Title: Sea Glass (Chronicles of Ixia #5/ Glass #2)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Mira Ink (2nd August 2013)
A Game of Magic
Student magician Opal Cowan’s newfound ability to steal other people’s powers makes her too powerful.
Trapped under house arrest, Opal dares to defy her imprisonment, searching for 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 doesn’t know the real Ulrick’s whereabouts and can’t forget Kale, the handsome Stormdancer who doesn’t want to let her get too close.
And now everyone is after Opal’s special powers for their own deadly gain . . .
Rating: *** (3 stars)
SEA GLASS is the second book in Maria V. Snyder’s GLASS series and the fifth book in her CHRONICLES OF IXIA series. SEA GLASS continues the story of Opal Cowan as she deals with the consequences of events in STORM GLASS (review), like the revelation that she can use her glass magic skills to take another magician’s magic, and struggles with who to trust – even herself.
I found SEA GLASS to be a very frustrating read for most of the book. Not because the story wasn’t interesting and compelling, but because I found some of Opal’s choices and responses maddening. It was like she hadn’t learnt from her experiences in STORM GLASS. Although, to be fair to Snyder, the choices and responses were very in character.
SEA GLASS follows Opal as she tries to locate Ulrick and return his soul to the correct body. Unfortunately for Opal this isn’t an easy task, which is made all the more difficult as it means defying the Sitian Council who have ordered her to return to the Citadel. Opal’s dilemma is laid out from the first page – does she obey the Council’s directive, or does she follow her instinct and try to locate Ulrick? The plot of SEA GLASS revolves around the choice that Opal makes, and the consequences of her choices and the choices of others.
As I mentioned earlier, quite often I found Opal’s choices maddening – especially her inability to ask for help – but it made for a really complex plot. Snyder did a really good job at making the plot of the story both complex and messy, whilst at the same time not overbearing and difficult to follow because there were too many threads. There are a lot of plots and subplots in SEA GLASS, so if that isn’t your thing then you may not enjoy this book.
Character-wise we’ve already met the main players, and apart from a few minor characters no new ones are introduced to the story. I really liked the fact that Snyder didn’t introduce a new character to the mix, that instead I got to enjoy reuniting with Devlen, Kade, Leif, Janco, Yelena, and Zitora. It was nice not to be drowning in characters. I also thought it was an interesting experience to have an idea of who the bad guys were, and to see how Snyder played with these expectations