Review of FIRE STUDY by MARIA V. SNYDER
(third in the STUDY trilogy)
I re-read this entire trilogy and found, unexpectedly, that the first two books exceeded my memory of them. However, this third one, in contrast, didn’t quite live up to my memory.
The flaws are more vague than specific and are probably best described as a lack of polish. I think the heart of the story, the core characters, and so forth are all good and enjoyable, but a lot of the specifics fell short. As one example, I often struggled understanding motivations of villains and heroines alike. As a character-centric reader, the plot loses much of my investment if I cannot understand the character motivation behind why events are unfolding as they are.
To back up, let me describe the premise of this final installment (spoilers for earlier books included). At the end of book two, Cahil, devastated upon learning he is not the lost prince he believed himself to be, frees and flees with Ferde, the vicious Soulstealer who has already taken the lives of many innocents in a particularly cruel and slow manner.
FIRE STUDY concludes the plot-driven, fast paced STUDY trilogy. Above all, I will remember Yelena as someone who never makes the easy choice.