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Fire Study (Study, Book 3) Paperback

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Fire Study (Study, Book 3) + Poison Study (Study, Book 1)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Mira (March 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778325342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778325345
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 3.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of high-spirited adventure, intrigue and romance will celebrate the third book (after 2007's Magic Study) in the saga of reluctant mage and diplomat Yelena Zaltana. The news that Yelena is a Soulfinder, able to manipulate the spirits of the dead and the living, hasn't made her popular with the inhabitants of Sitia's Magician's Keep, since the last Soulfinder turned people into mindless slaves. First Magician Roze Featherstone's hostility toward Yelena increases until the Sitian Council decides to send Yelena north as diplomatic liaison to the rival nation of Ixia. When Roze takes over the council, imprisoning her rivals and driving the nation to the brink of war with Ixia, Yelena is caught between her duties as liaison, her love for Ixian intelligence officer Valek and her fear of her own power, which she must embrace fully to defeat Roze and restore the council. Snyder delivers another excellent adventure, deftly balancing international and local hostilities against Yelena's personal struggles. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"This is an impressive debut and a strong start to what should prove to be a compelling new fantasy series." - Rhianna Pratchett, SFX Magazine" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

When I was in sixth grade, I learned about meteorologists and decided I wanted to be one. My visions of chasing tornados throughout the Midwest and flying through hurricanes didn't pan out. Mostly because I wasn't good at forecasting, and my grades weren't exactly stellar. Let's face it, I'm a daydreamer--always have been, always will be.

I did graduate from Penn State University and was hired as an environmental meteorologist--try and say that five times fast ;) and I started writing when bored at work. It's never a good idea to get caught just staring out the window, so I wrote my daydreams down. After fooling around with short stories, I wrote my first novel, Poison Study. It was published sixteen years later. A lesson in patience and persistence! I had caught the writing bug and Magic Study and Fire Study soon followed.

Even though I went on to earn a Masters degree in writing from Seton Hill University, I never lost my fascination with storms, which is evident in my Glass Series (Storm Glass, Sea Glass and Spy Glass), and I still consider myself an environmentalist. The green part of me comes out in both Inside Out and Outside In. Trella's world is contained inside a big metal cube and they must reuse and recycle everything. One thing they got right in one otherwise messed-up world!

My latest series is about a healer and I happily let my nurturing side take over. Touch of Power starts the series with Avry on the run in a world recovering from a devastating plague. Scent of Magic is the second book and the third, Taste of Death will be out December 2013.

Aside from a writer, I'm also a teacher and mentor for students enrolled in Seton Hill University's MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction. I enjoy working with aspiring writers and helping them complete their novels. I've won a half dozen awards and been on the New York Times bestseller list, but nothing compares to being the proud mentor come graduation day!

Other things I enjoy are playing volleyball, photography and traveling. I'll go anywhere at anytime - much to my mother's dismay since my husband and I frequently bring along our son and daughter on our adventures.

I love my job. Where else can you take fencing lessons, learn how to ride a horse, study martial arts, learn how to pick a lock, take glass blowing classes and get a personal tour of a maximum security prison and call it all research? I'll give you a hint--not working as a meteorologist.

Customer Reviews

Overall the book lacked the depth of character development that we had in Poison Study.
The other thing that tended to irk me was that there was SO much happening in the book but there really wasn't enough book time given to either.
Great series would recommend the books to any one who loves reading fantasy and about alternate worlds.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Margaret S. on March 9, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fire Study the final book in Snyder's trilogy was the weakest link of all three books. The series began very strongly with Poison Study and went downhill from there.

The book could have easily removed 200 pages and would have been better for it. I felt the author lost the passion for the storyline and was just rushing to finish it off.

Snyder left her roots of interweaving a story of magic and a fantasy world where Yelena learns to adjust to her increasing powers and removal from Ixia. Instead we have a repetitious action adventure plot missing the magical world the author had previously created.

