Shadow Study by Maria V Snyder

Posted On 13 February 2015

Filed under Book Reviews
Tags: ,

Comments Dropped 12 responses

Recently finished reading Shadow Study by Maria Snyder.  Firstly, I have read all the other works in this world (I think I have anyway!) and so in that respect this is a very easy book for me to fall into as I already know the world, enjoy the stories and care about the characters.  That being said I think you could certainly read each series as individually with no problem whatsoever.  The starting point for the whole world – is Poison Study.

The story starts by getting back to basics with a meeting, albeit brief, between Yelena and Valek.  Unfortunately things go horribly wrong (even before the two meet for their romantic interlude).  Basically, and hopefully this isn’t a spoiler, Yelena is attacked and this has a drastic affect on her magical abilities. This is a frightening thing for Yelena, she has many enemies and is now completely vulnerable.

This isn’t the only thread of the story though – bigger things are taking place beneath the surface and Snyder leads us through the political quagmire as we try to determine what is actually going on here.

In terms of the characters we have all the old familiars.  Yelena and Valek – although only spending a very brief period together, both narrate passages and it was nice to get back to the two original characters (who have spent more time on the back seat recently).  I really enjoyed hearing more from Valek and it was particularly interesting to get some of his back story.  Yelena’s brother also plays a part as do Ari and Janco – a sort of lovable double act who usually rush into a situation like a pair of maniacs.

The plot does suck you in.  It’s intriguing and kind of tense (the cliffhanger chapter endings add to this!)  We flit between Yelena and Valek’s world and the way that they are both torn between their commitments and their love for each other.

I would class this as YA – even though Yelena is about 27 now, it has a YA feel but in a good way.  There is no strong language, no sex or violence.  Its not dark or foreboding – in fact, yes, it’s an easy to read enjoyable book – my equivalent to a holiday read which is quite appropriate as I was on holiday when I read this!  For me, it was a very easy book to fall into and revisit old friends and places.

The author is very good at making you feel not only for the characters but for the relationships they develop and she’s very good at building a network between them all that feels real.  It will be interesting to see how this all pans out – it’s already leading a certain way but I won’t say more on that account.

Outside the relationships there are other threads to explore, particularly around the Commander.  Like I said above, it was interesting to get Valek’s back story on this particular dynamic and how that shines a different light on the relationship.

I can’t deny that this is a light, fantasy read and whilst that might seem like poor praise I will reinforce that by saying I enjoy Ms Snyder’s books – I think they’re probably a great introduction to fantasy and they definitely keep you coming back for more.  They’re the very opposite to grimdark – which I also enjoy!  For me, they’re no-brainers and fun – so judge me!  Seriously, not sure how well or not this would go down with people new to the series but for me it just feels like a brief visit with old friends.  If you want a light introduction to fantasy then Ms Snyder could be exactly the right author for you!

I received a copy of this from the publishers via Netgalley for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

12 Responses to “Shadow Study by Maria V Snyder”

  1. TheSkepticalReader

    Ooohh I need this book in my life!! 😛

    • lynnsbooks

      Have you read any by M Snyder?

      • TheSkepticalReader

        The original 3 in the Study series! 🙂

      • lynnsbooks

        Ah, so you’d probably like this one – I don’t think it’s necessary to have read all the others but I don’t think it would mean as much to someone who maybe didn’t already know Yelena and Valek.
        Lynn 😀

  2. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    I really enjoy a spattering of books like this mixed in with my usuals. I’ve read the others in the series and hope to read this one as well. It does make me laugh that is YA with a 27 year old protagonist, but I am not surprised. I often think its the feel of the book, and she was the right age in the earlier books.

    • lynnsbooks

      And the feel of these books is still similar so it figures that it would be YA. I like these. they’re like just lovely inbetween books that are good to read. Characters I know and feel comfortable with and a good plot.

  3. jenclair

    I enjoyed it, but I’d only read Magic Study (and that was several years ago), so it took me a while to re-acquaint myself with the characters.

    • lynnsbooks

      I do like the original two characters I must admit. There are been plenty of others but it was nice to have a return.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Danya @ Fine Print

    I’ve been a big fan of the Commander in all the previous books, so I think it’ll be interesting to see how his storyline plays out in Shadow Study (I’m currently reading it). I’m especially intrigued to see where the whole two souls reveal from Fire Study goes…

    Honestly I’m ready for less Yelena and more of her friends. How did you find the Janco passages? I love him as a character and can’t wait to learn more about his backstory – and why he hates magic so much!

    • lynnsbooks

      The Janco passages were good – I do like the double act. We certainly got a good bit of back history on Valek which was interesting and the whole dynamic between him and the Commander was interesting. I can’t remember if we found out about Janco – I’ll have to go and have another look at what my notes said!
      Lynn 😀

  5. Sunday Summary | Lynn's Book Blog

    […] Shadow Study by Maria Snyder – I do so enjoy these books and this is no exception. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s