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I Belong

Review: Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

Shadow StudyTitle: Shadow Study

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Genre: High Fantasy

Series: Study Series (Book #4)

Publication Date: February 24, 2015

Format: Paperback, 410 Pages

ISBN-10: 0778317404 (Harlequin/Mira)

ISBN-13: 978-0778317401 (Harlequin/Mira)

Reviewed by: Bridget


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.


Quick & Dirty: A wonderful adult high fantasy that will capture your heart! I have loved this entire series and I can’t wait for more!

Opening Sentence: Ugh, mud, Kiki said as she splashed through another puddle.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Yelena is a soulfinder and she has used her magic to help keep peace between the two lands she calls home, Ixia and Sitia. For years now she has fought to protect those she loves and herself from different evil forces that threaten to destroy everything and everyone she cares about!

While on her to way to meet Valek at their cozy little cottage, Yelena is attacked by an unknown enemy. She is caught unaware and struck with an arrow. Luckily she survives the attack, but the next morning she wakes up without magic. She is more vulnerable then ever and there is still an enemy out there that wants her dead.

Yelena is one of those heroines you like more and more as you get to know her. It’s amazing how much she has grown from the girl she was when we first met her in Poison Study. It doesn’t seem to matter what dilemma she is faced with, she always approaches things with a level head. She is extremely resourceful, intelligent, confident, and I love that she knows how to take care of her own problems. But at same time, she doesn’t hesitate to ask for help if she needs it. She is just one of those characters you can’t help but love. I’m so glad I have had the privilege of reading her story and I can’t wait to read more!

Valek is easily one of my all time favorite book boys! He is sexy, charming, loyal, deadly, and just an all around perfect guy. I think the best thing about Shadow Study was that we got to be inside of Valek’s head. Seeing things from his POV was really interesting and we also got to explore his past, which I loved. His relationship with Yelena is beautiful and one of those love stories that inspire you. They have amazing chemistry and they compliment each other so well. They both have many talents that make them great, but when you get them together they are an unstoppable force! They are one of my favorite book couples!

Shadow Study is a fun, adventurous story filled with wonderful characters, epic romance, and a very intriguing plot! One of the things I love best about this story is all the amazing secondary characters. There are many old faces that appear in the story but there are also many new characters as well. One thing I didn’t realize while reading the first book in that this series is actually not a young adult book. For some reason I always figured it was because it reads like a YA book, but while the first three books felt like YA books, Shadow Study felt more like an adult book to me. That’s not to say that young adults won’t enjoy it, but the issues the characters are dealing with are definitely more adult issues. With that all being said, I am so glad that Maria decided to revisit these characters even though it has been many years since Fire Study was released. This world and these characters are amazing and I can’t wait to continue reading their story. If you are a fantasy fan and you haven’t started this series yet, you need to change that and start reading them ASAP!

Notable Scene:

Darkness greeted me when I woke. Every single muscle ached as if I’d ran here from the Citadel. My dry throat burned and my stomach hurt. I needed water, food, and a bath. But first, I needed to ensure that I didn’t have another attack. Had the poison run its course? Or was it still inside me? One way to find out.

I drew a deep breath and reached for the blanket of power. Nothing happened. Trying again, I concentrated on pulling a thread of magic.


Fear pushed up my throat. I swallowed it down determined not to panic.

I opened my mind to Kiki. What’s going on?

No response. Not even images.

Dead air surrounded me.

My magic was gone.

Study Series:

1. Poison Study

1.5 Assassin Study

2. Magic Study

3. Fire Study

3.5 Power Study

3.6 Ice Study

4. Shadow Study

5. Night Study (January 26, 2016)

6. Dawn Study (2017)


FTC Advisory:  Harlequin/Mira provided me with a copy of Shadow Study.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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