I like this so much more than Fire Study!
It has been about four years since everything happened in Fire Study and Yelena and Valek have been trying to balance life between Sitia and Ixia. Valek still being very much committed to the Commander and Yelena back at the keep with the rest of the magicians.
I think it was the multiple POVs that captured my attention more so in this instalment of the study series. It wasn’t as focused on Yelena as the rest of the books and I think that’s why I enjoyed it a lot more. She is still an integral role to the storyline but we see how the other characters intersect and have an impact on the plot.
I love that we have more of a spotlight on Valek and his backstory in this book. Learning about his past and how he came to be an assassin and associated with the Commander has always interested me and I was gifted with various super entertaining scenes of Valek contemplating his past decisions and seeing how they differ to the person he is now. It was wonderful!
Ari and Janco are always charming and help to perk up the plot with their banter and liveliness. I love their camaraderie and how they interact with the others yet also are very committed to Valek.
The plot was a lot more engaging in this book than the others because I felt that the stakes were a lot higher. Yelena loosing her powers early on in the storyline and becoming susceptible to magic, which she has never had to experience before, was a nice twist and had me intrigued early on. Also having the knowledge of who the assassin was up in the air for most of the book it was nice to try and figure out along the way who it could possibly be.
Having the relationship between Valek and the Commander in question was also another aspect of the plot that I really enjoyed purely because it caught me by surprise. I honestly didn’t think that the Commander would stoop to that level and I was happy to see some divergence in their storyline.
It kind of just always seemed like Yelena was off chasing someone, putting herself into unnecessary situations that was just frustrating to read. It was all becoming a bit stale and boring and this book has brought back a little bit of suspense and unpredictability.
⭐️4/5 stars If that ending doesn’t have you picking up the next book I don’t know what will!