"Yelena's apprenticeship is over - now her 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. Honour 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."
Fire Study is the final book in the Study trilogy. I loved the first two books, and happily this one wasn't a disappointment. It gets in to the action pretty quickly with the master magicians still trying to decide just what to do with Yelena. She's remaining in Sitia for the time being, with the intention of learning better control of her magic. But she's quickly off on the trail of the escaped Cahil and Ferde, both of whom have big plans and part of that involves seeing Yelena dead. She's scared of Ferde, and pretty much terrified of what the men will accomplish, but she's determined to stop them hurting anyone else.
With the help of her brother, her story weaver and a couple new friends, and of course her horse Kiki, she sets out on the dangerous mission. But it quickly goes down hill as they realise things are far worse than they'd all thought. And more than they could have imagined.
For me, I found this a very satisfying ending to the trilogy. There were some good twists and turns and I found myself struggling to put the book down. The writing wasn't as smooth as the first two books, but in someways, I found it emphasized Yelena's state of mind. She struggles a lot through this book, not that she hasn't in the past two, but in this it's different some how. She knows a lot more now, and there are a lot of expectations and pressures on Yelena that she's not used to. And she's trying to deal with the consequences on being a Soulfinder as well. Fire Study shows just how human Yelena is, her fear getting the best of her at times and having serious consequences. Her relationship with Valek isn't going very smoothly either, and she's struggling to find her way in a world where she's not really welcome anywhere.
There were some really heartfelt moments, and some very funny moments as well, particularly where Ari and Janco were concerned. We got to see more of several characters and met some new ones, and with both we discover not everyone is as they seem. The end of the book was satisfying as well. Pretty much all the loose ends got tied up nicely, but not so tightly that you can't imagine future events for the characters. Thoroughly enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to reading the second trilogy set in the same world as soon as I can! 8/10