Release date: 1 May 2009
Rating: ★★★★★★ – 6/10
Goodreads link

Storm Glass (Glass series #1; Chronicles of Ixia #4) blurb:

As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowan understands trial by fire.  Now it’s time to test hr mettle.  Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan, killing their most powerful magicians.  The Stormdancers – particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade – require Opal’s unique talents to prevent it from happening again.

But when the mission goes wrong, Opal must tap into a new kind of power as stunningly potent as it is frightening.  And the deeper she delves into the mystery, the more distorted things appear.  With lives hanging in the balance, Opal and Kade must learn to control unknown powers… powers that could lead to disaster beyond anything they’ve ever seen.

NOTE: I seem to have had a technical glitch.  I posted this review earlier today, and then I lost everything here.  So, apologies if you are only reading this now – I’m sure my first review was better!  Must remember to start writing them up and saving copies before I post them!

As I mentioned in my review of Fire Study, Snyder has written a second trilogy of the Study series. The Glass series comes between these two sets of books.

The first books not told through Yelena eyes, we are reintroduced to Opal Cowan – sister of Tula (murdered by Ferde) and glass magician who assisted Yelena in Fire Study. This trilogy is told from Opal’s point of view.

Set four years after the events of Fire Study, Opal is an apprentice at the Keep and, to be honest, is really not that much of a magician.  Known by her classmates as a ‘one-trick wonder’, she keeps to herself and laments the lack of friends, thereby shutting herself off from everyone more so.

Opal reminds me a lot of the Yelena from Poison Study, and there is much similarity between the two characters.  They both have a new and different type of magic than the other students and this makes them an outcast in their minds at the keep, they are both the first students of Master Magicians, they both gain more knowledge of their magical abilities during trying events.

You could even go further and say that the plot of these two stories is quite similar.  There is kidnapping, torture, murder, intrigue, deception and unintended magic.  Although to be fair, these are similar plot twists in each one of the books in this world so far.

We also meet some of our old favourite characters throughout this book.  Sometimes they crop up in the most surprising of places.  We also gain a deeper knowledge of some who were more of a sideline character before.  Returning are Opal, her family, and Second Magician Master Zitora Cowan who make up the majority of our main cast in this story.  Introducing Kade, Raiden, Tal and the glassmakers of the Stormdance clan, Pazia who is a classmate of Opal’s, Ulrick and a few more glassmakers from the Cowan lands, and Devlen – a leftover from the previous trilogy who we never quite met.

Where Yelena always had a connection with Valek from the start, Opal’s relationships are slightly more disastrous and she is easily and unknowingly caught in a love triangle, which somehow turns into more of a diamond shape towards the end of the book.  Opal also lacks Yelena’s confidence – which I actually found rather annoying.  The constant doubts and lingering over decisions, wishing for different scenarios and playing ‘what-if’ became dull quickly, although Opal seems to develop a spark of trust in her actions right at the end.

Overall the story was good – not as polished as Yelena’s trilogy, but still enjoyable.  Knowing that the Study series also started off rocky lends me hope that this trilogy will also pick up as the books progress.  The new types of magic are interesting, but again, it seems like we are rehashing Magic Study – but without the fun of the story weavers.

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