I have just finished reading The Study Series By Maria V. Snyder and OMG! I absolutely loved them. I read the first book earlier this year but I reread when I finally managed to find and afford the other 2 books in store. I am a huge fan of fantasy novels with a strong badass heroine and this series definitely fits the bill.
First, let’s talk about characters. Yelena is awesome. She is the epitome of badass heroine along with Celaena Sardothien. She overcomes her difficult past, finds out she has magical abilities, manages to fall in love with the man keeping her prisoner and that’s just in the first book! All jokes aside, I love her because she makes the wrong decisions sometimes, and messes up but she keeps going and does the right thing in the end. Valek, well what can I say about him… He’s clever, cunning, a great fighter and his loyalty to friends and the Commander is rivalled by none. I absolutely adore Ari and Janco, they perfectly provide the comic relief required in this epic fantasy. I really want older brothers like them.
Maria V. Snyder’s world building is absolutely great also. She perfectly creates two different nations, Sitia and Ixia. They are cleverly created as each had it’s merits and it’s drawbacks, like every nation. Personally I would rather live in Sitia, with it’s bright colours, although the fire and ice festivals in Ixia sound cool. The way the two nations hate each other, because they fear invasion from the other even though it has been peaceful for years is interesting. I also liked the way Yelena belongs to both Sitia and Ixia and has no bias and wants to help them reconcile.
Finally, the plot. Well, I don’t know about others, but I never knew what was going to happen next. I liked how Valek and Yelena’s romance wasn’t more important that everything else. In fact, the romance wasn’t that important to the plot at all. This book wasn’t short on action, however everything is fully fleshed out and isn’t confusing.
I absolutely loved this series. I cant wait to read the next books!