Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Good morn to you all! I was thinking of doing a Teaser Tuesday post for today but since I've got a fair bit going on at the moment with getting my timetable sorted out for next week I'll just stick with the series review I've got for ya.
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Description: 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 (Description of Storm Glass taken from GoodReads)
One thing that I consistently love about Maria's books is that her characters are always wonderfully vibrant and interesting - even the villains. Quite often the line between who's a good guy and who's bad is rather blurry so someone who may seem like a total evil jerk at the start of the book can end up being quite likeable by the end.
In the Opal Cowan books it's great how we get to see characters from the Yelena books since you really become attached to guys like Ari, Janco, Leif and Valek (although he won't appear until Spy Glass). In Sea Glass it's mainly Janco we have the pleasure of seeing but no matter as I think he's lovely and with his uber lock-picking skillz he's a valuable asset to Opal who, for some reason, is extremely prone to getting captured, kidnapped, or tortured.
I'll admit to not being as fond of Opal as I am of Yelena - although her glass magic is really cool and fascinating, as a person she's just not that mature and often makes rash decisions that get her in serious trouble. She can be insolent and petulant if people either don't trust her or if they belittle her since she looks a fair bit younger than her twenty years (I know how she feels :P).
That being said, despite her flaws Opal is still a good person and has her loveable moments. I love her sarcastic sense of humour and her wish to make a difference despite her limited magic. I think her ability to fight with sais is totally bad-ass and I would *so* love to be able to do it. She's loyal to her friends and family and has a kind heart so she often wants to help out those in need. Her sense of morals and principles mean that even though she's got the power to drain a magician without them doing a thing to attack her, she wouldn't ever use that power unless in self-defense because her moral compass knows it's totally wrong.
Unlike in the Study books, Opal actually has several romantic interests to confuse herself with - the Stormdancer Kade, the glass magician Ulrick who gets soul-switched with the Daviian Warper Devlin who once tortured Opal. Without giving away any spoilers I'll just say that who she ends up with is definitely very interesting and I am quite happy about it :P
Out of the three books I think that the last book, Spy Glass is my favourite, not least because we finally get to see more of Valek (ok that might be a factor hehe) but because Opal has progressed over the series into a stronger and more mature individual. She's no longer the "doormat" that Devlin proclaimed her to be in the first book, she's learnt to stand up for herself and not let people use her and her magic whenever they like. It's more pleasant to read about a character whom you don't wish you could shake a bit of sense into every so often.
With regards to the actual stories themselves I did like how Maria expanded on the Warpers who appear in Magic Study and Fire Study and developed further the darker branches of magic in Sitia and provided an interesting variety of bad guys whose motives are not always apparent when we first meet them.
It's kind of a shame that we've reached the end of this second trilogy set in the Ixia/Sitia universe, I'm really hoping that Maria has plans to write more books set there after she's done with her new dystopia series (I've got the first book Inside Out to read while I'm at Uni).
Overall I'll give this series a solid 4 out of 5 stars for being thorougly enjoyable and chock-full of fantastic characters. I heartily recommend it to fans of fantasy books and anyone who's read the Study trilogy.
On a related note - how freaking *gorgeous* are the UK covers I've sprinkled throughout the review?! I know the US covers are interesting enough but seriously I think we hands-down win the cover battle! Opinions anyone?
Rating: 4 stars out of 5 (for the series as a whole)
Originally I was just gonna do this review for the second book, Sea Glass but then I read the third one and thought bugger it I may as well sum up my thoughts of the whole trilogy even though it's been over a year since I read Storm Glass.
Anyways I'm planning on doing my review of Rules of Attraction to post on Wednesday ahead of Thursday's big internet switch-on *huzzah* You have no idea how odd it's been not being able to go online whenever I want so I'm gonna have a massive session on Thursday afternoon (I'm terrified of how Youtube subscriptions videos I'm gonna have to watch).
Happy Tuesday folks