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Maria V Snyder biography and books reviewed

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 Study, which became a New York Times Best Seller. Storm Glass, her fourth title, begins a new trilogy, continuing the magical journey of character Opal Cowen.

Maria changed careers in 1995 from being a Meteorologist to a Novelist when she began working on her first novel, Poison Study. She has also published numerous freelance articles in regional magazines and in local newspapers. Teaching fiction writing classes at the local college gives her the enjoyable opportunity to encourage novice writers and to keep improving her craft.

Maria lives in Pennsylvania with her family. For more information about Maria, please visit www.mariavsnyder.com.

"I don’t do too much advance research or outlining for a story (I’ll research as I go). I tend to come up with a character and a problem and then go from there. The style and setting are my own way of writing and are influenced by my upbringing and experiences.  Characters tend to be people I’d like to have as friends or people I’d like to read about."
Fantasy Book Review interviewed Maria V Snyder in September 2010, read the full interview here.

September 21st 2010 interview with Maria V Snyder

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 Study, which became a New York Times bestseller. Storm Glass, her fourth [...]

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Maria V Snyder reviews

Scent of Magic by Maria V Snyder

I still think that if you are going to read any of Maria V Snyder's books it should be the Study series but failing that you can't really go wrong with Touch of Power and Scent of Magic. They are good solid fantasy books for young adults. Although I am bored of the characters I can't wait to read the third book. The story has kept my interest enough and there are so many unfinished story lines that I will be annoyed to have to wait for the next book, although I won't be too annoyed.

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Inside Out by Maria V Snyder

I’m Trella. I’m a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I just do my job and try to avoid the Population Control Police, who dream of recycling scrubs into fertiliser. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels?It’s not like it’s dangerous… Well, turns out it is. Because I know every corridor, pipe and shortcut I’ve become the go-to girl to lead a revolution. I know if we find a gateway to Outside it’ll be suicide plain and simple. But guess who likes a challenge? I should have just said no…

"I would highly recommend this book to any Snyder fans although this book seems to follow a similar pattern to Poison Study (Snyder’s first book). This book is not the sort of high fantasy of the Yelena Zaltana and Opal Cowan novels. It has more of a sci-fi feel to it and even though it is nothing compared to novels like Ender’s Game, Snyder pulls it off well." Anna Sheldrick, Fantasy Book Review

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Outside In by Maria V Snyder

What would you do if you were stuck in a giant cube, floating through space and something from the outside wanted in? Well, that is the subject of Maria V Snyder’s latest book. Although I wouldn’t say that Outside In was her best book to date it is still an enjoyable read and kept me so hooked that I accidentally read the first few paragraphs of the Acknowledgments page thinking it was still the novel.

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Storm Glass by Maria V Snyder

As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it's time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan's glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal's unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap in to a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she hadn't known she possessed… - powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she's ever known.

"A tale of a young woman’s desire to find the truth, to find her destiny, but most of all, to find inner peace, Storm Glass is the first novel of the Glass Trilogy by Maria V Snyder."

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Sea Glass by Maria V Snyder

Like the colorful pieces of sea glass washed up on shore, Opal has weathered rough waters and twisting currents. But instead of finding a tranquil eddy, Opal is caught in a riptide. Her unique glass messengers which allow instant communication over vast distances have become a vital part of Sitian society. Once used solely by the Councilors and magicians, other powerful factions are now vying for control. Control of the messengers equals control of Sitia. Unfortunately that also means control of Opal. If that isn’t enough of a problem, Opal’s determination to prove blood magic is still being used is met with strong resistance. The Council doubts her, her mentor doubts her, and even her family is concerned. When her world is turned upside down, she begins to doubt herself. In the end, Opal must decide who to believe, who to trust, and who has control—otherwise she will shatter into a million pieces and be swept out by the tide.

"We return to find Opal in the perils of another storm that rages beyond control. In her search for answers, Opal faces many more walls and complications on her journey to self-discovery and faith in those that surround her."

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Spy Glass by Maria V Snyder

After siphoning her own blood magic in the showdown at Hubal, student glass magician Opal Cowan lost her powers. 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. Suddenly the beautiful pieces she makes begin to flash in the presence of magic and Opal learns that someone has stolen some of her blood. Finding it might let her regain her powers or discover that they're lost forever...

"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."

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Poison Study by Maria V Snyder

Choose: A quick death...or a slow poison...About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace - and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust - and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonising death from the poison. As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear...

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Magic Study by Maria V Snyder

Completing her apprenticeship could prove deadly... With an execution order on her head, Yelena has no choice but to escape to Sitia, the land of her birth. With only a year to master her magic - or face death - Yelena must begin her apprenticeship and travels to the Four Towers of the Magician's Keep.But nothing in Sitia is familiar. Not the family to whom she is a stranger. Not the unsettling new facets of her magic. Nor the brother who resents her return. As she struggles to understand where she belongs and how to control her rare powers, a rogue magician emerges - and Yelena catches his eye.Suddenly she is embroiled in battle of good against evil. And once again it will be her magical abilities that will either save her life...or be her downfall.

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Fire Study by Maria V Snyder

Yelena's apprenticeship is over - now her real test has begun. When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder - able to capture and release souls - spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before. Honour sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself - and save the land she holds dear.

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