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THE BOOK -Fire Study
by Maria V. Snyder
Bk. #3 of Study
First published in 2008 by Mira
Genre: YA Fantasy
Avg. Rating: 4/5 stars
EDITION I PURCHASED -Paperback, 441 pages
Published in 2009 by Mira Books
My Rating: 5/5 stars
THE PLOT -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 and enemies. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself - and save the land she holds dear.
I have to say that this is potentially one of my favourite fantasy series' ever. I absolutely adored this trilogy, and I'm very excited to reunite with Yelena in Shadow Study, the first book of the spin off Soulfinder series. While most of the important questions pertaining the storyline were answered, there were so many things that were never really explained. Instead, we got watered down versions crammed into a couple of sentences. It felt a little like the author rushed the ending, so I really hope we get some better answers in the next book.
Yelena's abilities are something that have intrigued me since the beginning of this series, and this book gives us plenty of oppurtunities to see them in action. The way her skills have developed since she first came to Sitia is astounding, and I'm glad that the author didn't run out of ways to keep us interested. There seems to be no limit to Yelena's power, which is proven at the end of this novel when she succeeds where so many others have failed - without even trying! I absolutely love Yelena and I'm so glad that Snyder decided to write another series based on this character. I'm so excited to find out what else Yelena discovers about her powers, and after the previously mentioned success, there is definitely much more to come.
We learned a little bit more about Opal Cowan in this novel, so I'm definitely going to have to start her story soon. Her abilities are very interesting, and I was impressed by what Snyder did with them. There's so much more to this character than meets the eye, and I can't wait to find out what else she can do.
Though the romance has never been at the forefront of this story, it's definitely a main theme. It seems as though Yelena and Valek spend more time apart than they do with one another, but when they're together, there's major fireworks. I absolutely adore these guys as a couple, and I can't wait to see what else gets in their way in the next book. Valek himself is an extremely interesting character. His ability to withstand magical attacks with no effect to himself, though explained at the very end of this book, leaves us with many more questions than answers. The fact that Snyder originally planned this as the last book with Yelena means that, had I read it before I knew there was another novel coming out, the rating for this novel would have been very different. I just hope she gives us some more details in the coming story.
Overall, I highly recommend this series to anybody who is interested in fantasy worlds filled with magic and mystery. If you're looking for a kickass female heroine who isn't afraid to get her hands dirty, the Study series is definitely one for you. I thoroughly enjoyed these novels from start to finish, and I can't wait to read the next book.