Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Study Series (Book 5)
Publication: Mira (January 26, 2016)
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.
My Thoughts: This episode sees big changes for both Yelena and Valek. Yelena begins the story having lost her magic in the previous book. She is also pretty sure that she is pregnant. The thought of bringing a baby into her current life as a magicless target of assassins scare her spitless. Valek is happy with the news despite the major changes it will make in both their lives.
Meanwhile, in the bigger world, Valek seems to be losing the trust of the Commander and feels that his loyalty is shifting to Yelena and his potential new family. This isn't a good time to doubt the Commander and his loyalty. Owen has escaped from prison and is planning the magical takeover of Ixia. But the Commander feels he is controlling Owen as he plans to try to conquer Sitia. This situation puts Yelena right in the middle. As the liaison between Ixia and Sitia, she is committed to maintaining peace between the two countries.
In Sitia, a cartel has taken to kidnapping and brainwashing magicians in preparation of the feared invasion by the Commander's forces. Both Leif and Yelena are kidnapped by this faction which tries to brainwash them into believing in the goals of the the cartel.
Valek is busy in the northern part of Ixia trying to track down a band of pirates who are being aided by magic users. Valek has a life-altering surprise when he discovers that two of the magicians with the pirates are siblings he didn't know he had. Going home again with them changes him immensely.
When they do finally get back together, they find themselves in the middle of a potential war with only a small cohort of supporters to try to stop things before it is too late. On the plus side, they are together and married and committed to being parents. On the minus side, they need to stop a war in order to live a life that isn't filled with danger. Hopefully, the next book will resolve this war situation. I can't wait.
Dark shadows of grief haunted his expression. More than one person should be asked to bear. But that was the problem with grief. No one ever asked for it. It arrived with its bags already packed for an extended stay. It settled into your best guest room and demanded to be waited on all day long, and when it finally shuttled out the door, it left behind permanent scratches on your furniture.I received this eARC from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.