Spy Glass is the eagerly awaited third and final instalment of Maria V Snyder's Opal Cowan series. After the disastrous outcome to the events of the previous book's adventures, Opal is back at her family home licking the wounds.
Opal now has to adapt to life without magic. She tries to get back into her usual routine but without her magic she finds it difficult. The sight of the glass kilns that used to comfort her just reminds her of what she's lost and the consequences of her actions.
Her despair soon turns to hope though when she receives a call from an unexpected visitor who hints at the possibility that she may be able to get her magic back. Having to live without magic Opal has to learn an entirely new set of survival skills; new skills mean new challenges and Opal learns this the hard way.
Spy Glass is a faster paced than the previous two instalments (Storm Glass and Sea Glass) with more action, more intrigue and a less politics. There is less angst in this book; less importance is placed on whether Opal's actions will please the Council of Sitia. It just gets on with the story. The storyline is still wonderfully complex and Opal also has a new set of accomplices and characters (many of which only made brief or fleeting appearances in the previous books).
Opal finally comes into her own in Spy Glass. She is still naïve and kind, but unlike the last two books she spends less time dwelling on that fact and less time whining about it. The main focus of the book seems to be whether Opal can accept herself as who she is or whether she needs more. Unlike previously, where she would complain about her situation, in Spy Glass she actively seeks out the answer of whether she can be happy with or without her magic.
As the final book in the series Spy Glass does not disappoint. It incorporated the aspects that I enjoyed most of the Yelena Zaltana series with the likeable personality of Opal (who seems to get herself into her own special brand of trouble). Having been disappointed by the previous two books in this series Spy Glass, in my opinion, redeemed the Opal Cowan trilogy. I would say that this series is worth reading but there are better books out there and, given the choice I would rather reread the Yelena Zaltana series than the Opal Cowen series.
Review by Anna Sheldrick
Maria V Snyder published her first novel Poison Study in 2006, a title which went on to win the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel. Continuing this remarkable fantasy series, Maria soon wrote Magic Study and then Fire S [...]
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