*Originally Reviewed at Witchmag's Boekenplank*
As soon as I finished reading the first book, Study of Poison, I ran to the library to get my hands on this book. I just had to know how the story continued. After a couple of pages, it was obvious that I, once again, had found a real page-turner! I even took it with me when I went to visit my sister, so I could continue to read. It was so hard to put this book down! Maria V. Snyder has yet again managed to write a captivating story about a most intriguing world. This time you’ll get to discover the South. To Sitia, the place where Yelena was born and magic has not been banned. No, instead it is embraced and encouraged. However, something is wrong. A ruthless murderer is on the loose, leaving lifeless bodies of young girls in his wake. Then there is Cahil, the cousin of the dethroned king of Ixia…
Despite everything thrown her way, Yelena stood tall, but sometimes took on too much. She was also focused too much on fixing things by herself. I understand that for years she has been on her own and that her trust was shattered and stomped on. Still, not everyone is out to be your enemy. Sometimes it comes in handy to share things cause some people might know more than you. So why not tell them? The worse that could happen is one scary and life threatening situation less, so why not go for it?
Notwithstanding Yelena’s behavior at times, it was a delight to discover new characters and re-acquaint the old. I was especially happy to see Janca and Ari, Yelena’s “big brothers”, again. Their antics always make me smile. While reading, though, I noticed something: we hardly get a detailed description of the characters. At first I thought I must have missed them, but with every new character Yelena encounters there was still no description. Even though my mind has already created an image, I’d still like to have some handles, something more than the most beautiful blue eyes she’s ever seen or a bunch of blond curls.
I also noted that I could not really feel the connection, the emotional bonds between the characters. There are not many words spent on describing the emotions Yelena feels, the focus here is more on the adventure. A vast difference between all the Young Adult and New Adult books I’ve read, where feelings are THE most important thing. It’s not annoying, though, just different. Still, at some points I totally wished I could see a bit of her real feelings. It felt a bit dull now (I think you understand WHICH scenes I’m talking about don’t you? *wiggles eye brows*).
4 HEARTS. Although it looks like I did not enjoy the book much, with my focus on less stellar moments, as I said in the beginning, I LOVED reading this book! Yelena continues being an amazing and strong woman, who is not afraid to make her hands dirty. She has some control and trust issues, but she’s learning to cope with them ^^ It was great to return to my beloved characters and meeting new ones. There are some things I noticed, like the lack of a detailed character description, but they did not have any influence at all on the joy I felt while reading. Therefore I can heartily recommend this book to anyone who likes a good adventure with a strong female lead. Now on to the next book!