Title: Fire Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, YA
Pub Date: March 2008, Mira
Trade Paperback, 441 pages
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.…
Honor 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.
I'm not sure how I managed to hold off from reading this book for so long--I guess my TBR pile had gotten so big I forgot I had it! I am happy to say that I enjoyed Fire Study just as much as the first two books in the series. (Although Poison Study is probably my favorite of the three books, by a slight margin.) Snyder's writing style feels so effortless and natural that I was swept into the story upon reading the first few words. The pacing is just right, with twists and turns in the plot that urge you to press further on to discover what happens next. Snyder also has a gift for writing strong characters; whether you love them or hate them, they make the story.
Yelena finally discovers more about her talents and what it means to be a Soulfinder in Fire Study, and I am glad that she finally begins to gain more insight into the world of magic. Of course, it does take her most of the book to really start to understand the truth, as she faces numerous conflicts and hardships (of course) along the way, both impeding her progress and aiding it at the same time. I really enjoyed how Snyder finally tied everything together with this last book and we finally see where everyone's loyalties really lie. And while there are a few sad losses, eventually justice does prevail and I truly thought the end was very satisfying. I was intrigued by the fact that while most everything was resolved, the door is left open to other possibilities--perhaps this is where Storm Glass, the first book in Snyder's next series will take us. (That is pure speculation, however, as I actually have not read much about that book yet.)
I really thought this was a wonderful, original series, and am looking forward to reading Storm Glass soon. In fact with this rating, I will have given all three books in the Study series 5-star ratings!!
My review of Poison Study
My review of Magic Study
Other reviews of Fire Study: