Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Shadow Study, Maria V Snyder

Pages: 416
Publisher: MiraINK
Release Date: 12th March 2015
Edition: e-proof, NetGalley review copy

Other Titles by this Author: Poison Study, Magic Study, Fire Study, Storm Glass, Sea Glass, Spy Glass, Inside Out, Outside In, Touch of Power, Scent of Magic, Taste of Darkness

Once, only her 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 she holds dear, alive.

Even after so many years, I remember Yelena and Valek with a smile so news of a new trilogy with them as the stars went straight to the top of my list. I thoroughly enjoyed being back in their world in Shadow Study.

I have to admit that I did struggle to catch up at first. It has been five years since I last read the original Study trilogy and I haven’t got around to reading the Glass trilogy yet so my memory and knowledge was a little patchy. But never fear, Maria V Snyder made it so that this trilogy can be read separately; she caught us up on the important details and didn’t make a huge deal of the things I would have missed – it was nicely done and meant I soon settled back into life in Ixia.

One of the things I loved most about Shadow Study is that we finally got to hear from Valek. He’s has just as many chapters as Yelena does and he delves into his part a little, from hat led him to be an assassin, his training, his legacy as King Killer and the friendship and loyalty that made him the Commander’s right hand man. I loved learning about what made him so clinical and tough, how much of change Yelena made to him and why he’s so good at what he does. Man, I love Valek. We were also treated to a few chapters from Janco’s point of view which was very exciting. That guy is hilarious and his narration is even better than what comes out of his mouth!

I didn’t always know where the plot was going in Shadow Study. There were lots of little sub-plots running alongside Yelena’s hunt for her magic and Valek’s quest to find out what the Commander was hiding with the training of a new, surprise member of Valek’s corps and the smuggling of illegal goods and I got it all a little jumbled occasionally, but I loved how they all ended up tying together to make one big, serious problem for the Yelena, Valek and the gang.

I now feel back home in Ixia and Sitia and I can’t wait for more from Valek and Yelena, especially after that gasp-inducing cliffhanger… Evil!

Thanks to NetGalley and MiraINK for the review copy.


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