Title: Magic Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Publisher: Mira Books
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…
Like its predecessor, Poison Study, I really liked this book but it’s a little difficult for me to say exactly why. I cared about the characters, the story, and the fantasy world that it all takes place in.
This story takes place in a much different setting than Poison Study. While the first book was set in the structured Ixian kingdom that arrests anyone who’s magic, the second book moves to Sitia, the southern land where magic is the norm and various tribes are separated in their own areas and are all ruled by a group of magicians. I was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy this book as much since it focused on much different events than the first book, plus I wasn’t sure if many of the same characters I liked from the first book would show up. Despite the change in setting and storyline, though, most of the characters showed up in this book as well.
This is a bit spoiler-ish for the first book, so read on carefully if you haven’t read it. I was kind of worried that a love triangle was going to show up in this book. I really liked Yelena and Valek’s relationship in the first book, even though I certainly wasn’t expecting it in the beginning. When Yelena was separated from Valek and there seemed to be another man who might catch her eye, I was kind of worried, even though the third option didn’t seem like a bad person. The love triangle didn’t really last for long, though, and Valek managed to show up plenty throughout the book, making me love this crazy, unconventional relationship even more.
That’s all I can really say about this book, though. Like I said, I’m not really sure how to explain it. This is a great fantasy book that ends with one more book to wrap up Yelena’s adventures, which I can’t wait to get my hands on. Despite not always being a fan of high-fantasy-type books, these books really interest me, and I hope the last book continues that for me.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars