- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers; First edition edition (12 March 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1848453639
- ISBN-13: 978-1848453630
- Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 281 g
- Customer Reviews:
Shadow Study Paperback – 12 Mar 2015
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About the Author
Maria V. Snyder is the New York Times bestselling author of the Study series, the Glass series, the Healer series, Inside Out, and Outside In. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Meteorology from Penn State and a Master of Arts degree in fiction writing from Seton Hill University. Unable to part ways with Seton Hill, Maria is currently a teacher and mentor for the MFA program. Find her on the Web at MariaVSnyder.com.
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Despite this, I am enjoying the characters and their adventures, so I do recommend it. This book ends at a crucial time, so I look forward to the next in the series.
Maria transports you to a whole other world full of fun laughter and adventure.
It opens as Yelena, on her way to meet Valek for a brief reunion, is attacked by a hidden assailant who shoots her with a poisoned arrow. Able to heal herself, Yelena enjoys a passionate reunion with Valek before he returns to Ixia, but twenty four hours later she realises her magic has disappeared. Returning to Sitia, Yelena is desperate to find out how she has been stripped of her powers, and how to get them back. Without them she is vulnerable, especially since an old enemy is bent on revenge, and a new one is determined to destroy her.
While Yelena sets out to find the answers she needs, Valek is busy in his role as the Commander's second after being gone for almost a year. His point of view details life at the keep, as well as Valek's recall of his past as a student of the The School of Night and Shadows, desperate to avenge the murders of his family, and sets up what I assume will be the main thrust of the plot for this trilogy - a brewing war between Sitia and Ixia.
I don't think it is strictly necessary to have read the previous books set in this world to enjoy Shadow Study, but those that have will have the slight advantage of being privy to both the history of Snyder's world, and the development of the characters and their relationships. Snyder does introduce a few new characters in Shadow Study, most notably Onora, a talented assassin with her eye on Valek's job, and Gerik, a soldier, who are partnered with Janco and Ari.
For established and new fans alike, Shadow Study should prove to be a fast paced and entertaining fantasy adventure. Fair warning though, the book ends on a cliffhanger and the second book, Night Study, won't be published until 2016.
From the moment I read the first page, I was pulled right back in Yelena's world and it was great to visit with all the characters again, and a number of the main players from both the Study series and the glass series are back in this book. That being said however, whilst it helps to already know the characters, this tale is its own story and I believe it is just as compelling even if you are visiting the Study world for the first time.
This novel is told from three points of view, Yelena, Valek and Janco, each weaving a different thread in and around each other and in its own direction as needed. Ms Snyder uses it very well to direct the different threads of the story and the balance between the three worked well for me and each thread had its own story and own mystery to be solved and I was just as hooked on all three.
I liked that we learn a lot more about Valek in this novel, we get to see some of his history and how he came to be where he is which gives us a much greater understanding of his character and why he does what he does. We also learn a bit more about certain characters from the previous novels which also helps to propel the story forward.
What Ms Snyder does really well however, is create a story, world and characters that you can't help but love, hate, and be completely immersed in. This is the first book in a new series set in the Study world and I for one, am thankful to Ms Snyder for allowing us to visit with these characters again and share in their newest adventure. I can't wait to see what happens next!
I give this novel 5 stars.
Sapphired Dragon xx
Top international reviews
It begins with Yelena and Valek who going about their day to day lives hidden away in a cottage enjoyed each others company. However, evil lurks and Yelena is attacked and loses her magical ability because of it. This leads both her and Valek down many different paths and with the help of their family and friends and assorted colleagues they become more and more embroiled in the mystery that ensues.
This story has a lot of humour, regarding the antics of Ari and Janco, I loved their voices which are heard consistently throughout as the author has chosen to write the novel from the viewpoints of multiple characters. I am not usually a fan of this kind of style of writing but it made sense to do so here as the crew are set on many disparate journeys. It also worked as a thrilling plot device, because just as you were reaching a cliff hanger with one character you would then join another one and becoming equally intrigued regarding their plight.
This is a very return to the fantastically imagined worlds of Ixia and Sitia and the magically realms that surround them. I can't wait to visit again.
The characters had grown and yet still the people we had read and loved and wanted them to do well and keeping going and this book while showing you the character’s life forward a little in time since we last saw them but it was like you now knew what happened after the book you last read and you also got to see how they changed and what they are doing now but most of all you got more information and views into the characters.
Among other things, in Scent of Magic, Avry says 'who me?' when talking about herself, exactly as the main character in every other book. To me, this sounds as though Snyder is probably writing about herself rather than creating a unique character in each story which, unfortunately, means all the characters are the same.
This story is also pretty much a repeat of the others, but with different scenery and the same thing was happening, but to a different character. I really felt like I was plodding through the book rather than getting lost in its world. Unless Snyder can develop her characters so that the hero, Valek, can really behave and think like a man (albeit one in love) instead of a lovesick teenage girl and the heroine thinks and behaves like the tough character she's supposed to have been trained to be instead of a weakling sap constantly whining about her poor fate and filled with indecision (which would go against her original strong character), then I'm afraid she's lost a previously loyal reader.
