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Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder
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review to be posted closer to release date ( )
  SapphiredDragon | Nov 21, 2017 |
This review is originally posted on www.spidersbookclub.com


This is a review for an ARC of Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder.


Once upon a time Yelana Zaltana sat down with Maria V. Snyder and told her about her life in Ixia and Sitia. Maria was told she could tell her story in a trilogy know widely as the Study Trilogy.

That was 10 years ago. It would appear that Maria and Yelana have been talking again and this incredible woman has a new story to tell us. After all life does go on after the story ends and Yelana is finally ready to tell the next chapter of her life.

6 years after the conclusion of her last tale and about a year after Opal's story ended Yelana travelled home to Valek to find an assassin nearby. Our beloved Kiki saved her life. However she did get an arrow just above her heart but what with Yelana's healing powers she survived. It all came at a cost. This is the story of Yelana's lost magic.

Yelana isn't the only one sitting with Maria though. Nope Yelana brought Valek and Janco along with her and each of them have a tale to tell and I feel like I'm in the room with Maria whilst Yelana and her friends tell us this new story.

I didn't find the Study trilogy until a little over a year ago however I am so glad I did. I love Yelana. Having her back is a joy to me. She may start this story with no magic however she loses no real strength, she doesn't wallow about it, sure she wants to but she doesn't she gets up and she goes on the hunt to find out how this was done and if it's possible to undo it. I love that about Yelana she doesn't give up and I hope that she never ever does.

The pairings in this book were perfect. I am sure if you read the previous books then like me you will be overjoyed to have Ari and Janco back. The surprise pairings compared to these two however was Valek and Commander Ambrose and Yelana and Leif.

I loved Leif in the previous series because of his conflict with what happened to Yelana and how he felt responsible. 6 years later and these two are like a normal brother and sister. In fact they remind me of me and my brother. The constant banter and his need for food is so familiar. I swear my brother would eat me out of house and home and I'm just glad I don't have Leif as a brother as well or I would need to get a better paying job.

Whereas Valek and Commander Ambrose are the surprise pairing for me. In none of the previous books including the novellas did you get a good look into their relationship and I can't wait to see more of it. I love these two, they act like best friends and no matter what happens to the world I want these two to be friends forever. My opinion is they are an older version of Janco and Ari or as close as these two can be.

The history of Valek and his quest to kill the king and his eventual meeting with Commander Ambrose helps with seeing their relationship as the friends they clearly are. Talking of the history tour. I loved it. It all seemed completely relevant but more importantly it gave us more insight into Valek's head and why he is who he is.

I loved the new characters and avenues they took the overall story, but it was also good to see some other good friends back from the Study and Glass trilogies.

Maria V. Snyder is a goddess with the written word. I thank her for writing this and Harlequin UK for allowing me an advance copy. This is a fantastic addition to the overall tale of Sitia and Ixia and I didn't need 10 days to read and review it. 2 days with plenty of time to spare.

Thank you for letting us all be part of Yelana's world again. This is a must for all fantasy fans. You don't need to read the previous Study books but you would be missing out if you didn't give the previous books a read as well. The wait for the next book is going to be a long one but I can wait for my good friends to return.

5 Stars

( )
  Spiderg1rl | Aug 12, 2016 |
Was a bit worried because sequel series don't always hold up to the original ones, but I really enjoyed this book. Fast paced and entertaining read. I really loved the bits told from Valek's point of view.
Only con: there were some pretty sappy lines at times, but not too many as to ruin it for me. ( )
  thedreadcat | Apr 9, 2016 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A wonderful adult high fantasy that will capture your heart! I have loved this entire series and I can’t wait for more!

Opening Sentence: Ugh, mud, Kiki said as she splashed through another puddle.

The Review:

Yelena is a soulfinder and she has used her magic to help keep peace between the two lands she calls home, Ixia and Sitia. For years now she has fought to protect those she loves and herself from different evil forces that threaten to destroy everything and everyone she cares about!

