Once, only her own life hung in the balance.
Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she'd 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, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek's job - and his life - are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret - or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is - while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.
Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous,
"Doing full justice to the plot of this original and entertaining epic fantasy is impossible. Suffice it to say that the action is nonstop. The many characters leap to life, particularly Yelena, whose first-person narrative is riveting."
~ RT Book Reviews on Fire Study
What I liked: I counted myself very lucky to receive an ARC of Shadow Study through NetGalley. I was very excited when I found out Ms Snyder had signed to write three more books about Yelena and her crew.
I'll say up front that I tried very hard to read the Glass series which was set in this world but I just couldn't connect with the characters or the story. I was probably too hard on the books as I was enthralled with Yelena and Valek. So, that's on me. I can tell from reading Shadow Study that some things happened in the books I didn't know about but Ms Snyder was savvy enough to give enough back story so I wasn't completely lost.
The world building and character development in these two series is phenomenal. I'm completely wrapped up in the world, the characters and the storyline. Yelena without magic is almost incomprehensible but she pushes through. Valek's background is more fully explained and I more than appreciated the detail about what makes him tick and how he came to be who and what he is.
There are so many twists and turns in Shadow Study and non-stop action both with Yelena, Valek, and all the other familiar characters but we also get to meet new ones too. I feel they will play a big part in the future stories. The big mystery to me besides what happened to Yelena's magic is what exactly is the Commander up to. I want to believe the best but am having a few doubts of his overall agenda.
What I didn't like: The only thing I missed was having Yelena and Valek together. They were apart practically the whole book BUT that was very important to the story.
Overall, Ms Snyder more than delivered with this continuation of a sensational series!! This is one series I recommend to all my friends!
Highly Recommend but please start with the very first book, Poison Study. You won't be sorry!!