Yes, terrible things have happened to Yelena, but would someone who has been rigorously trained and gone through serious hardships, including attempted murder on more than one occasion, fall back to being a quivering mouse like the younger girls in Snyder's other books? Or would she more likely have more determination and courage, and probably a sense of revenge to see things through and take her next calculated step like the older and more experienced woman/mentor she's supposed to be?
And Valek, his training is described in detail in this very book. The cold determination it would have taken such a boy to go through something like that is at complete odds to the man he is now described as. At one point he is filled with near blind outrage that his love has been injured by someone (which has happened before without his extreme reaction). I would have expected him to behave in a much more calm and focused manner as the leader and fighting man he's supposed to be. As I wrote, the characters have all merged into one.
Try Juliet Marillier, Cinda Williams Chima or Glenda Larke to name but three other women writers in this genre. All their characters are individuals with nuances to their behaviours and the storylines are amazing.
Writing: I liked that the author has decided to do multiple POV because as much as I like Yelena as a character, I find singular POV novels can get quite monotonous and repetitive, especially Opal Cowan. There were a good few grammatical errors and missing words, I had to re-read some sections and make sense of them. I felt the book was rushed almost, with a lot of padding for new readers to grasp the book as standalone. I find that quite annoying. Just read the series!
The Story: It didn't spam as much time, usually Maria's books in this series cover a number of seasons, and there is a lot more happening. I didn't feel there was any action or drama in this and it was clearly evident why Yelena had lost her magic. I liked that Ms Snyder didn't jump right in with a Janco/Onora romance, definitely a good thing as pairing off is common and predictable in YA novels.
Shadow Study has been a book I have been desperate to read since I first heard about it, I stalked the author, and any place that had the book for pre-order hoping that the publication date had been moved forward. When I got Shadow Study I was torn. I wanted to drop everything to read it, but also had other books I had committed to that were published before Shadow Study, but after a string of books I did not finish, I picked this one up, knowing that I was guaranteed to get out of the slump with Shadow Study.
I want to write this review and tell you everything that I loved, share with you what the characters get up to and all the secrets that are hidden within the pages. I want to share with you the final words in the book, and fan girl over them, but I can't. So this review will be vague on exact detail, but know that it is full of so much love for this book and for the author. I demolished every single page of this book, I was hooked and had to keep reading just one more chapter, and finished reading at 4.10am.
Shadow Study has three narrators, Yelena, Valek, and Janco. I loved how this played out within the pages, especially as the plot progressed, the three narratives only added to this story. It also made it harder to put down, if you finished Yelena's part, you had to read through Valek and Janco to get back and find out what happened to her. We are introduced to some new people, and they make an interesting mix in the pages along with the characters that we know and love. One of the new characters I never really felt comfortable with, and when their story is mixed with an old face nothing good can come from it.
Another thing that I loved in Shadow Study was getting to visit not only Yelena's world, but also Opal's too, catching up with characters from both 'worlds' and seeing how the story lines cross over and intertwine with each other. Shadow Study also gives us another characters world to learn about. We get to revisit Valek's past and find out how he became a feared assassin, and how he gained all of his skills.
What saved this book, or rather what masked the issue with the plot because it didn't really need saving as such, were the characters. Like with the books that came before, we get to see Yelena's POV, but we're also treated to Valek and Janco's POV as well. I knew about the multiple viewpoints before I started reading, and I admit I was a little nervous about it because it's not something I have really seen done well, especially when the book is written in first person, but Snyder made it work. Yelena's is the only viewpoint in first person. She effortlessly switches to third person when writing Valek and Janco's viewpoints. Even without the helpful headings at the beginning of the chapter to tell me whose viewpoint I'm reading, it was easy to tell.
With the added viewpoints, we get to learn more about Valek's past and get a better insight into what goes on in Janco's head. I felt Valek's past overshadowed the main plot - at least for me. It was what I was more focused on, and it was very interesting. His flashbacks coincide with the emergence of a new character - an assassin after his job, which just adds to the intrigue. With Janco we can better understand why he hates magic and why he behaves the way he does.
Definitely looking forward to the next book in the hopes that some of the questions will be answered and the plot will move forward.
The series return to follow Yelena who, no longer a mere poison taster, is tasked with keeping peace between Ixia & Sitia with her powers.
After an attack leaves Yelena powerless, she and her friends must hurry to find her enemies to try and unravel the damage that had been done. The book does not disappoint as many of our favourite characters return in this book.
A brilliant follow up on the series - I cannot wait for the next book.
If you are a fan you will love this. However, unlike the first three books which were almost stand-alone novels in themselves, this is clearly the start of another series of books, that has a kind of 'mid-book' fatigue to it. All the old characters are there - particularly the loveable Janco, and the Ixian Commander is up to some skullduggery, plus some new and powerful magicians appear, but the story hasn't really started going as yet. I look forward to the next installment when I'm sure Maria will reveal more of the plot...
I'll avoid plot spoilers but more formal arrangement between the nations mean more plotting and opportunities for our lovers to meet and save each other. A good read. Not quite all of the original brilliance though.
I finished the book in two days as it gripped me so much ,i am a great fan of the Studys books,but i must say i was so fruistruted when i came to the end i slammed my kindle down so must be a nother book coming hope its soon.
I shall be waiting!!!!!!!!!