Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
This book series has confused me slightly. I thought that this was just a middle book in a large series. This is actually the last book in a trilogy that focuses on Yelena Zaltana. In this book, we see that Yelena is not only afraid of her magic, of being a Soulfinder, but she is afraid of what could happen to her should she decide to do what everyone thinks she will do, take the souls of others and use them to enhance her own power.
As word spreads about Yelena unique abilities starts to spread throughout the Citadel and Keep, people become nervous and uneasy about what she could do. As the Council debates what to do with her, Yelena receives word that the Soulstealer she defeated during Magic Study, is moving against her homeland and family in order to augment his power and the power of others once again. As Yelena, Lief, Moon Man, and the rest of her friends struggle to not only save the Zaltana homeland, but to save the souls of those who are fed to the Fire Warper, Yelena learns that there is much more to her magic that she, and others, originally thought.
Throughout this whole book, we see Yelena struggle not only with believing and trusting herself but trusting her magic as well. With the negative connotations associated with her magic, and what has happened in the past with previous Soulfinders, Yelena is finding it harder and harder to trust that she’ll do what is right in Sitia, and control her magic. But as she journeys to protect her family, she discovers that being a Soulfinder is more than being able to control the soul of someone, it’s about being able to set souls free, to keep them from hovering around where they don’t belong. She learns that her magic is what she makes it, not what others perceive it as.
I liked that this book shows that Yelena is struggling and learning. I liked that it showed that Yelena is the same as a lot of us, that while she may have a powerful magic, she is still limiting herself some due to her own fears and inhibitions. But once she learns that she is who determines her magic, not others, she is the one who controls what she does with her magic, not others, she embraces her magic and discovers that she can do so much more than anyone else could have thought.
I love this series, and how to shows that people can do what they want to do, and should do, when they put their minds to it. Yes, this series is slightly simplistic, in who’s good and who’s evil, but at the same time, it is not. It shows that while some things are simplistic, other things are not. There are people out there that are just plain rude and mean, and evil. There are also people out there who believe that what they are doing is correct and will protect those they love.
Has there been a book series that you thought to be a little simplistic, but still gave a good moral lesson? Was the lesson smack you in the face, or subtly there? Comment below and let me know!