While on her to way to meet Valek at their cozy little cottage, Yelena is attacked by an unknown enemy. She is caught unaware and struck with an arrow. Luckily she survives the attack, but the next morning she wakes up without magic. She is more vulnerable then ever and there is still an enemy out there that wants her dead.

Yelena is one of those heroines you like more and more as you get to know her. It’s amazing how much she has grown from the girl she was when we first met her in Poison Study. It doesn’t seem to matter what dilemma she is faced with, she always approaches things with a level head. She is extremely resourceful, intelligent, confident, and I love that she knows how to take care of her own problems. But at same time, she doesn’t hesitate to ask for help if she needs it. She is just one of those characters you can’t help but love. I’m so glad I have had the privilege of reading her story and I can’t wait to read more!

Valek is easily one of my all time favorite book boys! He is sexy, charming, loyal, deadly, and just an all around perfect guy. I think the best thing about Shadow Study was that we got to be inside of Valek’s head. Seeing things from his POV was really interesting and we also got to explore his past, which I loved. His relationship with Yelena is beautiful and one of those love stories that inspire you. They have amazing chemistry and they compliment each other so well. They both have many talents that make them great, but when you get them together they are an unstoppable force! They are one of my favorite book couples!

Shadow Study is a fun, adventurous story filled with wonderful characters, epic romance, and a very intriguing plot! One of the things I love best about this story is all the amazing secondary characters. There are many old faces that appear in the story but there are also many new characters as well. One thing I didn’t realize while reading the first book in that this series is actually not a young adult book. For some reason I always figured it was because it reads like a YA book, but while the first three books felt like YA books, Shadow Study felt more like an adult book to me. That’s not to say that young adults won’t enjoy it, but the issues the characters are dealing with are definitely more adult issues. With that all being said, I am so glad that Maria decided to revisit these characters even though it has been many years since Fire Study was released. This world and these characters are amazing and I can’t wait to continue reading their story. If you are a fantasy fan and you haven’t started this series yet, you need to change that and start reading them ASAP!

Notable Scene:

Darkness greeted me when I woke. Every single muscle ached as if I’d ran here from the Citadel. My dry throat burned and my stomach hurt. I needed water, food, and a bath. But first, I needed to ensure that I didn’t have another attack. Had the poison run its course? Or was it still inside me? One way to find out.

I drew a deep breath and reached for the blanket of power. Nothing happened. Trying again, I concentrated on pulling a thread of magic.

Nothing.

Fear pushed up my throat. I swallowed it down determined not to panic.

I opened my mind to Kiki. What’s going on?

No response. Not even images.

Dead air surrounded me.

My magic was gone.

FTC Advisory: Harlequin/Mira provided me with a copy of Shadow Study. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Feb 5, 2016 |
I really enjoyed the original three books in the Study series, especially the first, Poison Study. A number of spin-off books followed, which were ok but didn't quite reach the mark for me. Therefore I was thrilled when I came across Shadow Study which is book 4 of the original series, picking up Yelena's and Valek's story once more. I was not disappointed; it was a good story, with many familiar faces and I ended up somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars. It's been a while since I've read the others, but there are enough reminders throughout to keep me up to speed. Still, I would have preferred it if there hadn't been such a big gap between publications. It is still very much YA fantasy, never mind that Yelena is now 28. Much of this book concerns Valek's past and we frequently go back to when he was 13 and started training as an assassin, which gives some background information that I missed in the previous books. The ending has a big fat To Be Continued written all over it, so there is more to come. All in all, a quick and enjoyable read. ( )
  SabinaE | Jan 23, 2016 |
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This book is dedicated to all my loyal readers who asked for more books about Yelena and Valek. This one is for you. Enjoy!
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Ugh, mud, Kiki said as she splashed through another puddle.
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Former poison taster Yelena has 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. But when her magic is suddenly 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.… (more)

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