Always playing catch-up, I came to Maria V. Snyder after seeing tons of reviews on Storm Glass, Sea Glass, and her new book, Spy Glass, which is due for release in September. Like all curious book bloggers, I wanted to read for myself the reason so many other bloggers rave about this series. Therefore, with high expectations, I borrowed Storm Glass from my local library and am happy to add my name to the long list of satisfied readers.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. (Publisher's comments from Powell's Books)
Storm Glass is a well-crafted book. The plot, which is intricately layered with background and present action, was mesmerizing and presented several interesting twists and turns that kept me quickly turning pages. One of the many complications I liked was Opal’s attraction to Kade. Timing seemed all wrong for these two. I was also completely caught up with the on-going investigation into the problems over the storm glass, and where the investigation led Opal.
However, it is Opal’s character that made this book so enjoyable. Opal’s need to be more than a one-trick-wonder kept me rooting for her to succeed. I liked her venerability because it made her perseverance and self-discoveries more realistic. Opal’s interactions with the men in the book was interestingly developed and certainly made Opal’s adventures more exciting. Kade, the stormdancer, of course was and is still my first choice as Opal’s love interest, and the ending did satisfy my desire that this relationship would evolve into more than the hit and miss encounters the two seemed to have throughout the book. Ulrick, who Opal meets and encourages to step out of his mother’s shadow, at first appeared to be a possible love interest too, until he turns obsessively protective. But, the most intriguing male figure in the story, Blue Eyes, definitely fascinated me in a scary "oh no he isn’t" kind of way.
Since I came to this series first, I now understand that Opal’s background comes from Snyder’s Poison Study series, and Storm Glass does frequently refer to the events and characters from those books. It took me a while to digest some of the background as I read, but it never caused too much disorientation. I liked the world created in this book and will certainly read Sea Glass before the third book, Spy Glass, is released.