Shadow Study

By Maria V Snyder
Published on 24 February 2015
Published by Mira
Source: NetGalley
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.

GAH this book!  When I saw that Maria was extending her Poison Study series I was beyond ecstatic.  Poison Study is what really introduced me into the world of High Fantasy- and I have been forever converted as a fan.  Yelena and Valek are the characters that I hold as standard for excitement and romance.  I was a little concerned- would Shadow Study hold up against the first 3 books in her series?  (It has been a number of years since she wrote them!)

With full confidence I can say- it was perfect!  The beginning started with excitement and then moved into the slow build that I have come to know as Maria V Snyder's signature style.  It was fantastic!  The characters seemed older, which is appropriate considering how many years have gone by.  I will say, Opal and her family are large characters in this story- so if you haven't read Opal's stories in the Glass series (Sea Glass, Storm Glass, etc), I would highly recommend it.  I sadly haven't finished that series and it was referred to a few times.

If you are a fan of Maria V Snyder, you will not be disappointed.  If you haven't read Poison Study yet- you need to go read THAT first.  Trust me, you will be thankful!

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