Maria V. Snyder, Mira, 2008, 441 pages, fantasy.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
The apprenticeship is over—now the real test has begun.
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 sorcerer 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.
This is the final book in the Study series. As much as I loved these books, this one was my least favorite. I still like Yelena and think that she is a great character, along with Valek, but this book just did not come together in the same way.
Snyder is still very good at creating excitement, this book starts off quite exciting and she has a knack for cliffhanger ending chapters. However, I found this book to be a bit repetitive with many of the details. I also found Snyder spent a lot of time filling in background from the other books. Sometimes this was seamless, but sometimes it felt like a bit much.
This book brought together a lot of the best characters from both of the previous books. It was great to see Maren, Yelena's old sparing partner, back, along with Janco, Ari, Valek, Moon Man and Leif. Sometimes it felt like there were guest appearances saying goodbye, as former characters appeared briefly or were talked about.
The action in this book was non-stop, as Yelena faced one horrible situation after another, as she or someone else was endangered, someone needed to be healed, Yelena exhausted herself healing them and could barely rest up before the next perilous situation presented itself.
I am torn about this book - I really did like it. Despite some of the issues I had with the book, I raced right though it, it just wasn't as good as the other two. However, it is nice to see how everything ended and to enjoy the adventure of how Yelena learns to counter her most fearsome enemy yet, the Fire Warper. All in all, a good book and worth the read, especially if you have read the other two in the series.