Shadow Study (Soulfinders #1, Study #4, The Chronicles of Ixia #7)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Publication: February 24th, 2015
Publisher: Mira Books
Format: Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Paranormal
Read: January 2017
New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder wowed readers with Poison Study, the unforgettable story of poison taster Yelena. Now she’s back with a new tale of intrigue.
Once, only her own life hung in the balance…
Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she’d 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, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek’s job and his life are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret—or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is—while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.
Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous…
Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
It’s no surprise how much I love this series so obviously, I have an amazing time when reading. These books tend to be filled with non-stop action and drama and this book is no exception. There’s suspense and mystery and intrigue. This book is filled with dangerous situations and the characters are bombarded with problems the entire time I have to say that while this series is marketed as YA, the grand majority of the characters are adults which definitely affects the themes explored here.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Unlike the previous trilogies I’ve read from this author, this book has a lot more POV’s. It was really awesome to see inside the minds of some of my favorite side characters and I love how distinct each voice felt. The writing is really fast paced, engaging and addicting. It’s detailed and descriptive and super easy to read through. The magic system is complicated and tends to have continuous holes but it’s also so freaking entertaining that I can’t complain haha.
Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
All of these characters are basically my babies and I don’t think I could think critically about them even if I tried. So forgive me while the rest of this review is basically me gushing about these guys with a few exceptions.
Yelena is my favorite character of all time and I am so incredibly happy to be back in her head in this book! She’s much more vulnerable and scared than I’ve ever seen her before, this book definitely takes her out of her comfort zone and makes her confront the way she’s lived for so long. She’s worried, protective but definitely just as reckless as she’s always been which yes, is still as frustrating as it’s always been haha. I’m looking forward to seeing how she grows throughout the rest of the series because she’s in a completely new situation now and it’s going to be challenging for her.
There’s various side characters that are becoming more prominent in this book, from hearing from their points of views for the first time or to being introduced to them for the first time. Valek is my favorite, I honestly can’t quite grasp how old he is in this book, it’s insanity. But I loved seeing inside his head and his growth though! I don’t think I’ve ever seen his explore his emotions as much before, it was great. Janco is one of my favorites in this series because he’s just so hilarious with a side of annoying. He’s that character that brings comic relief and he does it well. Finally, I’ll mention Onora who’s a brand new character who throws a wrench in the entire dynamic of the team and that was really interesting. She’s defensive and guarded so I hope to learn more about her in the next few books.