Published: April 2009
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.
I very much enjoyed reading Ms Snyders' previous trilogy Poison Study/Magic Study/Fire Study, so I have no idea why it has taken me so long to start this one. I've read some mixed reviews about Stormglass, but I have to firmly take the positive side - I loved it. I think part of its appeal to me is that it is straight fantasy - with no urban prefix and no supernatural/paranormal twists. The magic is just that - magic, and the setting is vaguely historical/feudal - maybe I should try and find out just exactly what the setting is based on, that would be interesting to find out.
I read somewhere recently that a love triangle isn't really a love triangle unless all three participants are aware of the 'love', so in that respect, Stormglass doen't really fit the triangle theme, but it is fun none-the-less. Opal, Kade and Ulrick (doesn't that name just conjure up pictures of Heath Ledger in 'A Knights Tale'?) have varying degrees of different magic and each one comes with a lot of personal baggage attached. I thoroughly enjoyed watching each of them cope with the mysteries and struggles throughout the book.
There are one or two rather interesting surprises within the story, and a neat twist towards the end, which all helped to keep me reading at a steady pace and I finished this rather lengthy book in two days - but that's what vacation is for, isn't it?
On a tangent here - can anyone remember that at the beginning of the year someone/someblog posted a challenge about reading one book per month over 350 pages? I can't find it now, but I'm beginning to wish I had accepted that challenge. I swear Christinabean and I have read 8 books that qualify in the last month alone! End of tangent.
There is a wonderful mystery, adventuring, magic, nasty bad guys and some interesting butt kicking. Lots of fun! There are also several mentions of events that took place in the previous trilogy. It's not necessary to have read it before you read this one, but you may want to go back and find out what happened when you've finished this one - I think I may go back and re-read them in fact. All in all a fun read and I look forward to picking up the second volume, Sea Glass, on Monday when I go back to work :(