Spy Glass by Maria Snyder

I’ve read all the books in this series starting with the Study books (Poison/Fire/Magic) and then moving on to the Glass series (Storm/Sea/Spy).  I think MS has managed to create a wonderful realm with this series of books and there is still a lot more scope to take it further.  The Study books are based on a character called Yelena and the first book is really good and gripping.  There’s a little bit of everything in there, new world to come to grips with, magic, adventure and romance and I particularly like the character of Valek.  The second series of books is based on one of the characters introduced in the Study series – Opal.  On balance, having now completed both series I would probably say that my favourite book is Poison Study and maybe that’s because it was the first book and everything was new and exciting, plus MS writes about the people and places so well so this first book really brought to life this other ‘world’.  But, that being said, I think I probably prefer Opal to Yelena.  Although Opal does seem to walk into ‘traps’ very readily which can frankly be a little bit annoying sometimes!

I enjoyed this book and thought it had a good ending although it did seem long somehow – I can’t quite put my finger on why.  I wouldn’t say I was bored or found it tedious but there was something akin to a feeling of ‘repetition’ or ‘been here before’.  I don’t know – I think I’ll have to have a bit more of a think about it.  Perhaps it’s because of the lack of magic in this book which concentrates much more on Opal’s quest.  Obviously there are elements of magic in the story but the overall feel is different.

Spy Glass
Spy Glass

SPOILER ALERT – I did think that the latter end of the book was written really well when Opal was at the command of Galen and was taken to the Bloodrose clan – her experiences there were so humiliating and frustrating although I’m not sure that I understand exactly why all the Bloodrose clan went along with their Leader’s strange vision (particularly as he didn’t seem that powerful)??

Also, I was puzzled earlier on, when Opal was at the Citadel, about her ability to create magic detectors as she was supposed to have lost all her magical abilities??

SPOILERS ALERT OVER!

Those points aside I would definitely recommend reading the concluding novel and I would recommend to those who haven’t read the Study series to go back and do so.

Rating B+

Generic comment – Is it just me or is there becoming a tendency to write about love triangles?? Twilight Series, Hunger Games, Glass Series, Forest of Hands & Teeth, Dead Tossed Waves, etc. The whole thing makes me feel bad and I always feel so sorry for the one who is let down? I can see the point and obviously it gives another dramatic element to the story I suppose – but what puzzles me is that there never seems to be any guilt about this from the person who has two people chasing around after them?  For example, in the Mockingjay, Katniss feels guilty constantly about everything that happens throughout the story (a lot of which is completely outside her control) but she never feels guilty that she has two love interests (even though she could actually do something about this by making a choice)?  I mean surely you would feel some guilt about that?

Recommendation: I think that anybody who likes the Study/Glass novels should definitely take a look at Kristin Cashore’s two novels: Graceling and Fire.

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