Review: Night Study by Maria V. Snyder


Night Study by Maria V. Snyder

Pages: 444
Yes, part of the Chronicles of Ixia series #8.
Publisher: MIRA Ink
Published: January 26th 2016


Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana’s 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 are 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 that they could have ever imagined.

Wowowowow. So much happened in this book I need to a moment and just.. wow.  SO MUCH FREAKING HAPPENED!  I literally don’t even know where to start without spoiling anything because there’s is SO MUCH TO BE SAID.

The book takes off exactly where Shadow Study (COI #7) ended.  It was essentially like the conversation Valek and Yelena (aka Yalek) were having was cut in half and the second half was put at the start of this book.  I’m SO glad this was done because we got to see Yelena and Valek’s POV and it was really sweet.

The first third of the book is actually us following Yalek around (SWOON). After Poison Study I always felt as though Yalek spent more time apart than together, so when we were finally graced with reading about them together, I was really pleased.  Yalek is a power couple and them being together reminds me of old times.

It wasn’t until about halfway through the book when they separate and do their thing when I got a little bored.  Typically, when Snyder would talk about Valek’s missions she never really goes into such extended detail.  And this time she did, which put a lot of questions in my head such as: “Why do I care about this mission? Why do I care about this place? Why is Snyder making this such a big thing?”.  And it wasn’t until the home stretch (finallllly!) of the mission that we get a HUGE SURPRISE!  In Shadow Study, we got a glimpse of what made Valek the infamous assassin, King killer, and right-hand man of the Commander.  This time we got another glimpse at his past and it was shock after shock.  Valek had the most character development and it was amazing.

One of my favorite parts about this book is that we finally see that none of the characters are infallible. People we had previously thought of as invisible, aren’t.  There are so many fail-safes created by Snyder that when you see the characters slowly losing hope, you even feel your own hope dwindling.  Which is soul-crushing but so exciting because we never really experienced that in her previous books.

It also must be remarked that Snyder’s storytelling abilities have greatly increased.  Compared to the beginning of the Chronicles of Ixia you can really see her growth and the intricacies of her imagination.  Almost every chapter was dedicated to a new point of view which really added to the complex and intricate storyline woven by her.  People you thought were dead aren’t, murder plots are reveal, people you wouldn’t expect to die, die.  It was a thrill to read and I am too bummed that I will have to wait over a year for the next book.


4.5/5 stars.

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