Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder (4/5 stars)

This is the third book in the Poison Study series by Maria Snyder. In this book Yelena continues to discover what it is to be a Soulfinder. Yelena is trying to get permission from the Sitian Council to continue studying at the keep when she gets a message from Moon Man that he has found what she it seeking.

Yelena then travels to the plains to talk to Moon Man and ends up, once again, involved in battle with the Sandseeds as she tries to track down Ferda. Things end up being more complicated than Yelena initally knew and as the plot rushes along she ends up in a situation where she has to decide if her loyalties lie with Ixia or Sitia.

This was an adequate book for this series. I listened to it on audio book; the audio book quality was excellent. It was face-pasted and action-filled. Kiki and Valek are by far my favorite characters in this book. I liked the fact that Valek is in the book quite a bit more and that he still seems to know and see all.

I was disappointed in the path that the character of Moon Man took. I thought it was out of character for him to just step back and accept things like he did. I thought Yelena was more than a little dense throughout the book. Her Soulfinder powers seemed pretty obvious to me right at the beginning; yet it takes her until the end of the book to figure everything out. For some reason what happened with Roze Featherstone at the end of the book took me by surprise; I didn't really expect Roze to play as major of a role as she did. I found some of the debate between Ixia (military style government) and Sitian style government (more of a parliamentary style) to get a bit preachy at times; I suppose this discussion was inevitable given the political overtones of the book.

I still think that the strong point of this book is the cast of supporting characters. Kiki, Valek, Janco, Ari, and even Yelena's parents are, to me, much more interesting and likable characters than Yelena. This book seemed very well wrapped up at the end. I wonder if there will be another book; it is hard to tell. I kind of wish Snyder would just write the series from Valek's point of view; I think it would be more interesting!

Anyway, it was a good book. Just about what I expected. It would make a satisfying end to this series if that is what it is.

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