Sunday Spotlight is a new feature we’re running in 2016. Each week, we will spotlight a release that we’re excited about. We’ll be posting exclusive excerpts and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂
When I read Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder back in 2008, I swept away by the story and characters. The plot was so fresh and the mystery so intriguing, I anguished over waiting for the next books to be released. That first trilogy has stayed with me over the years, and I often go back and think of it fondly.
Now, Snyder has returned to the story of Yelena and Valek with another trilogy, and I’m thrilled.
Night Study by Maria V. Snyder
Releases on January 26 by MIRA INK
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New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder transports readers back to the realms of Sitia and Ixia in an exciting new Study novel full of magic, danger and intrigue.
Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana’s life has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia is safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear.
Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he’s quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he’s been keeping secrets from Valek…secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander’s mysterious plans, they realize it’s far more sinister than they could have ever imagined.
Extract from Night Study by Maria V Snyder
My lips still burned from Valek’s kiss. The intensity of it seared into my soul like a red-hot iron branding his name right on my heart. The idea of being locked in a tower with him no longer sounded so terrible. If my magic never returned, what else would I do aside from raising our child? I might be content…for about a week.
Valek mounted Onyx. He met my gaze, and his smile promised a reunion worth waiting for. Then he was gone, leaving behind a cloud of dust. The rest of the world returned, appearing duller.
“Yelena,” Onora said.
I focused on her. “Yes?”
She held out a roll of parchment. “I drew this for you.”
Suppressing my surprise, I took it and unrolled the sheet, revealing a picture of a tree drawn with charcoal. Each oval leaf had been carefully detailed, along with the precise lines and shading of the bark. I half expected it to sway in the breeze.
Why would she— I gasped. “It’s the Harman tree, isn’t it?”
“Yes.” Onora’s tone was matter-of-fact.
She’d gone into Owen’s suite and sketched one of the saplings, despite the danger. Impressive and brave. “When?”
“This morning. Right after I talked to you.”
“Did anyone see you?”
“No. And I didn’t touch the trees or go near them, just in case there was a magical alarm.”
“Smart. I want to admonish you for taking such a risk, but…” I waved the picture. “This is perfect. You are a talented artist.”
She shrugged away the compliment. “Will it help your father identify the tree?”
“Yes. He’ll be ecstatic. And then he’ll bug me to invite you to the jungle to go on an expedition with him and draw plants. To him, that’s the ultimate experience, and he doesn’t understand why others aren’t jumping up and down at the prospect.”
Onora laughed. It was a small burst of sound as it escaped her tight self-control. “I might actually like that.”
“When all this mess with Owen is resolved, consider yourself invited.”
I tucked the picture into my saddlebags. Ari and Janco finished readying their horses.
The Stable Master gave Ari’s horse a pat on the neck. “His name’s Diamond Whiskey, `cause of that diamond-shaped blaze on his forehead. But we all call him Whiskey for short. Take good care of him and make sure he returns with you. The Commander’s partial to him.”
Ari paused in midmount. “Why did you pick him then? I can take another.”
“He’s the strongest of my lot.”
“That’s a polite way of saying you’re fat, Ari,” Janco said.
Ari and the Stable Master ignored him.
The Master pointed to Kiki and The Madam. “I also picked him `cause he gets along well with the girls.”
“Being able to get along is a good quality to have,” I said, giving Janco a pointed look.
He batted his eyelashes at me—Mr. Innocent. “Hey, I’m the epitome of a team player.”
I suppressed a sigh as I swung into my saddle. Janco in high spirits meant more high jinks. However, no matter how hard I tried, I really couldn’t consider that a bad thing.
“Come on, Epitome,” I said. “Mount up. I’d like to cross the border before dark.”
Night Study by Maria V Snyder is out 25th February in the UK (£7.99, MIRA INK)
ARI AND JANCO! VALEK! ::DIES::
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Maria lives with her family and a black cat name Valek (a.k.a. the bug assassin!) in Pennsylvania where she is at work on another book and/or a short story (yes this is purposely vague – as you can see, Maria is very busy and updating her website takes time that she just doesn’t have. Oh, all right, but if this information is out of date, don’t blame Maria :). Actually, Maria is hard at work…well not at this very second…on NIGHT STUDY, the second book of the NEW set of three Study books with Yelena and Valek! The first of the new set, SHADOW STUDY will be out March 2015!