Maria V. Snyder
Snyder has, once again, crafted a spellbinding story that held me in a thrall until the very end. I couldn’t put it down, you guys. Sure, Opal is doing her unique version of crashing through life, but she does it with such a genuine heart that it becomes this eloquent tale of heroism in the face of doubt. In this book, in particular, Opal truly transforms into the person that we all hoped for. I’m impressed by Snyder’s capacity to both hold all of those loose ends in her mind throughout three books and to tie them up so tidily in this one. The things Opal has to live through in this book are uniquely horrifying, but she trudges through in typical Opal fashion, which is what makes Snyder’s books so uniquely delightful. She knows her characters on a level that few are able to reach and it really comes through in the stories. There are no inconsistencies character-wise. The characters have flaws, sure, but they’re consistent flaws.
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…
One thing in particular that stuck out for me was how Snyder handled the subplot of redemption that wound its way through the story. It’s not hard for stories of redemption to fall into the world of sugarcoating and sappy platitudes. Snyder, unsurprisingly, never allows this subplot to fall into that world. She holds it up, keeping it firmly steadfast, oddly comforting, and astonishingly resilient. Never once did I gag on Devlin’s words. They seem to be spoken in the quiet of the night as if they weren’t expecting to be heard and for me, there’s a strength there that isn’t often sought after or seen, but holds a deeper level of resonance than words shouted into a crowded auditorium. In the hands of a different author, Devlin could have come off as insincere, overconfident, or too filled with bravado. In Snyder’s hands, she made him into the character that this story needed him to be and that is the true mark of why this story rings true.
As to the story, it swirls with action and drama, but in typical Snyder fashion, it’s the characters who drive the tension and the urgency, of which there is plenty. The question of Kade or Devlin comes to a head in this story and I don’t mind telling you that there was still a small part of my brain that was undecided as to which way I wanted it to go when the decision finally comes. However, that being said, Snyder wraps this series up is the most satisfying way possible, but to get to that wrap up, the things Opal has to go through will set you on the edge of your chair. I know I’ve said it’s action packed, but the more I think about it the more my brain goes, oh, and then this happened. And it’s not just generic action, it’s action dipped in magic, sprinkled with diamonds, thrown through fire, and tossed through a hurricane. Add in the fact that it’s Opal who’s charging through it all and you get an addictingly compelling story of love and loss that will be impossible to put down.
5 ink bottles.
Character Believability: 5 Buffys
Character Investibility: 5 Doctors
Pacing/Urgency/Tension: 5 Dresdens
Worldbuilding: 5 Snyders
Language: 5 Feegles
Mystery: 5 Sherlocks