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Sea Glass (Glass, Book 2) by Maria V. Snyder
Review by Cathy Green
Mira Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780778325802
Date: 01 September 2009 List Price $13.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Maria V. Snyder's website / Show Official Info /

Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder, the sequel to Storm Glass, is another fast-paced adventure set in the same world as the original Study trilogy. Sea Glass picks up right where Storm Glass left off, with Opal Cowan ordered by the Council to return to the Citadel so they could decide what to do about her powerful newfound ability to strip the magic from other magicians. Opal, however, wants to take a detour so that she can put Devlen and Ulrick's souls back in their proper bodies, and persuades Janco to come along with her.

Unfortunately, her detour does not go as planned, and she loses both Ulrick and Devlen. Things get even worse when she returns to the Citadel. Rather than appear directly before the Council, Opal makes a detour to see her sister Mara in the glassworks. She winds up being shot by a crossbow and put under house arrest surrounded by a null shield with Healer Hayes being forbidden to heal her via magic. Things get even worse when she appears before the Council and finds Master Magician Zitora will not defend her and that no one believes her assertion that Ulrick and Devlen were able to switch bodies.

While the Council decides her fate, Opal is locked in one of the Keep's cells. That does let her know who her true friends are, as they are the ones that visit her, including Yelena, who defies the Council's orders and heals Opal's wounds magically.

Given that Opal is the only one who can make glass messengers, the Council decides to parole her, with some severe conditions: she is constantly under guard surrounded by a null shield, not allowed near glass and forbidden to do magic except for an hour a day making glass messengers. Making matters worse, her mentor Zitora will not see or speak to her, turning over Opal's education to Master Bain Bloodgood. Understandably, Opal feels that everyone is against her, and she begins to prepare for the worst, negotiating with the Keep's weapon master for self defense lessons. Soon Opal begins a process of negotiation with the Council, refusing to produce glass messengers until the restrictions are lifted one by one. Ultimately, the Council trusts her enough to allow her to go, under escort, to aide the Stormdancers in training the replacements for the glassblowers killed in Storm Glass. Despite an attack by Tricky and his accomplices and an assassination attempt, Opal accomplishes her mission and returns to the Keep to graduate.

After graduation, realizing she is no longer under the control of the Council and the Master Magicians, and not trusting any of them, Opal decides to go to Fulgor to prove once and for all that blood magic is still being used and that Ulrick and Devlen switched bodies. This leads to a final, dramatic confrontation with the blood magicians and an unexpected resolution of the situation.

Readers who enjoyed Storm Glass definitely will enjoy Sea Glass, which offers more of the same and continues the storyline established in the first book. My one criticism of the sequel is that it was somewhat repetitive of Storm Glass. In some ways, the two books work better if thought of as one long book that was cut in half, since the two are really halves of the same story. On the other hand, Sea Glass resolves the plot lines in a completely unexpected way that leaves the reader wondering just how Maria V. Snyder is going to continue the story in the as yet unnamed third book in the series, promised for the Fall of 2011. In fact, the biggest disappointment upon reaching the end of Sea Glass was finding out that I would have to wait two year to find out what happens next. I look forward to reading whatever writing projects are causing Snyder to have such a long gap between the second and third books in the Glass series.

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