The apprenticeship is over—now the real test has begun.
When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder—able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before....
Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself—and save the land she holds dear.
In this thrilling conclusion to Maria V. Snyder's Study series, she has proved to me, yet again, that fantasy can be a whole lot more than just page upon page of world building. Each action-packed book in this series surpassed my expectations, keeping me so engrossed in the books I read one right after the other. I felt I was a part of Yelena's journey of self discovery, Maria's writing pulls you right into the story; so that you feel every one of her emotions as if they were your own. Yelena's strength comes from the hard lessons she was forced to endure in her life, but without them, she would have never survived to become a confident, free woman; secure in the knowledge of who and what she is--a Soulfinder. Yelena is still learning to use and control her magic, she begins her studies hoping to soon become the liaison between Sitia and Ixia; so she can be free to be with Valek...things are just never that simple for Yelena. An old enemy returns, and after his defeat, Yelena, Valek and their friends are faced with a whole new evil form of magic that has twisted Sitia's government against its own people. In order to stop a war between Sitia and Ixia, Yelena must convince the Magician's Council to overcome their fear and distrust of Soulfinders, and the Commander to delay his attack against the Sitians. Betrayal within the Council has them following the rule of a warped magician, someone who is using dark Blood Magic to advance their powers and is willing to cause countless deaths in order to become the new ruler of both Sitia and Ixia. Danger surrounds those fighting for the good of the people, and as Yelena begins to lose those closest to her, deaths caused by dark magic, she must find the strength to defeat those that hold Sitia captive before it's too late.