Book reviews

Fire Study – Maria V Snyder

Release date: 19 February 2008
Rating: ★★★★★★★★★ – 9/10
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Fire Study (Study series #3; Chronicles of Ixia #3) blurb:

The apprenticeship is over – now the real test has begun

When word that Yelena is a soulfinder – able to capture and release souls – spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy.  Already Yelena’s unusual abilities and past have set her apart.  As the Council debates Yelena’s fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before…

Honour sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward.  Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty.  Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself – and save the land she holds dear.

Ahhh, Yelena and her enemies.  I’m hoping by now that you haven’t skipped ahead to this one as the first.  If you have, you absolutely need to go back and start with book one – Poison Study.  That’s the only warning you will get…

Unlike the previous two, this book came into its own from the start.  A little bit of back-story is provided for those who read them as they were released (as opposed to me who waited until the 6th, and last, book was about six weeks off being published and started to binge read them), which adds a level of fluidity in case you forget who people are and what roles they play.

Most of our recurring characters are here – you wouldn’t expect Irys, Ari, Janco, Commander Ambrose or Valek to stay away, and most of the newer characters from the second book also appear, or are at least mentioned.  Even Star makes an appearance.

Unfortunately, this is the book where all of Yelena’s relationships are tested.  They are pushed past the point of strain and in some cases she snaps at her loved ones.  This is mostly unfortunate because Yelena’s loved ones are as stubborn as she is – and really all could be cleared up with the beauty of open communication and a little bit of empathy (and some perspective).

The story flows well, and there is some nice symmetry here from book 2 (Magic Study).

All in all, this is my favourite story (so far) of the Study series.  And I am looking forward to number four…


Before you move onto reading Shadow Study (book 4 of the Study series, also known as book 1 of the Soulfinder series), you may want to consider this little nugget that I found on Maria V Snyder’s website.  Unfortunately for myself, I discovered this halfway through Shadow Study…

Order you should read the books:

  • POISON STUDY (Chapter 1 from Valek’s POV – read it HERE)
  • ASSASSIN STUDY (short story – read it HERE)
  • POWER STUDY (short story – read it HERE)
  • ICE STUDY (short story and prequel to SHADOW STUDY – read it HERE)
  • SHATTERED GLASS (eNovella – read an excerpt HERE, get it on iBooks HERE)
  • DAWN STUDY (forthcoming January 2017)


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