Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder
The battle of her life has begun.
In the barren territory of Sitia, power comes at a price. Yelena Zaltana possesses the most terrifying magic in the district – the ability to capture and release souls.
While the sinister Sitian council meet to decided her fate, Yelena must capture a Soulstealer, her dark counterpart, until she discovers someone far more dangerous.
And in the war between good and evil, there can only ever be one victor.
Warning: There may be spoilers for both Poison Study and Fire Study ahead. The first paragraph of ‘plot’ is pretty much all spoilers, so you may want to skip it if you haven’t read the previous books.
My expectations for this book weren’t that high after reading Magic Study, but I was proved wrong. I found Fire Study to be a lot more interesting and gripping than Magic Study, although I still felt it did have a bit of a slow start. I think one of the major factors was that there was that most of the characters had already been introduced, whereas Magic Study had a whole new cast. Because of that, I enjoyed it a lot more and there was one point where I was pretty much shouting at the book.
This cover has the same type of look as the first two books, which is good because I like covers to match, and I think this one is my favourite. The orange fire really stands out on the cover and I love the detailing of the flames in the centre. Yet again, this cover has various words that relate to the plot on the front (fire warper, love, sorceror, ancient rituals, shadow world) and I really like the fact that they’re all pretty important things to do with the plot.
In this book, Yelena is trying to save the lands of both Ixia and Sitia from war. She has become the official liaison between Ixia and Sitia, and is also trying to learn more about her magic. Meanwhile, the Daviian clan are still a huge threat to Sitia, and Yelena and her friends end up having to try to stop them and the mysterious Fire Warper.
This book started off just a little slow but the pace quickly built up, and there were soon plenty going on. Although I was disappointed that certain characters didn’t appear right at the beginning (Valek, Ari and Janco), it didn’t take too long for them to appear in the book. As the tension grew, the plot became more gripping and interesting and I found it pretty hard to put it down towards the end. Throughout the book there are plenty of twists, and a lot of those were very unexpected.
There are so many characters in these books, and I really want to mention all of them, but that probably isn’t going to happen. Anyway, one character I’m obviously going to mention is Yelena. She gets more awesome in every book. In Fire Study, she’s amazing with a bow and is pretty good at using her magic, although she’s still learning. She’s brave and is ready to sacrifice herself for other people, whether she knows them or not. And, even though she has fears, she’s ready to overcome then so that she can do the right thing. Also, her relationship with Valek is perfect!
Talking of Valek, he’s awesome. When he was in the book, he was doing his usual assassiny/stealthy thing, and I loved it. He’s a very strong character who will do anything for Yelena, but he’ll also do anything to protect his country. The scenes between him and Yelena were brilliant, and I loved their conversations. Although, again, I did find the amount of times Valek called Yelena “love” a bit annoying.
Obviously, Yelena’s family and friends played a big part in this book too, and each of those characters were pretty awesome. Ari and Janco were their usual selves and their banter and arguments were so perfect. I really wish that they’d been in this book a lot more. Also, Leif grew on me a lot in this book and I loved the relationship that had developed between him and Yelena, seeing as I’d been rooting for such a relationship since Yelena first met him in Magic Study. Moon Man was also as cryptic and mysterious as ever, and learning more about him was interesting in this book. There are so many other characters I want to mention, but I won’t, because this review will end up far too long.
The Little Things
I love the magic in these books, and one of my favourite things is the fact that the magicians all have different abilities (like Dax and his ability to read ancient languages). I really like the fact that some of them are obscure and seemingly pointless, but they can actually be used in interesting ways.
I loved the glass blowing aspect to the book, although the part where Opal described pretty much the whole process in detail wasn’t the most interesting part of the book. However, I love how it was incorporated into the story and how magic was involved in Opal’s work.
I loved the idea of the shadow world, and traveling to it through shadows. The idea of the fire world was also awesome.
The clans, yet again, were a great part of the book, although they didn’t appear as much. I love the Zaltanas and Yelena’s family, especially Nutty and Chestnut, and they all seem to have pretty interesting skills.
KIKI! Yelena’s ability to talk to horses was awesome. It may have been one of my favourite things in these books, because Kiki’s take on everything was so different.
Overall, I loved this book and it was a great ending to the series. I’d recommend it to fans of fantasy, magic, fire and a sort of assassin feel to a book.