* Prices may differ from that shown
Fire Study - Maria V. Snyder
I have to admit that I really love finding new series from discount stores! This book is part of a trilogy (Study Trilogy) which I was able to pick up for £5.00 for the three of them from my local 'The Works' shop. The RRP for each book is £6.99 so that is a great saving!
Fire Study is the third book in the series.
Fire Study continues a number of months after Magic Study left off.
After escaping an order of execution twice, and finding the family she never knew she had, life should be looking up for Yelena Zaltana, though when word circulates that Yelena is a Soulfinder - a magician who is able to capture and release souls - people around her grow uneasy. Once again, Yelena finds herself in danger and her unusual magical abilities have the Council of Sitia debating her fate.
Before long, things take a bigger turn for the worse when Yelena receives a disturbing message of a plot rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before.
Yelena begins on a path that will test the limits of her skills whilst traveling a journey fraught with allies, enemies and betrayal. Only the hope that she will be reunited with her beloved spurs her on, though in the end Yelena will have only one chance to prove herself and save the land she holds dear.
The first book in this series was absolutely fantastic, though I found the second book rather slow in comparison. Because the story is so exhilarating and addictive, there was no question about whether or not to go on to the third and final book, though I was a little worried that it would have the slowness of the second book. Luckily, the third book captured the excitement and pace of the very first book and the anticipation was at a great height throughout.
The ending of the story brought the whole three books to a fantastic closure with all questions rounded up brilliantly. The only thing which I felt sad about was that the series had ended!
I fully recommend this book and the set as a whole. Do remember, this is a set and so the books can not really be read out of order.
Fire Study is the final part of The Study Trilogy and brings together all the story threads and plot arcs from the first two novels in one final climax. Once again featuring the Sorcerer, Yelena, who has recently discovered her talents as a SoulFinder, the book is perhaps not quite as accomplished as the first two installments but no less enjoyable with a nice happy ending that will leave you smiling!
Yelena is brought before the Council of Magicians to decide her fate. SoulFinders in previous centuries have proved to be troublesome and have caused much despair so naturally the other Sorcerers are wary of Yelena's newly discovered abilities! And there is the fact that Yelena has been declared as a neutral liason between the feuding nations of Sitia and Ixia.
Meanwhile trouble is being stirred up by a maevolent magic-user whom Yelena has encountered before and this time he has some new allies to bring to the party!! Before long, Yelena is up to her neck in trouble again and deeply embroiled amongst all manner of subtefuge and plotting as she attempts to bring, at the very least, some kind of understanding betwen Ixia and Sitia if not all out peace. Unfortunately Cahill, the man who would be King of Ixia if he was given the opportunity, only manages to make things ever more complicated, unable to decide where his true loyalties lie and still bearing a grudge against Yelena!
I concurr with the previous reviewer in that this is a book where a hell of a lot happens in a very short amount of time and, indeed, things do get a bit involved with more and more revelations being heaped on the reader with every chapter! Snyder's tendency to leave most chapters on a cliff-hanger too here starts to get a tad tedious and a bit overly familiar. Still there is no denying that this is superb fantasy writing and it is obvious where her influences lie!
As I have said before, Snyder's novels read like a subtle cross between Robin Hobb and George.R.R.Martin and if you like either of those writers, you will find much to enjoy here in the final part of this first trilogy!
After reading the first two books for the study trilogy i was very excitied to read the thrid, the conclusion to Yelena's adventures. The same characters are involved within the story line making it an easy read. However i was slightly dissappointed with the final book, i felt it rushed its way through and even though was full of the usual action and magic i felt that is didnt give you time to breathe before the next incident came along. Don't get me wrong it is still a must read, very captivating and thoroghly enjoyable however i felt compared to the brilliant writing displayed in the first study book with the excellent mix of action and discription it just didnt quite compare. The ending however was well thought through and leaves nicely to the opal cowen triology which is Maria V Synders next triology based in the same land. I still recommend this triology to anyone, the plot is always unexpected and if you like a bit of romance in a novel than this is a great choice for you, the relationship between Yelena and Valerek, her secret love, has been one of my favourite bits about the trilogy and the plot dosnt fail to disappoint in the final book.
