Review – Magic Study (Study #2) by Maria V. Snyder

November 11, 2013 Reviews 2 ★★★★

Title: Magic Study
Series: Study #2
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Release Date: 2005
Pages: 392, Hardcover
Goodreads Rating: 4.08 stars
My Rating: 4/5 stars
My Content Rating: PG-16+?? (Sex (including sexual assault) is mentioned but not explicit)

Summary from Goodreads: YOU KNOW YOUR LIFE IS BAD WHEN YOU MISS YOUR DAYS AS A POISON TASTER…


With her greatest enemy dead, and on her way to be reunited with the family she’d been stolen from long ago, Yelena should be pleased. But though she has gained her freedom, she can’t help feeling isolated in Sitia. Her Ixian background has changed her in many ways—and her newfound friends and relatives don’t think it’s for the better….

Despite the turmoil, she’s eager to start her magic training—especially as she’s been given one year to harness her power or be put to death. But her plans take a radical turn when she becomes involved with a plot to reclaim Ixia’s throne for a lost prince—and gets entangled in powerful rivalries with her fellow magicians.

If that wasn’t bad enough, it appears her brother would love to see her dead. Luckily, Yelena has some old friends to help her with all her new enemies….

 

*This review may contain spoilers for Poison Study (click the link to read my review of book #1 of this series).*

After I finished Poison Study, I decided to move straight into Magic Study!  I was interested to see where the story was going to go once Yelena traveled to Sitia to meet her family and to learn to control her magic.  

The negatives:
  • Missing old friends.  I was definitely missing Yelena’s old friends for the first half of the book.  I just wasn’t quite as invested in any of the new characters as I was in Valek, Janco and Ari.  I was very happy when my favorite characters showed back up in Yelena’s life!
What I Loved:
  • Yelena and Valek.  Fans of the first book will be happy to know that Valek and Yelena were still going strong in Magic Study.  I was a bit nervous when there were faint hints at a love triangle, but luckily Yelena keeps her head on straight where men are concerned!  I also loved Valek and Yelena’s relationship in this book because, while their relationship grew, they didn’t become co-dependent.  Valek supported (and protected) Yelena, even when she chose to put herself in danger – over and over again.  Also, while I’m still hoping that these two get their happily ever after, I’m glad that they didn’t let their relationship make all of their decisions for them and they didn’t forget everything else around them in order to be together.  Their relationship faces complications – I hope that in book #3, they’re able to get past those complications!
  • The magic.  I loved learning more about the magic in Yelena’s world and seeing it in action.   While the magic was still relatively subtle (there were no huge magical battles), we got to see a LOT more of it and learn what Yelena is truly capable of.  I loved that Yelena had been using her powers all along (in the first book) without knowing it and how Snyder tied events in the Poison Study into Magic Study, allowing us to see a clearer picture of what had already happened in the first book.
  • Political questions.  This book furthered the political questions that were posed in Poison Study and again explored what makes a leader and a kingdom successful.  I enjoyed this in the first book and appreciated that Yelena still pondered these questions in book #2.
  • Danger.  Just like in Poison Study, Yelena seems to have a target on her back.  Okay, there are times when you start to wonder just why everyone seems to want Yelena dead, but it makes for a very exciting read!  I appreciated that, once again, Yelena managed to take care of herself and didn’t need a knight in shining armor to come save her (although some occasional help from her friends was welcomed).
  • Sitia.  I absolutely adored Yelena’s family’s homeland in the trees.  I thought that Snyder did an excellent job creating this world and describing it in a way that made it come alive, complete with interesting creatures and unique plant-life.  There were other very unique parts of Sitia as well and I look forward to seeing even more of them in future books.
If you enjoyed Poison Study, then you’ll love Magic Study! I definitely recommend this one for fans of the first book in the series and I can’t wait to see what Snyder has in store in Fire Study.  4/5 stars.

2 Responses to “Review – Magic Study (Study #2) by Maria V. Snyder”

  1. John Smith

    When you’re doing magic training, a one-year period in which to harness your power or be put to death is just too much pressure!

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