Storm Glass by Maria V Snyder is a really interesting book. I struggle the dichotomy of my feelings towards the story. It’s brilliant and I devour it quickly and having read it before there are new things I can pick up on. Still, all I can think of when I read the books is who Opal ends up with and how unsettled I feel with the idea of it.
In the Study books Opal is a minor character who goes through incredible torture and pain to try and save her sister. In the Glass books the man who tortured her has returned and plays a much more significant role. He has complex magic and was a Warper in the first books. For anyone who hasn’t yet read them, a Warper is someone who uses really unsavoury methods (ie. rape, torture and murder) to increase their own magical powers by stealing it from others, but they have to get person to surrender their magic or it can’t be taken, which is why those methods are employed. This man has the ability to become another person, and towards the end of the book he becomes someone very close to Opal. Magic doesn’t exist in the real world, but similar stories exist within mythology, where Gods will take on the form of the husband in order to gain access to a woman. This concept does bring up an interesting twist on the idea of consent, because Opal and the women in the stories have no idea that they are not with the person they love. That idea is really unsettling for me, and I imagine would be for many people as well.
Opal’s emotional struggle feels so intensely real, as she is now faced with two very conflicting versions of her tormentor. He’s a master manipulator and I’m kind of impressed Opal doesn’t just disintegrate into a pile of mushy hopelessness when her situation comes to light. I discuss this in an earlier blog post, which you can find here: http://www.erinkinsella.com/blog/magic-deception-sexual-assault/
I’m not done re-reading the Spy Glass yet, but it’s really interesting to watch the evolution of the character of Devlen through the books. It’s explained that blood magic controls magicians much like a drug addiction, pushing them to acquire a larger hit and doing unsavoury things to acquire it. At a certain point Devlen loses his magic and with it, his addiction. This creates an incredible personality change and as much as I desperately want to hate him forever, I can feel myself altering to the “maybe he’s not so bad” thoughts along with Opal.
We get a fairly indepth look into glass making and the mind of a creator as Opal’s family owns a glassmaking factory and she has worked with glass for almost as long as she’s been alive. As a writer, it’s lovely to see that the pulse of potential and creativity is something that is part of all sorts of endeavors.
The Glass trilogy is a fascinating read and we learn a lot more about the world that Snyder has created. I’m off to finish off the end of her Glass trilogy now :)
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