Shadow Study (Soulfinders, #1)

Published in: 2015
Pages: 407
Edition read: Paperback
Series: Book 1 in the Soulfinders Trilogy, Book 4 in the Study series

Book description:
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…

My review:
Oh it’s been so long since I last read this series, but one page in and I was hooked again. I love this world, love Yelena and Valek (especially Valek, where can I find me one of those?) and all the familiar characters just made me grin like an insane person. Anyhoo.

This series is different to the original Study trilogy in that it switches between the views of Yelena, Valek, and Janco, rather than just focusing on Yelena- which gives us a lot more of what is happening in the world and their different missions. It was fast-paced, lots of mysteries, lots of flashbacks to Valek’s early days learning to become an assassin and the events that led to him finally killing the king and royal family, which is something we haven’t had any insight into before. That was really good actually, you learned a lot more about Valek and why he is the way he is, and why we love him even more now.

There is a mystery in this story about Yelena’s missing magic, and from basically the first chapter, I was like “well clearly it’s because of this <spoiler> reason”, and literally the entire way through the book was yelling at the characters that it was the <spoiler> reason, and literally the last sentence of the book is Yelena going “oh, <spoiler> might be why I lost my magic” and I was like SERIOUSLY? I worked this out 400 pages ago…

So I’ve launched into the next book straight away, because I need to see Valek’s reaction to Yelena’s revelation (it was amazing, as I expected) and now I’m a few chapters into the next book in the series and ignoring my family on Christmas Day and I regret nothing because YELENA AND VALEK ARE AMAZING.

Final review:
Shadow Study rating:
10,000/10. This book rocked. I loved it. It was amazing. Would I re-read it? HELLS YES. I want to re-read it now. And the entire Study series. And the Glass Trilogy. But I need to read Night Study first before I can go back to re-read these series… looks like my christmas break will be literally re-reading this entire series and doing nothing else. I will regret nothing.
Who would I recommend it to? For fans of Maria’s other work, the Study series and the Glass series- cos all our beloved characters are back and it’s amazing. Otherwise, for fans of fantasy series involving magic, adventure, action, and fabulous characters.

Also, if you haven’t checked out the other book covers, I highly recommend it. The Australian cover is the one above (it’s sooo pretty), but the US versions are even more pretty. I really love that about this series, the book covers are just amazing and I am totally tempted to buy paperbacks from other countries just so I can admire the pretty covers.

Author’s website: