After siphoning her own blood magic in the showdown at Hubal, Opal Cowan has lost her powers. She can no longer create glass magic. More, she's immune to the effects of magic. Opal is now an outsider looking in, spying through the glass on those with the powers she once had, powers that make a difference in the world.
Until spying through the glass becomes her new power. Suddenly, the beautiful pieces she makes flash in the presence of magic. And then she discovers that someone has stolen some of her blood - and that finding it might let her regain her powers. Or learn if they're lost forever....
©2010 Maria V. Snyder (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
I know I love a book when minor quibbles with it drive me crazy. I love the world of Sitia and Ixia, and revisiting these characters is like catching up with dear friends. Familiar characters return and a few new ones made me fall in love with them, too. The large cast (but not Dune large) is juggled with finesse. I was worried about not remembering enough of book 2, but the author does a fine job of seeding reminders in the early chapters. My quibbles are with the final 1/4 of the book, which I found disturbing, even though I don't think of myself as squeamish. This section strained a bit under a number of plot complications, but to my relief everything seemed to be wrapped up with a satisfying conclusion. I thought the narration was fine.
Overall, after the first few hours, I couldn't bear to put Spy Glass down. I found the Glass trilogy to be time well spent. Especially recommended to lovers of fantasies with complex characters.
Say something about yourself!
The only reason I'm reviewing this book is because of all of the low reviews. Many people are claiming they loved Snyder's previous books, but hate these, and that the main character is sick and twisted and the torture is horrible, etc.
If you've liked Storm Glass and Sea Glass, you'll probably like Spy Glass. Rather than a story of Stockholm Syndrome (puh-lease, if anyone had that it was Yelena!), this is a story about redemption, forgiving people, and facing your fears and inner shame. If you're worried that you might be about to listen to some abuse-supportive material, read on and be reassured. As someone that has been the victim of abuse, I can tell you this story did not raise any alarms for me. Doesn't mean it won't for others, but I don't speak for others anyway.
Have you ever dated someone that had a drug problem? That's how I see Devlin in this series--controlled by his vices and out of touch with society--but then he gets rehab and is slowly becoming someone free of that. I know I have trouble avoiding M&Ms some days--I can't imagine struggling with something as addicting as blood magic (or drugs). Of course, when Devlin becomes a major part of Opal's life, all of the terrible things he did are firmly behind him. The fact that people have such violently disapproving reactions to him shows an intolerance for imperfection in the literary fantasy world. Let me make it clear--there is a gradual development of friendship which is almost a self-healing process for Opal that develops into more. She is not being tortured or treated maliciously by him at any point after this begins. She meets with him in very controlled environments at first, and she struggles with her past experiences. It is in no way an easy transition for her! She goes back and forth internally for MONTHS with the idea of a reformed Devlin.
I think the main reason people dislike this book so much is because it doesn't follow the typical pattern for redeemed characters: 1) the bad deeds happened a long time ago or the person was "duped" in some way, thus distancing and/or excusing the actions; 2) the horrible deeds were never done to the same person that chooses to love them, ugly past and all. I admire Snyder for tackling such a difficult character and laying it all out there.
Having said all that ... This book is not all centered around Devlin (he is serving a 5 year prison sentence, for goodness sake (!) and appears mostly during Opal's inner musings). There is still an action-packed plot with lots of twists and turns. Opal is trying to continue finding ways to help people despite her loss of glass magic, and she encounters a brand new enemy that arises from deeply rooted past conflicts. (Unlike Devlin, the bad guy acts with his rational thinking mind and shows acute pleasure in others' pain.) About three hours from the end, the stuff really hits the fan. Be prepared to listen to all of that in one go. Enjoy!
Listener of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Intrigue (not romance), Historical Fiction and very eclectic in her literary wanderings.
In book three, which I assume completes this series, Opal is pulled in twenty directions at once. No powers? Immune to magic? Still making glass...our heroine is a lost puppy at the beginning, suffering PTSD and trying to handle family politics of a wedding. She brings it around in the novel, finding a better path no matter what anyone thinks of it.
