22 June 2010

Review: Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Magic Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Study #2
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: May 16th, 2008
Edition: Paperback
Yelena is a survivor. Kidnapped as a child, held prisoner as a teen, then released to act as a poison taster, she is now a student of magic. But these magic skills place her in imminent danger, and with an execution order on her head, she has no choice but to escape to Sitia, the land of her birth.

But nothing in Sitia is familiar. As she struggles to understand where she belongs and how to control her powers, a rogue magician emerges—;and Yelena catches his eye. Suddenly she is embroiled in a situation not of her making. And once again her magical abilities will either save her life…or be her downfall.

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 new-found 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.

After the events at the end of Poison Study, Yelena finaly meets her family and starts training her powers, but not before she's kidnaped by a wannabe king, acussed of being a spy and mind raped by the most powerful magician in Sitia.

I liked seeing Yelena taking more responsibilities and trying to adapt to her situation. She acts more mature in this book although there are times in which she takes too many risks (but that's what makes her Yelena).
The situation with her family is complicated, but I think is handled well. Her brother Leif hates her, and he's a real jerk to her, but we find out his reason later on. It made me feel sorry for him.
We get a lot of interactions with Irys, who becomes her mentor, but we don't really find out much about her or her past.

One of the best parts of the book is when Yelena is with Kiki, her horse. I loved Kiki, she's very insightful and has really good instincts, even though she's a horse.
Other great character of the book is Moon Man, Yelena's life guide. I loved how cryptic he was & at the same time his gentleness with her and the rest of the group.

What I missed the most is Valek. He does get to be in a good part of the book, but I missed him when Yelena was out exploring with the others. One of the best things of the series is how the love parts are balanced with the rest of the story.
In this book we learn all about Sitia and how different it is from Ixia, especially the warm weather, the beggars and how magic isn't forbidden.

The book is fast paced and there's something happening at every moment.
This is a great follow up to Poison Stusy, but it's very different from it, and I think that's one of the things I liked most about it. We get to see another part from that world, and it's really interesting. Definetly read this book if you loved the previous one.

Memorable Lines:

At last, an older man stepped forward. “I’m Bavol Cacao Zaltana, Elder Councilman for the Zaltana family. Are you Yelena Liana Zaltana?”
I hesitated. That name sounded so formal, so connected, so foreign. “My name is Yelena,” I said.
A young man a few years older than I pushed through the crowd. He stopped next to the Elder. Squinting hard, his jade-eyed gaze bore into mine. A mixture of hatred and revulsion creased his face. I felt a slight touch of magic brush my body.
"She has killed,” he called out. “She reeks of blood.”

Next Book:
Fire Study - Study #3

Previous Book:
Poison Study - Study #1

Rating: 1/2


Jessica said...

Magic Study was a good follow up. And I admit I wanted to see a little more of Valek, too. I also like the good balance of action scenes and romance scenes. Maria does a wonderful job. Fire Study was really good as well! And as I said in my Poison Study comment, her Glass series was awesome as well!

Spav said...

* Jessica, when you told me about her Glass series, I went and bought them immediately. I loved that world! Noy I have to wait a week so it can arrive here.