Another enjoyable installment in the Poison Study series
Night Study: A Poison Study Novel by Maria V Snyder Harlequin/Mira Sci Fi & Fantasy Pub Date: January 26, 2016 Review Night Study is primarily a fantasy novel, but has elements of romance. While reading it, I never had any doubt that Yelena and Valek would survive/surpass any challenges thrown their way. I had no fear that the "good guys" would somehow escape their captors. Happy endings, even if distant loom in the horizon. This is not necessarily for the best. While it makes for a comfortable read, the book lacks the tension of a typical epic fantasy.
Ongoing series are never easy to write. It becomes tempting to cut corners on characterization, expecting readers to know the background from previous novels. Maria V. Snyder does not fall into this trap. Over time, the central characters have changed, Valek in particular has become softer and more compassionate. It is difficult to view him as an assassin, or see Yelena as a former protegee. Love has changed them both.
Maria Snyder creates an interesting scenario in Night Study. Owen, the rogue magician who ordered Yelena's death and his companions have escaped. In their wake lies evidence of experimentation with Curare and Theobroma, two substances which have previously protected Sitia. Now, the Commander of Ixia is behaving oddly, and is seriously concerned about a possible war with Sitia. A complex conspiracy threatens to tear both countries apart, and Yelena, Valek, and their allies may be the only ones able to unravel it. The plot is well constructed, and Snyder tells the story well. Apart from the lack of tension, Night Study is a solidly crafted fantasy novel that makes for an enjoyable read. 4/5 Night Study is available for preorder and will be released January 26, 2016. I received a copy of Night Study from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. --Crittermom Description New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder transports readers back to the realms of Sitia and Ixia in an exciting new Study novel full of magic, danger and intrigue. Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana's life has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia is safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear. Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he's quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he's been keeping secrets from Valek…secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander's mysterious plans, they realize it's far more sinister than they could have ever imagined.