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.
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The original trilogy with Yelena and Valek is easily up there in my favourite books ever and though I was slightly hesitant about going back to their world this book was absolutely fantastic. There is a brand new storyline and challenges for the characters to face and alongside all the old faces their is also multiple brand new characters.
I think it would be possible to read Shadow Study without having read either of the other two related trilogies (Poison Study, Magic Study, Fire Study, Storm Glass, Sea Glass, Spy Glass) but I would recommend reading them anyway because 1) they are fantastic books 2) Shadow Study will be a ten times better read if you are already emotionally invested in the characters.
This book is told through a number of different POV's so we get to follow several different and yet interlinked storylines. Yelena is trying to discover what has happened to her magic with the help of Leif and a few other old friends whilst Valek is off in Ixia with Ari and Janco attempting to deal with both smugglers and attempts on his life. My favourite element to this book were the flashbacks where we get to see Valek's childhood and how he became the character he is today.
My favourite new character is Onora as I loved her feistiness, grit and passion. She makes for an interesting addition to the duo of Ari and Janco and their banter is certainly one of the best things about the book.
Valek and Yelena are apart for a decent amount of the book but their romance still gets some good page time. They are by far one of my favourite fictional couples, something about them just works, and Shadow Study is great for seeing where they are a few years after we first met them.
There are a lot of mysteries in Shadow Study and with that comes several surprises at the end of the book! Overall I highly recommend this to fans of Fantasy and Fantasy Romance books. Now I just need to buy this in paperback to add to my Maria V. Snyder collection!
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for review consideration, this has not affected my opinions or rating in anyway*
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