Fire Study is the third book in Maria V. Snyder's fantasy trilogy, which begins with Poison Study and continues with Magic Study. For information about the previous books in the series, please refer to the two reviews that have been posted previously on Poison Study, and the review on Magic Study posted by myself. This trilogy, aimed at young adults, is incredibly imaginative and well-written, and could get absolutely anyone interested in reading. The books have something for everyone, from exceptionally descriptive fight sequences which the author acted out herself in order to make them come alive in her writing, to adventure, passion and intrigue.
Maria V. Snyder is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has been writing since 1995. Her university degree was in the science of meteorology, but - fortunately for us readers - Maria found that being a weather girl was not one of her talents. On her website (see below) you can find summaries and excerpts from all her books, and also some unpublished short stories, some of which involve the characters from the "Study" trilogy. Maria does a lot of research into the things she writes about, such as food tasting (mainly chocolate!) for Poison Study. She also has a brown belt in karate, and you can really tell this from the way she describes the fight scenes in her books.
Fire Study is part of a trilogy about a girl called Yelena. The story is based on the concept of a clash between two lands: Ixia and Sitia. Yelena has grown up in Ixia, in the North, which is divided up into 8 different Military Districts and ruled by the Commander. In Ixia, Magic is not allowed, and is in fact punishable by death. Everyone in Ixia has a job, and everyone wears a uniform. To the South of Ixia lies Sitia, which is ruled by Magicians. In Magic Study, Yelena travels to Sitia to begin her apprenticeship and to be reunited with her family. Sitia's democratic way of life, with 11 clans who each have a vote, is a complete contrast to Ixia. However, it is also made clear that Sitia's democratic way of life means that decision-making is a very long and drawn-out process.
Without giving away too many of the good bits, here's a summary of the story:
Having completed her apprenticeship, Yelena now knows that she is a Soulfinder, a rare magician who can control others' souls. As there have been very few Soulfinders in Sitian history, and most have been evil and power-hungry, Yelena once again finds that the Sitians are suspicious of her. But Yelena feels all but powerful since she cannot perform some of the most basic magic and has no time to develop her powers.
When it turns out that a group of citizens and magicians are using ancient and banned magic to strengthen themselves, Sitia becomes a dangerous place to be. And what's worse is that these Warpers convince the Sitian Council that Yelena is a threat to Sitia. This situation results in Yelena and her friends having to return Ixia, and even there Yelena isn't safe. Unsure about what she can do with her limited magical abilities, and whether she can really help the Sitians who believe that she is their greatest threat, Yelena has to rely on the knowledge she has to stop the Warpers from starting a war that could devastate both Sitia and Ixia.
WHAT I THINK
I enjoyed this book as much as the first two. The plot of this book is perhaps a little more complex than that of the other two, but still you never feel like you don't know what's going on. The pace is also more varied in Fire Study, and reflects the passing of time in Sitia and in Ixia. This whole series is impossible to put down, and this was demonstrated by the comment of someone who actually spent 4 hours in the bath because she couldn't stop reading!
What's great about these books is the fact that they make you forget about everything else. As soon as you start reading, you're absorbed into Yelena's world and it won't let you go unless you set an alarm! The contrast between the land of Ixia and that of Sitia is emphasised even more in this book, as Yelena travels from one land to the other, and reflects on the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Some people might argue that, due to the great number of characters in this story, their personalities remain under-developed. Whilst I would have loved to know more about some of the characters, I believe that by only developing the personalities of the main characters, they remain the main focus of the story, which would otherwise go off in too many different directions. Another important thing to mention is the fact that many of the characters are "shades of grey", meaning that the reader does not know which side they are on, and this keeps things interesting. The books are narrated by Yelena in the first person, which means that the reader discovers things while she does.
So far, I have convinced my boyfriend and two of my friends to read this book, or rather, the whole trilogy, and hopefully this will convince you too!
As the Sitian Council, deeming her dangerous due to her Soulfinder abilities, decides her fate, Yolena, who can capture and release souls, embarks on a dangerous journey to her homeland to save her people from a murderous sorcerer.