Mini Reviews: Sea Glass & Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder

As much as I liked the first book in this series, the rest of the Glass series is a total WTF-fest. (I’m hesitant to call this a trend in Maria V. Snyder books, but that’s my personal experience with both this series and the Study series.) Excuse me while I rant.

Sea Glass


Title: Sea Glass
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Glass #2
Publication Date: August 18, 2009
Category: (Young Adult) Fantasy

After all that’s happened in Storm Glass with Opal’s newly discovered powers, she is no longer trusted by the Sitian Council. No one (not even Yelena) believes her story about two souls swapping bodies, so Opal decides to investigate on her own. I still like this second book quite a bit because the magic is so intriguing, and Opal is still likable despite her growing distrust and cynicism at the people around her. In Sea Glass, Opal’s independence is impressive, but what’s lacking in this book is the continuing relationship developments that started in the previous book.
Spy Glass

Title: Spy Glass
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Glass #3
Publication Date: September 1, 2010
Category: (Young Adult) Fantasy


My bad decisions outweighed my good ones by two to one.

Why yes, Opal, I’m glad you realize that. Soooo much WTF-ery in this book! Needless to say, I don’t approve of Opal’s poor decision-making skills. She realizes it of herself too, as she’s constantly groaning about how she’s made “the worst decision ever.” Like probably most readers, my concentration is immediately broken when my OTP doesn’t end up together, but this is so much more than that. People can change, and I’ve read other stories in which my opinion of certain characters changed for the better when I see that they’ve made an effort to change themselves. But based on the history and backstory of the characters in the Glass series (where there’s so much abuse, torture, and death involved), there are certain people that just shouldn’t become intimate with each other. No “I’ve changed for the better” reassurances can solve an abusive relationship, and that’s one of the things I didn’t like about Spy Glass.

Do you believe it when evil characters change for the better?


Review: Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder

Storm Glass

Gasp, a love triangle that I actually ENJOYED?! (Well, okay, “enjoyed” might be too strong of a word. Maybe “didn’t make me want to tear my hair out” is a more accurate feeling.) This isn’t the first Maria V. Snyder book I’ve read, and this won’t be my last – Storm Glass is action-packed and so engrossing that I just want to keep reading more! The characters, the plot, and the world-building are all fantastic, although there are moments when I didn’t like certain characters or certain events. But at the end of the day, my pros list is definitely longer than my cons list for this book, and I’m excited to find out what happens next!

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Mini Reviews: The Study Series by Maria V. Snyder

This series (or at least the first book) filled a void in my fantasy-loving heart. As my first exposure to Maria V. Snyder, the Study series has some of her best characters and plotlines yet. The stories, cultures, and worldbuilding in this series are captivating, and there’s just the right amount of romance, politics, betrayals, and everything else. (Well… okay, maybe still a little too much romance, but I always err on the side of caution when it comes to romance.) Also, happy 10th anniversary to Poison Study!

Poison Study



Nineteen-year-old Yelena faces execution for murdering an Ixian general’s son, but is given the choice of becoming the food taster for the Commander of Ixia. She chooses to live, although she is continuously tested with poisons by the Commander’s assassin, Valek. In Ixia, where magicians are killed on sight, Yelena struggles with her own developing powers while she gets entangled in a conspiracy she wants no part in. I love the premise, because magicians + poison + conspiracies + assassins = WOOHOO FANTASY! The worldbuilding is also really well done, and it’s interesting to compare Ixia’s magicless, militaristic structure with the different societal structures in other parts of the world, like the council-governed, magic-driven Sitia in the south. Yelena is also a heroine who I can support wholeheartedly because of her determination to live and her ability to strategize and think calmly. Her personality allows her to make unlikely friends and survive when the odds are against her. It’s also incredibly easy to empathize with Yelena because of what she’s gone through (physical and psychological abuse), but this book is also a darker world than most YA fantasies. (I don’t even know if this is YA or just adult fiction? Not that it matters much…) A wonderful adventure that provides a solid conclusion that hints of another journey yet to come for Yelena! Also, Valek…

Magic Study



In this second installment of the Study series, Yelena is a free woman and starts her training as a magician. Although they aren’t sure if that’s what she is, since she doesn’t display the same magical abilities as the standard magician. Aside from that, Yelena is once again involved in a plot that she doesn’t want to be involved in – this time, from the other side of the border. I really enjoyed seeing some of the old characters again, and the new ones are just as exciting. I wasn’t a big fan of the conspiracy this time around, but what I liked most about this book was Yelena coming to terms with herself and realizing how her powers work.

Fire Study


Title: Fire Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Study #3
Publication Date: March 1, 2008
Genre: (Young Adult/Adult Fiction) Fantasy / Adventure


Fire Study is the third (but not last now because there’s going to be more Yelena books!!!) book, and by far my least favorite of the three. The plot is not as exciting or as fast-paced as the previous books, and although the ending was interesting, we could’ve gotten there faster. There are times when I wished that Yelena would just make fewer mistakes, so a lot of face-palming on my part.

Altogether, the Study series started out very strong but dwindled as it went on. I’d definitely recommend Poison Study because it’s amazing! The other ones? Take them or leave them.

Have you read the Study series?
What fantasy concepts/themes excite you?
(Mine is magic being banned!)