by Opal of her capabilities and powers lurking within captivates me as I read the book.
Not only this, I really read and viewed many videos on ‘The process of Glass making’ to give me a wholesome idea, as the glass making process is a continuous part in the background of the story. Truly speaking, I was enthralled by the art of making figurines out of glass. It’s quite a talent, I must say.
However, there are few things which didn’t help in making the reading experience of this book – completely satisfying. Frequent reference of Yelena – the protagonist of Maria’s first series ‘Study’- confused me as I hadn’t read it. Furthermore, Opal’s constant comparison of herself with Yelena, shows Opal as one of the bland heroines and Yelena as a superior and brighter person. Storm Glass is a first in its own series. Being a first in the series, Maria could have avoided the references or at least minimised them. Such frequent comparisons leave a sour taste in the reader’s mouth and give an impression of the previous series being much better than this.
But, all these shortcomings evaporate in thin air after reading the end scenes. The last phase of the story is quite unexpecting which is a pleasant surprise. The climax hooks you to the book till the end. The ending leaves wide range of scope to develop the story for the next part of the series, loaded with more magic and surprises.
There were so many questions answered with the closure of the first book, yet there are many whose answers will be sought in the second installment. A hint of Love triangle (or is it quadrangle?? ) is to be watched out for. Will Opal make a right choice of partner? Will her unique magical ability bring laurels or punishments in her path? Will she be seen as an asset or threat by the council? Is Opal being used as a pawn in a bigger conspiracy than she can even think of?
With so many questions in hand, I would seriously suggest the readers to grab the whole series before you start reading. Trust me, if you are as impatient as I am – when it comes to books – and when the ending is so fantastic – you would not be able to wait for long…