Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder
(MIRA, Paperback, April 2009)
Opal is a glassmaker who blows magic into her creations. These creations have become famous all over Sitia and are used as messengers for the Council's magicians. Self-doubt plagues Opal though and when she can't produce magic in any other way, she worries that she is a One-Trick-Wonder. When she is sent on a mission to help the Stormdance Clan, Opal learns that her magic does have other manifestations, some of which have horrible consequences and cause her to become the target of an evil magician. With a little help from her friends, Opal must rely on her magic to help her overcome her fears and save Sitia.
Storm Glass contains all the elements that I loved in Maria V. Snyder's Study series—strong heroines, a dash of romance, questionable alliances, exciting magic, and adventure galore. Although she is very different from the Study series' heroine Yelena, Opal shares an insecurity about her magic and a penchant for getting into trouble that made it easy to draw parallels. It was fascinating to learn about glassmaking and Snyder easily breathes magic into that craft. Storm Glass has cameo appearances from some of my favorite Study characters, so fans of Snyder's previous books will enjoy this new series. I will indulge in one spoiler...in my mind, the men in this book don't hold a candle to Valek. (What can I say, he's my literary crush!) Opal's story is riveting though, and this book left me wishing desperately that I could read Sea Glass, the second book in the series. Alas, I'll just have to wait until September when it's published.
Read my reviews of Maria's other books...
Visit Maria's website. She's got some great companion short stories on her website.