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Storm Glass (Glass, Book 1) Paperback – April 28, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Apprentice magician, ardent glassmaker and spunky Nancy Drew–style sleuth Opal Cowan discovers her latent mystical talents and wins the attention of three gorgeous hunks in Snyder's follow-up to her award-winning Study fantasy series (Poison Study, etc.). In classic coming-of-age fashion, Opal uses her magic powers to help her loved ones and her glass know-how to find the flaws in the Stormdancers' weather-controlling glass orbs, all amid breathless adolescent quivers of romance and jealousy. Snyder satisfyingly fleshes out her youthful main characters, including the brooding Stormdancer Kade and Opal's venomous rival, Pazia, but the two-dimensional supporting cast, especially the simplistic villains, don't bear up as well under close inspection. The wealth of glassmaking lore compensates for the quick-moving but predictable plot, which leaves abundant room for at least two sequels. (May)
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"Snyder satisfyingly fleshes out her youthful main characters..." – Publishers Weekly on STORM GLASS

"Epic in scope, yet rich with minute details of character and setting, the second book in Snyder's Glass series is a delight. " –RT Book Reviews on SEA GLASS

"Filled with Snyder's trademark sarcastic humor, fast-paced action and creepy villainy, Touch of Power is a spellbinding romantic adventure that will leave readers salivating for the next book in the series."-USA TODAY

"The descriptions are vivid and draw you into the rugged journey across the mountains. You'll want to follow their voyage into the next book."-RT Book Reviews on Touch of Power

"This is one of those rare books that will keep readers dreaming long after they've read it."-Publishers Weekly, starred review, on Poison Study

"Snyder delivers another excellent adventure."-Publishers Weekly on Fire Study

"A compelling new fantasy series."-SFX magazine on Sea Glass

"As the final book in the series Spy Glass does not disappoint" – --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Mira; Original edition (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778325644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778325642
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #559,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

When I was in sixth grade, I learned about meteorologists and decided I wanted to be one. My visions of chasing tornados throughout the Midwest and flying through hurricanes didn't pan out. Mostly because I wasn't good at forecasting, and my grades weren't exactly stellar. Let's face it, I'm a daydreamer--always have been, always will be.

I did graduate from Penn State University and was hired as an environmental meteorologist--try and say that five times fast ;) and I started writing when bored at work. It's never a good idea to get caught just staring out the window, so I wrote my daydreams down. After fooling around with short stories, I wrote my first novel, Poison Study. It was published sixteen years later. A lesson in patience and persistence! I had caught the writing bug and Magic Study and Fire Study soon followed.

Even though I went on to earn a Masters degree in writing from Seton Hill University, I never lost my fascination with storms, which is evident in my Glass Series (Storm Glass, Sea Glass and Spy Glass), and I still consider myself an environmentalist. The green part of me comes out in both Inside Out and Outside In. Trella's world is contained inside a big metal cube and they must reuse and recycle everything. One thing they got right in one otherwise messed-up world!

My latest series is about a healer and I happily let my nurturing side take over. Touch of Power starts the series with Avry on the run in a world recovering from a devastating plague. Scent of Magic is the second book and the third, Taste of Death will be out December 2013.

Aside from a writer, I'm also a teacher and mentor for students enrolled in Seton Hill University's MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction. I enjoy working with aspiring writers and helping them complete their novels. I've won a half dozen awards and been on the New York Times bestseller list, but nothing compares to being the proud mentor come graduation day!

Other things I enjoy are playing volleyball, photography and traveling. I'll go anywhere at anytime - much to my mother's dismay since my husband and I frequently bring along our son and daughter on our adventures.

I love my job. Where else can you take fencing lessons, learn how to ride a horse, study martial arts, learn how to pick a lock, take glass blowing classes and get a personal tour of a maximum security prison and call it all research? I'll give you a hint--not working as a meteorologist.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 90 people found the following review helpful By watch4birds on April 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First of all, I have to warn any readers that if you've never read any of Snyder's previous novels you will most likely end up becoming extremely confused -mainly because Snyder throws so many characters at the reader that it would become quite overwhelming if you didn't already know who some of them were from the other books. So, view Storm Glass as a stand-alone novel at your own peril. That said, I did enjoy this novel. However, I found it to be more reminiscent of Magic Study or Fire Study than Poison Study.

