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VINE VOICEon 16 September 2010
In 'Spy Glass' we return to the wonderfully vibrant and alive world of Sita and Ixia and to the epic story of Opal Cowan. [some spoilers for previous books in the trilogy follow...]

In previous instalments we have seen Opal grow awkwardly into her magical abilities, endure the loss of her sister, tortured at the hands of Daviian Warpers who wanted her power for their own evil plans and finally the ultimate sacrifice of her power to protect those she loves. After all of that, I could not wait to get my hands on the final book in the trilogy and see how it all turned out!

We rejoin Opal at home as she prepares for her sister, Mara's wedding to Leif. In the midst of her grief (and moping) for her lost powers, she learns that the warpers who had taken her, had also stolen her blood - blood which may allow her to regain her magical abilities once more, if she can find it. And so she sets out on yet another epic and relentless adventure, jam packed with action, twists, passion and many of our favourite faces from the past!

Ultimately, I admit to being a little torn about this book for a while. I, of course, love the world and the characters within and I've not been able to put it down for long thanks to the amazing pace and excitement M.V. Snyder builds and maintains throughout. With this being the final instalment, it was lovely to see so many of the characters making an appearance too - each of them really is worthy of a novel to themselves! I am a great fan of Snyder's work and I really enjoyed the book - it's just as an addictive and gripping read as any other in the series - but at times I found myself a bit frustrated with it.

Occasionally things were just a little bit too relentless, with Opal rushing from one place to the next almost instantly, it sometimes felt as though everything was being crammed in at once -which was both confusing and unnecessary. There were things that just didn't seem fully explored and I could easily have seen the book split into two! This rushing about can of course be explained simply by the nature of Opal's character, but it was a trait that did not stand out quite so much in earlier books. Opal herself has of course grown and changed thanks to the experiences she had endured and one of the reasons I love Snyder's work is her excellent character development. Admittedly though, at times, I found myself not liking some of the changes in Opal and the decisions she made, which was a little jarring.

I wont give anything away but I will say that in the end, M.V.Snyder knows her characters best and ultimately, the series couldn't have ended in a better way. It is true to the character of Opal.

Enjoy it :)
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on 20 September 2010
I abosultely love this series. Plot and mudered and yet there is the little romance between Devlen and Opal, are they for real? What about Kade? it seems Opal got herself into a triangle love affair. Great deal of twists and turns and is a cliffhanger alright. I couldn't put it down and I missed my train station reading it. I finished reading it last night. I will read it again as a treat.

Jane Court
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Firstly please note that I am reviewing Spy Glass as a stand alone novel and not as part of a series. Spy Glass is the third and final book of Maria V. Snyder's Glass Trilogy.

Having said that, I thought Spy Glass is more about adventure than suspense. Granted, it's one very dangerous adventure, but there was not as much suspense as I would have expected. Again, my lack of knowledge about previous books played a big role in what I think is my failure to grasp the importance of the turn of events. The plot was easy enough to follow - really, the plot is solid for a stand alone novel, but there is a lot of references that felt like they have implied meaning and relevance, as well as actions, words and phrases that appears to mean more that what I understood. Most of the characters were very easy to read about - however, there are a few characters who I felt weighed more than two sentences' worth of introduction. There was not much depth in as these characters have been written about in the previous books. For those reasons, I felt that my reading experience was not complete.

Opal is a spirited character - she's independent, smart, sometimes rash, but brave. I'm not very fond of her, and she's not very likeable. I disliked many of her decisions, especially those that pertain to her safety and those which has to do with love. With a mind of her own, she often has the tendency to overestimate or underestimate, but never right. She's fiery to a fault, and I dislike the way she seems selfish in that she forgets the people around her, but I grant that she's her own character.

I am big on commitment and loyalty, and as much as I love romance, I was heavily disappointed in Opal's actions in Spy Glass. I might be getting her wrong, but there commitment is commitment and in a relationship, it is very fundamental. I'm in no position to comment as to who she ends up with, as I don't feel like I know their characters in depth, but I do know that whether the man in question is right for you or not, I think it is basic courtesy to end the relationship before diving into another one. She got that one incredibly wrong, and I did not feel like she had the chance to feel remorseful. Of course, she's entitled to make mistakes, but it rattled me, I suppose.

