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…
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review
It’s been a long time ago since I read Maria v Snyder her study series and I have to admit I was a bit wary when I heard she was writing more books in the series, but I also was excited and when I saw Shadow Study on netgalley I just couldn’t resist requesting a copy. After reading Shadow Study I can only say that I am really happy Maria decided to revisit this world. I didn’t realize how much I had missed it and it was so fun to be back in Ixia and Sitia.
This story is told form multiple point of views, we get Janco, Valek and Yelena her point of view and this way of telling the story really worked. Then with Valek his point of view we also get flashbacks to his past and it was awesome learning more about his past and how he became an assassin. Janco his point of view was also fun, although I keep having trouble keeping Ari and Janco apart it did got easier as the book progressed. Shadow Study delivers in the same style we’ve come to expect from this author, a solid story and mystery. There are some predictable parts and a few chapters felt a bit slow, but also some twists and turns which managed to surprise me. The main storyline get’s wrapped up, but there are still enough loose ends for later books.
All the characters are so familiar that they almost feel like friends. It was fun to read about these characters again. Even Opal and Devlen make an appearance and play a role in this story. Ofcourse the story focussed on Yelena, Valek and Janco, but the side characters play an important role as well. We also meet a new interesting character and I can’t wait to learn more about her. There were some fun scenes between Yelena and Valek and you get a feel for their relationship, but most of the story they spend apart. I really like all the characters in this series and it was nice to read about them again.
There isn’t a lot of world building, which is to be expected in a later book in a series, but there are things that change in the world and things we didn’t know added. Also even though I didn’t re-read the first three books, it was easy to get back into this world and there was enough recap for me not to feel lost.
To conclude: Shadow Study is a great addition to this series! I enjoyed the story and learning more about Valek his past and being back in this world was amazing. This was a comfortable read, but there are no big surprised, although there are some surprising twists and turns towards the end of the book. All in all I am happy to revisit this world and characters and hope Maria writes more books in this world!
You can add Shadow Study to your to-read list on Goodreads