Maria V. Snyder is the New York Times bestselling author of the Study series, the Glass series, the Healer series, Inside Out, and Outside In. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Meteorology from Penn State and a Master of Arts degree in fiction writing from Seton Hill University. Unable to part ways with Seton Hill, Maria is currently a teacher and mentor for the MFA program. Find her on the Web at MariaVSnyder.com.
Excerpt from book:
Worry and dread clawed at my stomach. I read the message again. The order was clear and concise. Return to the Citadel immediately and report directly to the Council Hall. The signatures of the entire Sitian Council and all three Master Magicians were scrawled under the missive. A bit heavy-handed, but I couldn't miss the importance nor doubt the seriousness.
"What does it say?" Janco asked. He plucked the paper from my fingers, scanned the short note and whistled. "This is major." Scratching the scar where the lower half of his right ear used to be, Janco squinted at me in concern. "You're not going to obey are you? 'Cause, if you do"
"I know." No need to state the obvious.
"The Council will escort you straight to the Keep's dungeons, where you will stay for a very, very long time," Devlen said in a matter-of-fact tone.
I glared at him.
"Did I say you can talk?" Janco asked him.
"I am trying to help," he replied, shrugging. His cloak covered his hands, which had been manacled behind his back.
"I don't want your help," I said.
Devlen opened his mouth, and Janco jabbed him in his solar plexus. As Devlen gasped to regain his breath, Janco threatened to yank out his tongue if he uttered another word.
We all knew it was an empty threat. Traveling with Janco, Devlen and two Ixian guards for the past twenty days had become an exercise in patience for me. Since Devlen's soul was currently living inside Ulrick's body due to a twist of blood magic, Devlen knew Janco couldn't harm him, so he needled Janco whenever possible.
We planned to escort Devlen to Moon Clan's lands in order to find his body with Ulrick's soul, and then have the Soulfinder Yelena switch them back. I had sent a message detailing this plan to Second Magician Zitora Cowan as soon as we reached the Sitian border.
"Opal," Janco said. "We need a decision. It's getting dark."
"Give me a minute." I drew in a deep breath. The Council wanted me to return. My new powers terrified them, and me, too, if I thought about it for long. The Council had an excellent reason to be nervous and want me safely contained. I could drain a magician of his or her powers. All I needed was a glass orb in my hands and I could extract their magic, transforming it into a physical substancediamonds. A magician didn't even have to attack me as I had first assumed. Oh no, I could milk a magician dry without them doing a thing.
The Council's messenger hadn't waited around for a response. No one disobeyed a direct order from the Council. Certainly not a student glass magician who hadn't even graduated from the Keep yet.
"Well?" Janco asked with impatience.
Finding Ulrick was more important, and putting a stop to blood magic was vital. "We'll make a detour to Fulgor first. I'll send Zitora a message. She'll understand." I hoped.
However, my plans didn't go the way I had envisioned. Nope. No warning bells or strange portents would alert me that by the next day Devlen and I would be in the exact opposite positions.
Unaware of the coming storm, I ignored the Council's message. We hiked east through a thin forest. Dead leaves crunched under our
"This is one of those rare books that will keep readers dreaming long after they've read it."-Publishers Weekly, starred review, on Poison Study