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225. Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder...

December 11, 2009
fire studyAbout the book:
When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder--able to capture and release souls--spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorceror she has defeated before...

Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself--and save the land she holds dear.

drey's thoughts:
It's been a while since I read Poison Study and Magic Study... And I now remember why. Don't get me wrong. The world that Maria Snyder weaves is fully-realized, and so are the characters. But it's just so... black and white to me. There are so many stark opposites, but yet not much in the gray range. Sitia has magicians who do everything from controlling the weather threatening their coasts, to lighting their lamps. Ixia is very controlled and orderly--kinda like an Asian secondary school, where your grades determine which "stream" (sciences, business, etc.) you're put into--and kills any magicians they come across. As long as they can identify you as one, of course.

Being such polar opposites from each other brings some tension into Yelena's attempt to live in either country, much less fit in. And Magic Study and now Fire Study clearly describe her difficulty in both countries. Yet, I couldn't quite get around the feeling that the tension seemed contrived, because for me it's mostly about the gray. And the lack thereof distracted me from the overall effect of the series. Which is a shame, because Yelena is a likable character. She's strong, yet not overbearing. She's not afraid to take chances when it could save lives, but she's not all about the magic, either. *sigh*

I know there are a lot of people who liked this series. If you do, & have reviewed it, let me know, and I'll link to it.

Title: Fire Study (Study #3)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
ISBN-10: 0778325342
ISBN-13: 9780778325345
Paperback: 441 pages
Publisher: Mira, 2008

Challenges: 100+, Series, Support Your Local Library

Disclosure: My copy of Fire Study was on loan from my local library.


Lexie said...

I think for me that's part of the reason why I enjoy the series so well, the black and white nature of things that is. I read a lot of fantasy where morality is often gray and the truly 'good' are dead or mocked for being idealists.

Don't get me wrong, I love the gray area, but sometimes its nice to be able to say 'he's evil. he'll stay evil.' and have someone to really dislike for a few books instead of 'hey...wasn't he a good guy two books ago?!' and having to keep track of morality.

Unknown said...

I have heard of the series but never read any of the books. Maybe I'll give the first one a try and then see if I want to go forward. I guess it will all depends on how the author manages to write about this 'black and white' world. Sometimes I like it and sometimes I want some grey areas explored.

Ladytink_534 said...

I finally got my hands on the first one so I can see what all the fuss is about. Looking forward to starting it soon!

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