Publisher: UK – Mira Books
Untrained. Untested. Unleashed. With her unique magical abilities, Opal has always felt unsure of her place at Sitia's magic academy. But when the Stormdancer clan needs help, Opal's knowledge makes her the perfect choice - until the mission goes awry. Pulling her powers in unfamiliar directions, Opal finds herself tapping into a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. Now Opal must deal with plotters out to destroy the Stormdancer clan, as well as a traitor in their midst. With danger and deception rising around her, will Opal's untested abilities destroy her - or save them all?
I loved Maria’s Study trilogy when I read it last year and have been waiting (impatiently) for the last book of this trilogy to be released so I could read all three books without waiting! Opal was featured in the Study series and events from that trilogy do cast a shadow over this story. Events and people are referenced without a detailed explanation which was perfect for me as I’d previously read those books and just needed a brief reminder. I’m not sure how much sense it would make if you haven’t read the study series – but that’s no great hardship as that trilogy is a fabulous read!
This story is about Opal growing into her powers and creating her own place within Sitia as her magic is different from anything seen before. There are some great new characters introduced including two very different suitors - both with their own issues as well - as some guest appearances from previous characters. However, Opal made the book for me. I adore her and the way she continued to struggle to overcome her past and learn from it. She doesn’t always make the right choices but she does learn from them. Opal grows up as the book progresses and becomes her own person.
There’s plenty of action as she faces various adventures all relating to the plot against the Stormdancer clan and an import of diamonds into Sitia. My one niggle is the rather abrupt ending. I know it’s a trilogy and I’ve got two more books to enjoy but even with some points wrapped up and other left open it seemed a quick ending to me. Still love Maria’s writing style and can’t wait to start Sea Glass, book 2 of Opal Cowan!
Recommended for fans of Karen Miller and Mercy Thompson. 8 out of 10.