21 January 2015

Title: Shadow Study (Soul Finders #1)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Publisher: Mira/Harlequin, 384 pages, (February 24th, 2015)
From: Net Galley ARC from publisher
Format: eBook
Add to: Goodreads
Order a copy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK

Synopsis: 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...

Review: 5 stars - There are no words that can describe my excitement when I approved to review this book. I have waited patiently for more tales of Ixia. I love the world, the characters and the adventures. Snyder’s Study series are my “Go to” books when I’m in a reading rut. I feel at home in the world Snyder has created. It’s like every time I pick up the Study or Glass books I’m being embraced by a good friend.

To describe Shadow Study you need to define AMAZING.

The book starts with Valek and Yelena being reunited, but as with this pair, nothing ever goes to plan. Valek is called back to Ixia and Yelena sets off on her own mission of discovery.
As with Snyder’s previous novels, there’s a twist in the tale. I can’t say much because I would spoil the whole plot. Let’s just say Chronicles of Ixia fans will not be disappointed.

A reader having read the Study and Glass series (Chronicles of Ixia) is a bonus to readers, but Snyder advises it is not essential. The book can be read by a reader new to the series. I personally think it only enhances the reading experience if you have read the Study and Glass series as you really bond with the characters and it helps with the world building. I would advise anyone thinking of checking out this book to read the other books first.

Along the way we find faithful family and friends- Leif, Mara, Devlen, Opal, and my personal favourites Ari and Janco. Yay for Janco’s witty banter being back!

I loved finding out more about Valek’s history in this book. He’s always been a bit of a secretive character. You can’t second guess him. It’s probably what makes him one of my favourite fictional characters.

I had my suspicions about something that happens at the end of the book from about half way through. Something twigged my interested and through the rest of the book it was constantly on my mind. When I read the end I was stunned into silence for a few seconds; this was quickly followed by squealing and a doing little happy dance.

When reading this book we switch perspective between Yelena, Valek and Janco. You care constantly kept on edge because of this and I found myself needing to read on to find out what happened to who, when I should have been going to bed. It’s a brilliant way of writing and keeps the reader constantly engrossed in the story.

Once again Snyder has written a fantastic fantasy adventure, in which I’m sure every reader will enjoy. I eagerly anticipate the release of the next book in the series- Night Study, which is expected to be published in 2016.

Recommended for fans of Maria V. Snyder’s Study, Glass and Healer series. Also for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Jennifer Ellision. 

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Hi, I’m Lisa and I'm a proud bibliophile.

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