Sunday, July 18, 2010

Storm Glass and Sea Glass by Maria Snyder

These are the first two books of the Glass series about Opal Cowan ( the final installment is not due out until the fall of 2011)
Opal is a glass magician in the country of Sitia. That means she is a magician who is able to insert her magic into glass objects - something no one else in the country is able to do. The glass statues she makes are able to transmit magical thought from magician to magician over distances - sort of a glass telephone. That should make her proud and confident. But, Opal is anything but that. She second guesses herself constantly, misreads those around her and basically exudes naiveté. She is especially embarrassed that she is unable to do the basic magical tasks of lighting a fire and is certain she is a one trick pony.

But, the citizens of Sitia - at least the evil ones - see the potential in her and are constantly trying to kidnap, torture her and take her skills for their own use. She remains oblivious to most threats - but is constantly buffeted by one or another controlling force...her family, the Council of Magicians, her boyfriend Ulrick, an evil magician who has captured and tortured her more than once (Devlen) and her embarrassment.

By the end of the first book Opal has discovered and learned to control an incredible talent - she can 'steal' another's magic and seal it up inside a glass orb. The transfer of this magic turns it into diamonds...powerful and beautiful diamonds.

The second book follows her maturing from a ditzy pawn into a powerful magician trying very hard to control her own destiny. The Council feels she is too dangerous to be free - she could steal any of their powers. The villains of the country want her blood - it augments their own magic and makes them invulnerable to her own, she feels controlled and responsible for providing glass messengers to the citizens of Sitia and she is sick of it all.

She gets herself into the ultimate showdown and ends up vulnerable, naive and almost dead.

The series is clearly not over. The story leaves you hanging and wondering about several loose ends. I like Opal - but the constant kidnapping and harm get a bit old. Mostly, I want to just shake her and tell her to get a grip - she clearly is an important person, why doesn't she understand that...

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