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shadow studyWhat: Shadow Study (Soulfinders #1) by Maria V. Snyder

Who: Harlequin Teen Australia

When: March 1st 2015

How: A copy of this novel was provided by Harlequin Teen Australia for review via NetGalley.

Once, only her own life hung in the balance…

New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder wowed readers with Poison Study, the unforgettable story of poison taster Yelena. Now she’s back with a new tale of intrigue…

Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she’d 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, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek’s job — and his life — are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret — or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is — while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.

Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous…


Oh my lord. I have been waiting for Shadow Study before it was even a thing. Way back when I finished Fire Study YEARS ago, I wanted more of Yelena and Valek. And then here it is: Shadow Study.


It was so completely amazing and wonderful to come back to this world, and these characters. It felt like coming home after a really long vacation, where everything is familiar and nice and just completely homey. That’s what it was like reading Shadow Study. It was like revisiting old friends who haven’t changed at all over the years you haven’t seen them. It was incredible.

I think, perhaps, the aspect I loved best (and this is hard to choose) about Shadow Study was the fact that we got to have Valek chapters. Whilst they weren’t written in first person like Yelena’s chapters, I didn’t mind because I was just happy we got to glimpse inside Valek’s mind at all. And EEK it made me love him even more. And we got to learn so much about his past, and to be honest I would read an entire book series about young Valek because he’s so incredibly complex, and reading about him made me love Valek even more (which probably should have been impossible).

In addition to Valeks POV, we also get Janco’s! I was, at first, a bit wary of this because I was wondering if it was needed, and if I would like it – but I ended up loving it. It was needed, and I did like it. Janco is freaking adorable, and I loved his quips and his childlike qualities. I hope that we still get his POV in the later books, because I want to see how his relationship with Little Miss Assassin, whose name has conveniently left my brain entirely, develops.

In terms of plot, Shadow Study was one of the most intricate books I have ever read. There were so many twists and turns, so many times you were left wondering who was behind what, and now there’s so much distrust between characters you never thought would distrust each other. I actually found this aspect a little sad because I love the character that has become untrustworthy, and I just hope their intentions come out good. But I will have to wait and see!

The world building was on point, as usual, because this is Maria V Snyder we are talking about here, and everything she does is on point.

I wish I had been able to re-read the Study books and read the Glass books in preparation for Shadow Study, but even so, Snyder gave ample information so that you would not be lost. There was no info-dumping – the information we needed was threaded through conversations and flashbacks. It was very artful, and I was thankful since I wasn’t able to re-read/read the previous six books in the series.

I feel a bit odd not having mentioned Yelena, so I will just say that she was as amazing as she has always been, but that we also get to see a new side of her in Shadow Study because of the loss of her magic. This is such a mystery throughout Shadow Study, and I am still itching to know exactly what has happened. All the more reason to continue reading! (As if I ever wouldn’t.)

If you cannot tell, I adored Shadow Study, and I’m so glad that it lived up to its predecessors. Now let the waiting after that SHOCK ENDING begin.

© 2015, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

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Posted on: March 17, 2015 • By: Chiara

10 Responses to Review: Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

  1. Missie says:

    I love books with great world-building! I will have to check this one out!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  2. I’m even more excited for this book now! Ahhh! I can’t wait to get it!!

  3. benish says:

    Ooohhh this is on my TBR, I just love the cover of this one<3 I'm glad you loved it though! You have me excited now :) Wonderful review.

  4. Thank you for the fantastic review! I’m so glad you enjoyed the book and liked the multiple POVs. I had fun exploring Valek’s past and writing Janco’s quirky POV.

  5. Yes yes yes oh my lord! I still can’t believe that we actually got another Yelena and Valek book. It feels like a dream! I absolutely adored looking into Valek’s life! It was probably one of my favourite things about the book. I’m so glad you loved Shadow Study as well!

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