Review: "Shadow Study" (Soulfinders #1, Study #4) by Maria V. Snyder

Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

Once, only her own life hung in the balance…

When Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. She 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, dissent is rising. And Valek’s job—and his life—are in danger.
As Yelena tries to uncover her enemies, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked.And now she must find a way to keep not only herself but all that she holds dear alive.


‘A compelling new fantasy series’ – Rhianna Pratchett, SFX on Poison Study




Finally I gathered my wits and decided to write this review. Knowing that Maria V. Snyder had decided to write a sequel series to her most famous Study series, I was able to get a paperback!
I did review the previous series as audiobooks and I was glad that Yelena, Valek and the rest of the gang were introduced again!

Six to seven years after the events of "Fire study" Yelena still works as the liason between Ixia and Sitia, fighting villains and sharing her precious time with Valek. From the first page an assassination attempt causes Yelena's powers to disappear.

And from there a new adventure begins, in which old enemies arise and new friends join the story! What I loved in the book? Triple POV! First for Yelena and third for Valek and Janco. I was glad that I got to see Valek's thoughts; there was also a reveal about his past and how he came to meet with the Commander as also how his feelings for Yelena grew.

On the other hand, Janco was the funniest character! His abilities on fighting and his distaste for magic was know to me but through his eyes it was much better.

There is action and comedy, intense romance paired to gether with the fantastic world building of Maria's writing. The ending was a happy surprise, which I hope to be a good ending for Yelena and Valek. Despite their almost 20 years of age difference I loved their scenes and how they are able to work together! I can't wait for the next book in which I hope problems to be solved and good news to be delived!

And don't miss the cover of the next novel from the "Soulfinder" series!

Summary from GoodReads

Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana's has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia are safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear.

Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he's quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he's been keeping secrets from Valek...secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander's mysterious plans, they realize it's far more sinister that they could have ever imagined.


About the author:

 Meteorologist turned novelist, Maria's been writing fantasy and science fiction since she was bored at work and needed something creative to do. A dozen novels and numerous short stories later, Maria's learned a thing or three about writing. She’s been on the New York Times bestseller list, won a half-dozen awards, and has earned her MA degree in Writing from Seton Hill University where she's been happily sharing her knowledge with the current crop of MFA students. 
She also enjoys creating new worlds where horses and swords rule, 'cause let's face it, they're cool, although she's been known to trap her poor characters in a giant metal cube and let them figure out how to get out. Readers are welcome to check out her website for book excerpts, free short stories, maps, blog, and her schedule at