Any magic that was used was extremely repetitive (Curare and Theobroma) and the fight scenes which were easily over half of the book were very repetitive. The main characters are out numbered, rendered paralyzed with Curare, captured, escape, Kiki needs to kick someone to save Yelena, and they all meet at the rendezvous point about 20 times. This followed with around 20 pages of repetitive bow staff fighting amongst friends. Not exactly exciting stuff there.

The rogue Warpers motivations seemed disorganized which proved to be a very serious failed opportunity to add a very interesting component to the story.

The main characters did not grow or form closer bonds with each other. Holes within their personal history were not filled in. I did not learn anything new about the fascinating people, history, or culture of Sitia or Ixia. The plot also follows the same line as the first books, children of children being harvested for the power of others. Yelena coming into her own to harvest and control her powers seemed improbable as the challenges put before her were more physical in nature.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By HHK VINE VOICE on March 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
I just forced myself to finish Fire Study, and I can't believe how let down I am. Poison Study is on my Listmania list of all time favorite books. Magic Study was a good follow-up. I have been eagerly awaiting this book for years and rushed out to buy it the day it was released. My thoughts mirror those of the other negative reviews. It felt that the book was a collection of action scenes strung together with no direction. The focus was action driven not character driven. I wanted more meaningful interactions between Yelena and Valek. Overall the book lacked the depth of character development that we had in Poison Study. Fire Study was a let down, but Poison Study remains an amazing book, which is why I am giving this two stars. I know this author has the capability of writing incredible stories, so I will still be reading her next novel Storm Glass which will apparently be focusing on Opal and glass magic. According to an interview with the author, it should be releasing this December.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Angela Thompson VINE VOICE on November 1, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I felt a bit blue as I finished FIRE STUDY, the third and final volume in Maria V. Snyder's Study Trilogy. Though she is currently working on a new series following a side character from the Study books, this is the last one to center on the adventures of Yelena, the convicted murderer, turned poison taster, turned diplomatic liaison. I felt blue because I'd been expecting more and I ended up finishing it more out of a feeling of obligation than because I was truly engrossed.

The story picks up shortly after the events of Magic Study leave off. Yelena, her brother Leif, and the mercurial Moon Man are busy trying to mop up the Soulstealer's mess and dealing with accusations from the Mage's Council. First Magician Roze Featherstone is calling for Yelena's head on a platter and there is little rest for the weary on the horizon. The problem is, very little happens from this point on. Or rather, very little new stuff happens.

What there is is page after page of no one believing Yelena that Roze really is That Evil. Page after page of people stabbing each other with curare left and right (and waking up from being stabbed). Page after page of no Valek. And when he is there Yelena's not letting him help her. Instead she spends the majority of her time worrying about his potential demise and trying to protect him from a threat he's much better equipped to deal with than anyone else in the book. Towards the last three quarters of the story, the characters do start to wake up and act like themselves. They begin to deal with some of the meatier issues hanging over them just as the book reaches its end. And I felt myself wondering what took them so long?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. McCullough on March 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
The book is a continuation of the first two books in the series, begun with Poison Study and Magic Study. While Poison Study grabs the reader with a highly original hook and compelling telling that makes you feel like each plot twist was clearly led up to even if you couldn't guess it in advance, Fire Study feels more rambling, like the author took to much to heart the common writer's advice to let the characters tell the story themselves without rewriting it later to ensure each major plot point follows logically. The major revelation at the end was at once completely predictable, yet at the same time very disappointingly not foreshadowed. This isn't to say that the book isn't enjoyable to fans of the series. It continues on the course of the previous books, and unlike some of the complaints of Magic Study, the main character, Yelena, is not so over-powerful compared to others. The feeling of helplessness from Poison Study and the mad rush to action is there at especially well written moments, but the character has clearly aged.

The throwaway references to the characters from the first book, like the Commander, were intriguing for their contrast, showing the depth to which the author truly made them come alive. While a few of the newer characters from book 2 come alive, few are done with such a clear and compelling style. While the plot advance was minimal, it was welcome as a reminder that this author can still produce material of that quality.

The end is really the most disappointing aspect of the story. It felt like the author wanted to end the story and go back to the roots of the story in romance rather than accepting the cross-genre nature of the story as an adventure fantasy as well as a romance.
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