The beauty of her story this time, is that she does actually fail at things- there are no miracles for some of her failures. With no magic, she has to become clever!
Her character is more realistic than some heroes. She is conflicted, makes monsterous mistakes and pushes and pulls her hearts and others too. Her honesty makes her real to the reader and I found myself both cheering her on and smacking her upside the head in the same chapter.
Some characters in the novel I was grateful to have less of: Cade annoyed me with his "stay home with and be my wife." You KNOW Opal will never do that and he does too.
The Magicians appear less in the book than previous ones and their politics have a hint of current events about them here in America.
Yay and thank you Maria for bringing back Valek, my most beloved character in the series. He is true to himself and surprises us with his talents beyond spying.
The narrator is always a good one and she keeps the story moving.
It's a good listen and worth the time. Cheer Opal on, smack the Ipod off the shelf when she screws up, Opal needed to tell this tale.
My reading and listening tastes are eclectic.
I was a little disappointed in the book. I thought it was a little trite and rushed at the end. Not a bad listen though. The reader did an okay job, but there was very little difference between characters' voices. It made some of the conversations difficult to follow because it made it hard to tell who was talking to who.
I read/listen to drown out the nonsense.
I love Snyder's work, the three books before this series are amazing, and the reader is amazing, but this series was really bad in comparison.
It drives me nuts when two readers pronounce words and names differently it destroys the flow of the books. Van Dyck pronounces things completely different that the other reader of the prior series and the voices are all different. Valeck in the last series had an English accent in this one he has some weird American accent, very annoying. I understand that the books are about Opal, but the other characters already established in the prior series are read completely different. If there are going to be books about the same world with characters from the beginning, than the reader should be the same or should have at least listened to the prior series. Thats my frustration with the production, it was awful.
The story line was okay but again not even close to the Magic series from Snyder. I don't want to spoil it but Opal is a complete wimp. She is whining all the time and her choice in men is, to say the least, despicable. The message that is going out to young women to forgive a rapist and torturer and then fall in love with him is... beyond my ability to comment I'm so angry about it I cannot even articulate how wrong it is.
It is in bad form to commend any actions that were displayed by this character, major thumbs down for this series, and Snyder should be ashamed of herself for such character flaws. These books are supposed to empower women according to the publisher, they not only fall short with this series, but they show their blatant sexist views, bordering on misogynistic, not only towards everyday women, but especially bashing battered and abused women, again leaving the answer for these women to forgive their abuser and fall in love with them. Disgusting! Then, the underlying drug addiction, blanketed by blood magic addiction, and that addicts should stick together and only can be together is also ridiculous.
I haven't read the print version but I feel it would be better because Van Dyck does not do Snyder's work justice.
I love Snyder's books but this series was a bit of a trial for me because of the narrator. She reads in halting sentences, adding pauses and drama where there shouldn't be any... it's truly awful. Instead of losing myself in the story, I am constantly thinking about the narration.
This series is a nice series and I would still recommend it but you will have to be very forgiving of the narration. Ms. Snyder: please, please, please go back to using Zackman as a narrator (or someone other than Van Dyck).
Though I enjoyed Maria Snyder's other books, this book has put her future books at the bottom of my wish list.
This book spent so much time working to justify the rational of why she should go back to the abusive man she first fell in love with that it reminded me of the news stories where the abused spouse goes back again and again.
The Narration was great, but it couldn't overcome a badly written story.
After completing the story, the character I wanted gone from the story the most was the main character... totally eliminating the need for the book in the first place!
I just couldn't get over the crazy rationalization of going back to the boyfriend who had tortured her and how it was ok because it wasn't him... it was the addiction. What a piss poor message to tell impressionable young women who read this book. It wasn't his fault that he beat the crap out of you... it was his addiction. Not only that.... but if your love is strong enough he can overcome his addiction and he will feel bad about all of the bad things he did to you and it will all be ok. That's the same mindset my neighbor had every time we had to call the cops after her boyfriend beat her up again and it makes me angry to see an author try to lend credence to that argument in a story.
Again, this one was so good, I recommend the others first, but they all work together and are wonderful, even alone, better as three though. Wonderful books to listen to.
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