Maria V. Snyder's books take place in the neighboring countries of Ixia and Sitia. Sitia has lots of magic users. Ixia has been [[KlingonPromotion taken over by the Commander]], who DoesNotLikeMagic (for good reason).
The books so far consist of two trilogies:
The "Study" series, narrated by Yelena:
* ''Poison Study''
* ''Magic Study''
* ''Fire Study'''
The "Glass" series, narrated by Opal:
* ''Storm Glass''
* ''Sea Glass''
* ''Spy Glass''
In ''Poison Study'', BoxedCrook Yelena is offered the job of the [[FourStarBadass Commander's]] food taster. She accepts it and is trained by TheSpymaster Valek in the identification of poisons. She also picks up some self-defense skills and sneakiness, makes some friends, discovers the Commander's deepest secret, falls in love with Valek, and eventually finds out that she can do magic and was originally kidnapped from neighboring Sitia. At the end of the book, she flees to [[MagicalLand Sitia]], where she later [[WizardingSchool studies magic]] and learns how to use her skills as an [[OurSoulsAreDifferent Soulfinder]]. She eventually becomes the liasion between the two countries.
The "Glass" series picks up four years after the end of ''Fire Study'' with Opal Cowan, the [[ChekhovsSkill glassmaker]] from that book. She's studying at the Keep in Sitia, but is known as a [[IneptMage "one-trick wonder"]] because the only magic she can do is to insert magic into her glass creations. This talent turns out to be [[LethalHarmlessPowers bigger and more useful than she knows.]]
!!These books provide examples of:
* [[spoiler: AMatchMadeInStockholm: Opal ends up with Devlen, the guy who possessed her boyfriend, kidnapped and tortured her. What the hell?!]]
* AristocratsAreEvil: The reason why the Commander slaughtered the royal family and took over Ixia in the first place.
* TheArtfulDodger: Heck, those kids start their own guild of this.
* AscendedExtra: Opal.
* BadassNormal: Valek, at least most of the time. He undergoes BadassDecay when he begins to act as Yelena's sidekick.
* BigBookOfWar: The Commander lives by a personal code and requires everyone in Ixia to do so as well. It could best be described as "tough but fair."
* BlowYouAway: The Stormdancers.
* TheClan: There are eleven of them in Sitia.
* CassandraTruth: Nobody believes Opal about Ulrick and Devlen switching
* CrapsackOnlyByComparison: The majority of people consider their country to be a much better place to live. It is strongly hinted that [[spoiler: a lot of people are allowed to escape from one to the other if the other country will suit them better.]]
* CurseEscapeClause: The dying king attempted to curse Valek, which didn't work because Valek is immune to magic. It landed on his knife instead, leaving it permanently bloody. "Makes a nice trophy, though."
* CynicismCatalyst: Opal and Kade both have one (Tula and Kaya) hanging over their psyches.
* TheEmpath: Leif.
* EnergyAbsorption: Turns out [[spoiler: Opal]] can do this to someone else and drain their magic ''entirely'' if [[spoiler: (a) they throw their entire power at her during an attack, and (b) she's defending herself using glass by taking control of their SummonMagic creatures]].
* FailedASpotCheck: Opal; [[spoiler: she notices that Ulrick has become (a) more amorous, and (b) ''refuses to blow any glass'', yet somehow completely ignores that both of these actions are out of character for him. See example below for why]].
* [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/UsefulNotes/ForTheLoveOfMany ForTheLoveOfMany]]: [[spoiler: The Bloodrose clan is polygamous, in the "creepy old dude marries every female and impregnates her" way.]]
* FreakyFriday: [[spoiler: Devlen and Ulrick]].
* IdiotBall: Opal, so very, very much. She notices when something is wrong and then promptly continues to ignore it and head straight into trouble ''anyway.'' This never gets any better. If she were in a horror movie she'd be dead within the first 15 minutes.
* JerkassFacade: Valek. It is strongly hinted that he cultivates a reputation of [[spoiler: brutally murdering all magically-gifted children so that their parents will get them smuggled out of the country before someone does]].
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: [[spoiler: Devlen, particularly in book 3 of ''Glass.'']]
* [[RoomFullOfCrazy Journal Full Of Crazy]] Reyad had one where he wrote down every single thing Yelena had done to piss him off since they met, and how he planned to punish her for all of them. Slowly and painfully.
* KnowledgeBroker: The local kids set up a guild of these.
* LimitedWardrobe: Everyone in Ixia has to wear a uniform denoting their station.
* MasterOfDisguise: [[spoiler: Devlen]].
** And Valek, though Yelena usually recognises him.
* MildlyMilitary: Ixian culture post-Commander.
* MindRape: [[spoiler: First Magician Roze Featherstone]] is frighteningly adept at this.
* MistakenForGay: Valek by the seamstress, of the "married to the job" variety.
* MoreThanMindControl: [[spoiler: Done on the Commander via Criollo]].
* NoSell: Valek is immune to magic.
* OrphanageOfFear: Where Yelena grew up.
* ParentalAbandonment: Averted.
* PerfectPoison: Averted.
* PlayingWithFire: Yelena can't do this. Others can. It's a problem.
* PoisonAndCureGambit: Valek poisons Yelena with Butterfly's Dust, a poison that will kill her within 48 hours [[PhlebotinumDependence if she doesn't get daily doses of the antidote.]] [[spoiler: He's lying, any symptoms of the poison come from her addiction to the "cure"]].
* ThePowerOfBlood: Used by Warpers.
* RealWomenNeverWearDresses: Yelena personifies this trope. She dismisses the other girls at the beginning of ''Magic Study'' as being silly for wearing flowery Sitia clothing, and won't even trade in her uniform for more comfortable and practical skirts (in Sitia skirts are more practical because its so hot and humid there). She says that her hair -- after a (forced) makeover -- makes her look "soft," and she even finds Cahil's compliments to her insulting. Makes you wonder why guys go after her.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Commander Ambrose comes off as a horribly strict, evil man for killing the royal family, calling for the execution of magic users, forcing everyone into uniforms and rigid roles, etc. However, the Commander isn't 100% unreasonable, and has some darned good reasons for doing what he does AND being against magic.
* SecretKeeper: Yelena knows the Commander's (see spoiler space below).
* SerialKiller: Ferde.
* ShownTheirWork: Maria V. Snyder learned how to make glass objects for ''Fire Study'' and then later based an entire trilogy off her glassblower character, who can solve various problems with her glassmaking ability/knowledge. Naturally, this requires a major problem where only a glassmaker could solve it.
* SiblingRivalry: Yelena and Leif.
* SpeaksFluentAnimal: Yelena, especially to her horse Kiki.
* SpyCouple: Valek and Yelena.
* SuccessionCrisis: Cahil.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Ari and Janco.
* ThouShaltNotKill: Only Valek is allowed to kill people in Ixia. Even those who kill in self-defense are supposed to be sentenced to death.
* [[spoiler: Transsexual: Commander Ambrose. Added complication: it turns out not so much that he's a man in a woman's body so much as TwoSiblingsInOne. His mother's spirit entered his body when she died/he was born, and both of them live on in him]].
* TheUnfavourite: Ulrick.
* WillfullyWeak: Valek and the Commander most likely could have had magical ability, but both chose to suppress the hell out of it. [[spoiler: Later, Opal does the same thing]].