Review: Dawn Study - Maria V. Snyder

Dawn Study
Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder
My rating: {★★★★

Young Adult Fantasy
Published January 25th 2017 by Harlequin Teen

Source: Harlequin TEEN via NetGalley
New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder brings her Poison Study series to its exhilarating conclusion.

Despite the odds, Yelena and Valek have forged an irrevocable bond and a family that transcends borders. Now, when their two homelands stand on the brink of war, they must fight with magic and cunning to thwart an Ixian plot to invade Sitia.

Yelena seeks to break the hold of the insidious Theobroma that destroys a person's resistance to magical persuasion. But the Cartel is determined to keep influential citizens and Sitian diplomats in thrall and Yelena at bay. With every bounty hunter after her, Yelena is forced to make a dangerous deal.

With might and magic, Valek peels back the layers of betrayal surrounding the Commander. At its rotten core lies a powerful magician and his latest discovery. The fate of all rests upon two unlikely weapons. One may turn the tide. The other could spell the end of everything.
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars rounded up.

This is the thrilling and final instalment of the Soulfinders Trilogy. It's a well crafted and epic conclusion to an incredible series that has kept me engaged throughout.

Snyder is an incredible story teller with a concise and deceptively simple writing style. It's beyond easy to become completely immersed in her world full of spies and espionage, intrigue and mystery and this one had me sitting on the edge of my seat as all the threads of previous books came together. My heart was on tenter hooks as my favourite characters (new and old) were put through the wringer and tested time and time again.

What I love about Snyder is that her characters are always consistent - yes, they learn and they grow, but essentially they are still the same people. Valek is as calculating and ruthless as ever but he has learned that relationships and trusting in others is not necessarily a bad thing and can make a person stronger. Yelena is still reckless and brave (to a fault) but has learned to (sometimes) curb her impulses and assess the situation for risk, even if this means diving in anyway.

I also love knowing that the characters are not infallible - not every scheme goes to plan and things are allowed to go wrong.

The story line has been so complex from the very beginning and there's so much happening with different characters and different locations and yet Snyder manages to pull it all off with a flourish. This is such an epic fantasy with incredibly diverse world building; a strong cast of wonderful, resilient characters and positive role models for all ages. There's definitely relationships to aspire towards.

There were moments when I was holding my breath simply devouring the pages to find out if everyone was okay and there were moments when I was laughing out loud from the wit and the snark. This book was everything that I had hoped it would be. I'm going to miss this "herd" and their crazy adventures.

I'm (not so) secretly hoping that we will see more written about Ixia and Sitia in the near future. I would love to see more of Ari and Janco and 'Little Miss Assassin' not to mention Liana. This world is so vast and so well built that there's definitely room for more books.... Just saying!!!

Night Study (Study #5/Soulfinders #2)


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