Maria V. Snyder
Mira, May 2009, $13.95
In Sitia the Stormdancer clan is near panicked over some recent deadly incidents. An apparent diabolically clever traitor has killed some glassmakers and destroyed the glass orbs they were creating that is needed to catch elemental power. They know this unknown adversary must be stopped before the realm is devastated beyond recovery by the power of unabated torrents.
Master Magician Cowan assigns glassmaker and apprentice magician Opal Cowan to investigate the deadly incidents as he believes her two skills make her uniquely qualified to learn what is going on. The two males who seem interested in her, Kade the Stormdancer who grieves the death of his twin and Ulrick the glassmaker who is a long time friend, help her. None of them realize the peril they place themselves in from crafty foes; none of whom have any compunction with killing someone even a person they have known for years.
This is a terrific mystery fantasy told mostly by the unconfident Opal, who believes she is a failure due to her inability to expand her magical skills, which is ironic as she was a heroine in MAGIC STUDY. The action-packed story line is fast-paced, but character driven while the whodunit is fun to follow. Fans of the Study trilogy will enjoy returning to that world as Maria V. Snyder writes an entertaining coming of age simply superb fantasy whodunit.