Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder
3.5 stars. The new third series in the study series did NOT disappoint! It is so rare that an author takes the sincere earnest wishes for a continuation and actually manufactures a KICK ASS BOOK. It just shows how talented Maria V Synder is. Her readers wanted the same character in the same world, just different plot and she delivered. That takes SKILL.
This book is written from 3 POVs: Yelena, Valek, and Janco. We also get reacquainted with Opal, Devlen, Ari, as well as get a whole slew of new characters. Someone has found a way to take away Yelena's magic and she seeks the help of the Sitian council and her brother Leif for help. On Valek's side, The Commander assigns him duty over busting a smuggling operation. However, things aren't so easy for poor Valek, with a new young assassin vying for his position at the Commander's side and the sudden lax security in Ixia.
I didn't love this book as much as I was hoping too, but I need to stop hoping that any book in the world will be better than Poison Study. All time favorite hollerrrr. I loved seeing Valek and Yelena working separately once again, but have the intricate strings weave together at the end on all sides of the plot. I also loved getting intimate with Valek's past and how exactly he came to work for Commander Ambrose. It definitely gives him more depth as opposed to just the hunky mysterious assassin and heart mate of Yelena.
The surprise at the end, well, I definitely wasn't expecting it. And I'm not sure how I like it. I definitely think Yelena will be taking a back seat next book and that has me sad. I was definitely expecting something like that surprise in the last book of the series. While, I'm hesitant to see how this changes things in book 2, I'll keep my faith in Synder and hope she plays this angle well.
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