Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review: Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder

Book Details:
Sea Glass
By Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Fantasy
Published 2009, MIRA Books
Paperback, 379 pages
ISBN: 9780778325802

          Student glass magician Opal Cowan's newfound ability to steal a magician's powers makes her too powerful. Ordered to house arrest by the Council, Opal dares defy them, traveling to the Moon Clan's lands in search of Ulrick, the man she thinks she loves. Thinks because she is sure another man now her prisoner has switched souls with Ulrick.
In hostile territory, without proof or allies, Opal isn't sure whom to trust. She can't forget Kade, the handsome Stormdancer who doesn't want to let her get close. And now everyone is after Opal's special powers for their own deadly gain....
I was a little disappointed by this book, since I enjoyed the previous one so much. I had expected Opal Cowan to spend more time and effort in exploring what she can do with her glass abilities, but it seemed to be more of the same denial of her immense magical potential. Put glass in Opal's hands and the world is hers to command, whether for good or bad, but she is so focused on the weight of responsibility that this power gives her that she really does not do much with it at all - until the tail end of the book.
A large part of the book is devoted to Opal attempting to stop the spread of blood magic knowledge, as well as monitoring Ulrick and Devlen's actions. In the meantime she graduates, gets together with the Stormdancer Kade, and pursues setting up her own private glass-making business, though with not much success in the latter. All of her pursuits take large chunks of time because someone is constantly trying to control her for her different abilities, which can make for tedious reading. I enjoyed her romance with Kade simply because there seemed very little effort on either of his or her part to connect with the other - like they were made for each other. In contrast, Devlen's almost constant attention to Opal is perplexing because Opal regularly second-guesses his intentions. It is nearly impossible to figure out his real motivation because his previous actions show him to be a very good liar and manipulator. I will be interested to see where his subplot goes in the final book.
The way that Opal finally deals with the power that she has over glass took me by surprise, but I like it. The outcome creates an entirely new set of circumstances for her, but one that she has a precedent for. Plus, no longer is she at the mercy of magic, though how much she realizes that will hopefully be shown in the final book, Spy Glass.

The Cover: I love the cover, with both its magical quality and its reference to the objects scattered on the beach.

First Line: "Worry and dread clawed at my stomach."
Wow, nice opening, since I don't have a clue what is causing such intense emotion, now I want to know.

Favorite Quote"Lying to yourself is easy, too. I know. It's much harder to stay and deal with consequences." 


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