Opal, the glass maker who has the strange ability to insert her magic into her creations, is asked to travel to the Stormdance clan in order to figure out why the glass orbs that contain a storm's power are breaking. There she meets Kade, a Stormdancer. She's there long enough to learn that a rebel group from another clan is plotting to steal the recipe that is used to make the glass orbs. Opal travels back and forth over several different clans (basically she's in a saddle about 15 of 20 days). Opal stays in the Stormdance clan and in Kade's company for only a very short amount of time before returning back to the Citadel, the magic school. There, she meets up with Ulrick, whose company she keeps for about 75% of the novel. A multitude of sub-plots are added as Opal and her friends try to solve the mystery surrounding the glass orbs and other such things before riding out to another clan to solve some problem and eventually Ixia.

Like Magic Study and Fire Study, the reader is pelted with one "adventure" after the other. Opal travels to about 7 of the clans in magical Sitia and about 3 of the Military Districts in Ixia. That's a lot of traveling -and, of course, not one journey was without being attacked, imprisoned or some other type of dilemma.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By B. Bartlett on April 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like Maria Snyder's books (this is her 4th) but she tends to repeat herself. The first three books followed the trials of Yelana Zaltana, a Soulfinder who seemed to attract every sadist within a 100 mile radius of wherever she was standing.

Unfortuately "Storm Glass" continues with many of the same themes. Opal Cowan works her magic through glass not souls, but she is an engaging character with an interesting talent. Unfortuately she has the same sort of luck Yelana has with kidnappers, rapists, torturers and betrayers. Some of these plot devices struck me as a bit much for a Young Adult series.

On one hand, Snyder wants the reader to believe that the central female character is unigue, special and powerful enough to be assigned guards from Sitia's elite magicians. But she also expects us to accept that a lone rogue magician can get past those defenses, bind the heroine in chains and spend weeks torturing her.

I like these books, they're a really good read, but I'm disappointed by so much violence repeatedly directed towards the female characters.

Poor Opal, traumatized in the Magic Study and Fire Study books, shows up here for another round of abuse. After three years of struggling to come to terms with the murder of her sister and her first experience as a kidnapping victim, she is just starting to open up enough to trust her classmates when another blood magician shows up in the body of a fellow glassmaker. Seduction, betrayal and many torture scenes follow.

I recommend "Storm Glass" to older readers of the Young Adult genre, but encourage them to be warned. These books go to some very nasty places.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By D. Hoskins on June 9, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love this author and her 'Study' trilogy was excellent. However, this newest book seemed more thrown together and has some definite flaws. Opal's unique type of magic seems to just adjust to whatever works for the author to push the story and doesn't seem based in any kind of logic. It just seems to change on a whim, being one thing in one situation and another thing in a different situation.

There is a lot of glass making tech stuff, a result of careful and active research on the author's part. Appreciated the authentic touch, but perhaps too much of a good thing. More plot & character development and less talk of making glass again and again. I realize that Opal makes glass, that is her thing, but I don't need to go thru it step by step each time. Once was enough to grasp the process enough for the story to make sense.

As to making sense...Opal's love life?? SPOILER: At the end when she realizes she loves Kade and he loves her, why does she then state that she must give Ulrick a chance and explore their feelings??? What? She needs to let Ulrick go so that he can find someone who truly loves him. This made no sense to me and sort of made me wonder if she really loves Kade or is stillllll confused.

Pazia: were we supposed to get to know her and realize that under her mean witchy exterior there lies yet another mean hateful witch? Exactly why does Opal feel responsible for 4 yrs of being treated badly by Pazia and her cohorts? I'm sure if even one person had joined her at lunch, approached in a friendly manner, or treated her with common decency Opal would have responded in kind. Instead we are supposed to believe Opal was putting off some kind of vibe that made others treat her badly??? This also made no sense.
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