Shadow Study (Soulfinders #1) by Maria V. Snyder
Once, only her own life hung in the balance…
When Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. She survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia.
Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands—and protect her relationship with Valek.
Suddenly, though, dissent is rising. And Valek’s job—and his life—are in danger.
As Yelena tries to uncover her enemies, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked.And now she must find a way to keep not only herself but all that she holds dear alive.
Publishes in US: February 24th 2015 by Mira (first published January 1st 2015)
Series? Soulfinders #1, Study #4, The Chronicles of Ixia #7
Study #1 Poison Study
Scent of Magic
Taste of Darkness
Touch of Power (Healer #1)
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Author stalk away: http://mariavsnyder.com/
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Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/445303.Maria_V_Snyder
I wanted to read Shadow Study, because I loved the first Study books in her series, and have liked the other series she has written. Her books are exciting, engaging, and I love the fantasy world that she builds and the brave and dynamic characters she writes. They are strong women and they have hot romances.
I really enjoyed getting back into Yelena's head. She is strong and smart, and the same girl I remember loving in the previous books. Her and Valek have a great relationship except that now they have to be apart so much since he works for the Commander and she is the liaison between Sitia and Ixia. Valek is still madly in love with Yelena, and though he wants to protect her, he also respects and acknowledges her own strength. We get both their perspectives in this series, as well as Janco's.
Janco is still funny and outgoing. He is also a great spy and helper for Valek. They are tracing some black market rings as well as tracking the person who tried to assassinate Yelena at the beginning of the book. There is a lack of communication and Valek doesn't realize that Yelena has lost her magic, and she doesn't realize what he is doing for the commander. But we get to see more of the characters from other series Leif, Yelena's brother and Fisk, the street kid that Yelena helped start his own business.
The plot is fast paced and a lot of fun even with our main characters in trouble, and working their way out. The mystery of the smugglers and the vulnerability of Yelena kept me flipping the pages and guessing. There was something that I suspected that turned out to be true and I can understand the introduction of another strong girl who is motivated and snuck up on everyone.
I enjoyed this new saga and continuation of the series, and I can't wait for the next book, and see what our heros get themselves into this time.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Which element would you prefer to control? Fire, water, earth, spirit?