Spy Glass has a strong mythology, only one I cannot relate to. I personally think the book works as a stand alone novel. However, even I can appreciate the beauty of its fantasy world and the strength of its plot. I'm not certain if those who have been following this series will find it an excellent novel as I have no frame of reference of the previous books, but I'm sure more than a few will. So while I don't recommend reading this as a standalone, I would encourage readers to have a go at the series, in order of course.
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on 7 December 2011
This is one of my top series to read. you are drawn into a world of mystery and the most amazing use of world building. the charaters are so real it just keeps you reading and reading. Its an amazing series!!!

GO Buy NOW!! :)
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on 21 March 2011
I have to say I don't quite undertsand how readers could rate this more than a one star! It drove me to the point of utter dispair! where I just couldnt believe how Opal's character developed. Yes, she was more in control of herself , her feelings blah blah blah, but come on, without spoiling it for everyone, her love choice???? Did the readers forget how it started in the Study series? It takes the whole idea of forgiveness to another level. I found I began to dislike Opal and her selfishness and the way she treated everyone. Very disappointed in the way the story unfolded, with more twists and turns which weren't needed and just adds to the confusion. The only bit I enjoyed was Valek's arrival on scene but even that was short.
I guess the author will have a spin off with Zitorra's misisng sister...if you want a brilliant read, search for Brandon Sanderson and the well of ascension series...
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on 25 October 2015
I love her books, particularly Yelena and Valek's stories, so this ticks the right boxes. If you have read the others this sets you down right in the middle of that world again with all the intrigue and characters you would expect to find.
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on 1 June 2013
I love these books as they are so fast-paced and alive. Maria Snyder manages to keep you interested every step of the way with a mixture of action, magic, combat and humour. Rip-roaring stuff. I read the Poison Study books before these and I wondered whether subsequent series would be formulaic but that is not the case.
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on 2 August 2013
Spy Glass is a most enjoyable story,it has a bit of every thing in it,( the book is a stand alone book but to get the best out of it you need to read all the glass books from book one due to some of the people in the books have there own story's to tell )
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I'm a huge fan of Maria V. Snyder and I absolutely love her Chronicles of Ixia series. I think the first three books starring Yelena were probably my favourite but I've still been really enjoying the Glass books featuring Opal so I was looking forward to seeing how things played out for her in Spy Glass. I hate to say it but I think this is the first time I've been disappointed by one of this author's stories. Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of things to love about this book and I think that anyone who has started Opal's trilogy will have to read this book if only to see the end of her journey but there was one thing in particular that really annoyed me.

I'm going to talk about the positives first and I think the biggest was seeing how far Opal has come since the beginning of the series. She's been through so much and losing her magic at the end of the last book left her despondent and depressed. She feels more than a little sorry for herself at the beginning of this book but I can't blame her for that and I thought the author did a good job of showing how lost and alone Opal felt. I loved seeing her come to terms with what had happened though and deciding to make the best of things. We also get to see her spending a lot of time with Valek which was brilliant, Valek has always been a favourite of mine so I'm never going to complain about him getting more page time! There was plenty going on in this story, lots of action and a good does of mystery and magic that kept me turning the pages.

The main issue I had was to do with Devlin and is where I veer into spoiler territory so you might not want to continue reading this review if you haven't read the book yet! I've actually grown to like Devlin a little in the last couple of books which surprised me considering how we first met him, we've seen a lot of changes in his character and I do think that people can redeem themselves and turn their lives around. I could even get on board with Opal forgiving him to a certain extent and I would probably have been happy to see him find love in a future book once he'd done a bit more to prove that he's changed. What I really, really, REALLY couldn't believe was that Opal fell in love with him. That just didn't seem even slightly realistic and I'm just completely unhappy about their relationship.

