Review 286. Maria Snyder – Fire study.

6114921Title: Fire Study.
Author: Maria V. Snyder.
Pages: 441.
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.

I’m glad that this book returned to the old charm from Poison Study. I was a bit underwhelmed by Magic study, but in the end, I found this one so much more enjoyable. There is more Valek time, Yelena has settled down and I liked the tension of the rise against Ixia.

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!


  1. Hooray for character-driven fantasy books! After finishing The Grisha Trilogy, I'm in the market for more books like it and it seems this series could be a good one. Happy to hear you enjoyed! I'll definitely check out the first book. :)

  2. I loved the first book, but never got a chance to try out the sequels.I've heard that the second book was a disappointment for many, so I am glad to see that the series eventually get back on track.
    Great review, Mel.

    1. Yes, the second book lost some charm, but this one picks it up.

  3. I just bought the first book for myself and am excited to read it! Not sure if I'll go on with the series until the next one is released though, since I've heard mixed things. Plus the lack of romance in books 2 AND 3 has me sad. I know that's a positive for some, but... I need my romance. :P Great review, Mel. <3

    1. Haha, I do hope there is more romance between them in the sequel :D

  4. Ooooh! I keep hearing amazing things about this Valek guy. I can't wait to meet him someday. I'm glad the book is more about characters than romance. And yay for a great MC! I'm not familiar with the world in these novels, but your praise definitely makes me intrigued about what Yelena's abilities are. I'm glad you loved it! And yay for more books ;)

  5. For some reason, I saw that cover and thought of The Assassin's Blade. They're so SIMILAR!

    Yelena sounds so awesome. I can never get enough of strong females in my books; I wish we saw them more, rather than the girls so focused on romance everything else falls to the side.

    1. Yelena does have some of that kick-ass-ness from Celeana ;)

  6. I really have to start this series! It sounds so fantastic...I have the 1st waiting on my shelf.

  7. Aw, yay :D I'm glad you enjoyed this book so much, Mel. <3 Amazing review. It makes me happy that you loved it, since I own all three books, hih. But aw. Little romance? Hmph. But hopefully I will enjoy the plot :) Thank you for sharing. <3

  8. I still can't believe I haven't read this yet. I really enjoyed Poison Study and Magic Study but I liked Poison Study better so I'm gad Fire Study is more like the first book. I have no problem that this is character driven because I really liked the characters. I just hope I can recall enough of the first two books when I finally pick this up since I doubt I will reread both of them. And I need to read this in time for the release of Shadow Study! So glad she is continuing this series (and with more Valek!)

    1. Hmmm, I think it will take you some time to get back into the story, but I don't think it will be too hard!

  9. Ugh, I still have to finish this series!
    I am glad to see that you've enjoyed this one Mel. Almost everyone didn't really like this one, so it's nice to see someone who did.
    And awww, there was barely no romance in this one? D:
    But at least there will be Valek's POV in Shadow Study! I CAN'T WAIT for it. <3

  10. I'm glad you enjoyed Fire Study, Mel! I binge read this entire series a few years ago, so to me it is like one really long book and I can't actually differentiate between the three, haha XD

    I cannot even express how excited I am about Shadow Study and the fact that there will be Valek POV chapters! I really liked the Kerrick chapters in Scent of Magic, so I know Snyder can pull of an excellent male POV. :D

  11. If you’re a fan of fantasy stories but you haven’t checked out Maria V. Snyder’s Study books you need to remedy that ASAP! They are truly excellent!

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  12. Fire Study took me a bit longer to get into than either of the previous two books. I’m not sure exactly why. Perhaps I waited too long between books two and three? Of course, once I got into the story it flew by! Being back in this world, with these characters? So excellent. The adventure, the twists, the swoons… I love it all!

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