Author: Maria V. Snyder.
Published: January 16th 2009 by MIRA Books.
Sort: Study #3.
Part 1. Poison study.
Part 2. Magic study.
Warning: spoilers in the blurb if you haven't read the other books.
The apprenticeship is over
Now the real test has begun
When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder — able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before. Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself—and save the land she holds dear.
Minor spoilers in the first paragraph for the second book.
This book pretty much picks up where Magic Study ended. Only now, Cahil and Verde have escaped and they formed an alliance. It’s up to Yelena, her story weaver Moon man and her brother Leif to find them before they perform their masterplan. This also means that Yelena has to return to Ixia and one of the Magicians put a price on her head. The political aspect is well-done.
Let me get started with Yelena. She is again her strong, stubborn and intelligent self. She is less inclined to throw herself in dangerous situations and I like that she had enough struggle to make things believable. It was interesting to see her grow into her magic and this was much more realistic than her sudden power in Magic study. Her abilities (and all the other types of magic) are still my favorite aspect of he world-building.
There is no focus on romance. Valek has a very small role in this book and this gives enough time for Yelena and Leif to bond together. They are trying to make up for the lost time. Leif had a hard time and it’s obvious that he still feels guilty for Yelena’s abduction. It was nice to see him open op for her and how they slowly build a trustworthy relation.
This book is definitely character-driven, but there is still an interesting plot which captivated me. I was constantly eager to know more, although it was very easy to spy the ‘villain’ It annoyed me a little that Yelena wasn’t clever enough to figure it out; I expected more of her. The predictability didn’t spoil the story for me though. I think it’s great that the villain was complex, because it made the person an even bigger threat.
The ending was good, but it also makes me happy that Maria Snyder announced that she will write more books in the Study series. The next one is named Shadow study and it will feature Valek’s POV!