This is the man that tortured her both physically and emotionally, not just once but on multiple occasions going on for days at a time. He broke her, he basically destroyed her and he made her betray her friends and the people she loved. Not only was he involved in her sister's murder but he also swapped souls with her boyfriend and then used her boyfriend's body to seduce her and torture her all over again! All this has happened in the space of the last two books and yet now I'm expected to believe that she can not just forgive him but fall head over heels in love? Nope, I don't believe it. In fact I HATE it. I'm disappointed in Opal and I'm angry with Maria V. Snyder for leaving Opal's series with such an unrealistic ending. Of course the one potential silver lining to Opal ending up with Devlin is that Kade is still single and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we're going to get to see more of him in the next part of the series. I'd really like to see him meet someone and get his own happily ever after.

I may have been disappointed with Opal and Devlin's relationship but I've still really enjoyed the series as a whole and I would highly recommend all 6 of the current books in the Ixia series. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was to learn that Maria V. Snyder was writing a new trilogy for the series and the first book, Shadow Study, is one of my most anticipated reads of 2015 - especially since it is going to be told from the points of view of three of my favourite characters in the series - Yelena, Valek and Janco!
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on 1 February 2011
I'll be honest- after reading Storm Glass and Sea Glass, I was a bit reluctant to purchase this one and sit down and read it. It took me a few months to read Storm Glass and nearly a year to finish reading Sea Glass - I kept putting them down and just didn't have the incentive to pick them up again. It was quite disappointing considering how much I loved the Study Series. But I hate having incomplete series on my shelf, so I brought it, started reading ... a week later I finished. I just could not put it down. If I had to put it down, I picked it up again at the first possible moment.

The biggest surprise was Opal. I'd spent the last two books getting a bit irritated with her, wishing she'd get over herself and see the people around her. I understood that she'd been through a lot, but she wasn't the only one and she was just so wrapped up in her own world and what was happening to her, she never seemed to think about anyone else or listen to anyone - she always knew best - and then whined to herself that her life was so rubbish. But in this one, she realy really developed into a strong, thoughtful, determined character. But what I liked about her change was that you could see it happen - you could see the thought process, the planning, the learning - she admitted she needed help and someone to teach her and she listened to people. It wasn't just a sudden change - you watched her develop and it was so well done.

The story itself didn't just centre around love-issues - don't get me wrong, the love issues were very much there, but they didn't get in the way. I think the last two books were maybe irked by the relationships and the emotions that went with them - but this one, it was like Yelena and Valek's development in Poison Sutdy - it was part of something much bigger and the mission side of it was much more important - even to Opal. And it was a good mission- to find her blood - but it just had so many layers to it and every one of those layers was so wonderfully handled. And we had an insight to how things in Opal's little world effected the rest of the world.

The battle and fight scenes, as always were very gripping and well panned. She realised there were more parts of a body to stab at than the Solar Plexis - think I only counted a couple of them. I loved Valek's role in this - it was like he'd been waiting on egg-shells for his moment - but was waiting for Opal to admit it and then in he dives. And I still love Valek - I wish he actually existed. But Opal hated him (she said - think it was more of a grumble than anything) and I loved that as well.

The climax of the story officially creeped me out. The situation was just so horrible and it physically made my skin crawl - without going into too much detail, it was just that level of sinister that probably isn't the worst, but it's definitely the creepiest or most sickening. And there's a few things going on between the lines. What I liked about the climax and the ending though, it wasn't just Opal showing her strength - it was everyone and it wasn't just for one or two people - it was for everyone. The stakes were raised so highly and Opal accepted that she was just a small part of it.

All in all - definitely a good read. I think it was a proper bolt out of the blue - after trudging through the last two Glass Books (which I did enjoy, by the way - because I finished them - I don't finish books unless there's something there- whatever that something is) Maria V. Snyder's writing is still brilliant - I'm not saying she's the best writer, but the way she writes these books is something I quite admire. I don't know what it is - she doesn't use big fancy words and phrases - she pulls you into the world, into the action and she wraps it around you - and to me, that's a very rare gift in a writer. She doesn't try to be something she's not and, therefore, the story itself and the world don't get smothered. It all remains clear and genuine. I'll say it again for maybe the fortieth time since reading Poison Study - she has become and remains my favourite writer of the last couple of years. She rekindled my love of reading after it died (and I hated losing that) and I never thought anyone could do that so I'm more than grateful to her for that.

Now I'm going to read Inside Out ...
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