Book Review: Fire Study

Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder

The third book in the Study series, Fire Study features Yelena Zaltana – former Ixian prisoner and food taster turned Sitian magician and Soulfinder.  With Ferde and Cahil still on the loose, Yelena tries to convince the council to hunt them down.  Not only do they refuse her request, First Magician Roze Featherstone continues to insist that Yelena is too dangerous to be allowed to live.

Yelena and her brother Leif set off on a journey to try to prevent a brewing war between her two homelands.  Facing a whirlwind of simultaneous conflicts and dangers, she struggles to come to terms with the corruptible nature of magic as she faces the her most powerful adversary yet – a Fire Warper that’s steadily gaining power from a horrific blood magic ritual practiced by the Daviian clan.

I really loved reading this trilogy, especially the first one (Poison Study).  While I still enjoyed this one, I thought it dove into conflict after conflict without letting me pause to really get into the story.  The Fire Warper was a really interesting addition and I wanted to learn more about him, and of course I wanted more scenes with Valek, who is one of my favorite characters in the books.  Ari and Janco showed up in a few scenes though, so that made me happy.

I love the juxtaposition between the structured districts of Ixia and the free-spirited, magic wielding citizens of Sitia.  Yelena is a wonderful character, full of passion and stubbornness, and all three books are packed with adventure, humor and raw human emotion.

Although this wasn’t my favorite of the Study series I highly recommend it and look forward to reading her Glass series soon!



  1. iread Said:

    Couldn’t agree more. I loved “Poison Study,” but thought “Magic Study” and “Fire Study” lacked the emotional depth of the first book. As I read “Fire Study” I kept wishing Snyder would slow the action for just a second so I could catch my breath.

    Great blog, by the way 🙂

    • Jamye Said:

      Exactly! Hopefully Storm Glass reads more like Poison Study since it’s introducing a new main character.

      Thanks for commenting!

      • iread Said:

        I read Storm Glass. I’d describe it as Fire Study x3. More action, more riding around from clan territory to clan territory. Not enough character or relationship development.

        If memory serves, on her website Maria Snyder says she spent something like seven years writing Poison Study. Frankly, it shows. Some authors just can’t pull off one incredible novel a year, and I think Snyder might be one of them. She’s a really good writer, I just wish she’d give herself more time to tighten up her novels.

  2. I find that a lot with third books. The story tends to disappear in amongst the dramatic conflicts. That said, I have read quite a few good things about this series and I am looking forward to reading it at some stage. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Jamye Said:

      I guess that’s pretty common. Even still, I’d definitely recommend this series. Thanks for stopping by and let me know what you think if you read it!

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