Target audience: Adult/ YA cross over
Summary from Waterstones:
Untrained. Untested. Unleashed. With her unique magical abilities, Opal has always felt unsure of her place at Sitia's magic academy. But when the Stormdancer clan needs help, Opal's knowledge makes her the perfect choice - until the mission goes awry. Pulling her powers in unfamiliar directions, Opal finds herself tapping into a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. Now Opal must deal with plotters out to destroy the Stormdancer clan, as well as a traitor in their midst. With danger and deception rising around her, will Opal's untested abilities destroy her - or save them all?
Storm Glass is a thoroughly riveting fantasy which takes us into the territory of Ixia. Opal is one of the Cowan Clan and she is studying magic at the Keep. She has been there for four years living on the periphery and fearing that her magic is limited to one ability. She can put magic inside of glass. It is a skill that no other magician has developed but for Opal it isn't enough. She wants to prove her worth to the other students and show she is not a one-trick-pony.
Opal is an interesting main character. She is strong although she fails to recognise that much of the time. She is an intelligent female lead and surprisingly reflective which isn't a character trait you see very often. There are other fascinating characters too. Kade - a Storm Dance magician who can call the power of a storm into a glass orb. There is Yelena - who features in the Poison Study Series - a Soul finder. There is Devlen who is a dark force from Opal's past and a person she deeply fears.
The plot fell nicely into two parts. The novel begins by Opal being assigned a mission by the Master Magicians and this is the first half of the novel. The second half of the novel is Opal discovering pieces of a larger puzzle that she inadvertently uncovered from the original mission. The book is well-paced and easy to become completely absorbed by. Much of the story revolves around Opal's own questions about her true self. She is burdened by guilt and has to come to terms with the decisions she makes.
I really enjoyed the descriptions of the processes of the glass making and the atmosphere inside the factory. This is certainly a strength of the book. Snyder successfully communicates Opal's passion for working with glass and I am even tempted to find out where I can try my hand at glass blowing. Overall, this was a great fantasy read. The territory of Ixia was a magical yet dark world populated by clans competing for power. Although I think this book is aimed at the adult market (I saw it in the adult section of WH Smith), it is certainly accessible to YA readers. I recommend this to people who enjoy epic fantasy and the mystery of magic.