Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Soulfinder #1/Study #4/Chronicles of Ixia #7
Source: e-arc via Netgalley
Publisher: Mira Ink
Publication Date: March 1st, 2015
Age Genre: Young Adult
Once, only her own life hung in the balance…
When Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. She 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, dissent is rising. And Valek’s job—and his life—are in danger.
As Yelena tries to uncover her enemies, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. And now she must find a way to keep not only herself but all that she holds dear alive.
WARNING: I HAD TO GUSH. I COULDN'T NOT GUSH. THAT MEANS I GO INTO DETAILS. NOT REALLY SPOILERS, BUT NOT REALLY HOLDING BACK EITHER.
I was a latecomer to the Maria V. Snyder bandwagon. When I read Poison Study last year, all the books in the series were already out. Or so I thought. The announcement over the newest book in the Ixia/Sitia world come soon after I finished Fire Study and I honestly couldn't be happier. I needed more Valek and Yelena.
And then I got approved for an e-arc via Netgalley. Thank you so much MIRA INK. I've never been happier in my life. Like, ever. And that might be slightly unhealthy, but WHO CARES, MORE VALEK AND YELENA!
Okay. Now to the book.
I will admit, at first I was a bit confused. First of all, let me warn you - the only first person pov is Yelena's. Valek and Janco's are in third person pov, which took a short while to adjust to. Once I did, I was able to fluidly read the book. Or devour it. Semantics.
I was also confused because the book refers to events that happened in the short stories. I haven't read those. I had no idea who these characters were, but Snyder does a good job filling up the gaps so we get the general gist of things. However, it might still be best for you to read the short stories first.
Shadow Study introduces Valek's POV. You know, the swoon worthy master assassin and Yelena's heartmate. Being inside his head was just... incredible. First, we got to see how much Yelena really means to him, and OH THE FEELS. Through Yelena's head we knew he loved her, but we were also affected by her belief that his first priority will always be the Commander. Through his eyes though...
And let's not forget Valek's past. If you haven't been intrigued by the events that turned Valek into the King-Killer, something might be wrong with you. In Shadow Study, Snyder gives us all the juicy details. That means we get to see young Valek. And Valek in training. And the meeting between the Commander and Valek. And the King's assassination. Yep. All great stuff, all around.
Not to mention, the book is kind of heavy on the Valek x Commander relations, a theme that will continue on to the second book at the very least. Very curious to see how it goes from here.
Then there was Janco. If you don't love Janco, then... then... I don't know what to tell you. I don't have words for such a sordid occurrence. Anyways, he stars in this book, alongside a new character called Onora. Their interactions were as fun to read of as Janco and Ari's. Janco and Ari are my bromance OTP in this series. But I'm shipping Little Miss Assassin and the Rhythm Master, I ain't gonna lie.
And of course, there was Leif, and Ari, Opal and Devlen, Reema, Kiki... there was no shortage of awesome characters, awesome interactions, awesome situations, and a great storyline that keeps you guessing and intrigued, with every chapter ending in a way that makes you need the next one.
And that ending... Let's put it like this: I KNEW IT and I am freakin' happy and excited! It's
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