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Magic Study Hardcover – October 1, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Family betrayal, a power-mad serial killer and a potential diplomatic crisis threaten the independent-minded heroine of Snyder's fine sequel to Poison Study (2005). With the overthrow of the royal family of Ixia, 20-year-old Yelena Zaltana, who was kidnapped as a child by the evil magician Mogkan, is now free to return home to Sitia. Her reunion with the family she hasn't seen in 14 years palls when her brother spreads rumors she's actually a spy from Ixia. At the Magician's Citadel, where Yelena enrolls to hone her prodigious magical talents, her powers raise concern that she might be a rare, powerful Soulfinder. Then a string of ugly murders reveals the presence of a rogue magician in the area. As Yelena joins the hunt for the killer, complications grow with the arrival of a diplomatic mission from Ixia—including her lover, Valek, a notorious spy and assassin, sure to be executed if anyone sees through his disguise. Snyder's lively, charming mix of romance and fantasy is sure to gain her new fans. (Oct.)
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"Poison Study is a nifty little tale of intrigue featuring a worthy protagonist that makes for a commendable debut." -- SF Reviews
"Poison Study is a wonderful and lively read. Highly recommended!" -- Kate Elliott, author of the Crown of Stars series
"Be prepared for an exhilarating adventure of danger and romance as our heroine battles for her life against rebel forces . . ." -- Dark Realms magazine
"Enchanting . . . I absolutely loved it. Poison Study is a wonderful trip into fantasy." -- Heather Graham, New York Times bestselling author
"Maria Snyder has created an engaging and entirely original new fantasy, fascinating in its rich detail." -- Mercedes Lackey, New York Times bestselling author
"Maria V. Snyder makes readers believe in her world and the characters she creates, a writer's form of magic." -- The Best Reviews
Top customer reviews
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MAGIC STUDY was a spiraling world of magic, love, survival, determination, all weaved around the magical elements of danger, betrayal, drama, lies, and murder...
MAGIC STUDY was just about everything I hoped for, almost... This book was so much fun and introduced a whole new world to this series that I couldn't get enough of.
But the downside to MAGIC STUDY was that I wanted, no, NEED, more of VALEK!! He didn't show up until more then halfway though the book, then when we did, he wasn't there a lot. And that drove me CRAZY. Granted, it all still played out amazing, and had twist and turns that I loved, but I would of enjoyed them a lot more if Valek was there through most of them! ;)
Another small issue I had was that in POISON STUDY Yelena and Valek didn't act on they're feelings until almost the end of the book, but when they finally did express they're true feelings for each other, it felt rushed and not as developed as I hoped for. But in a way it was understandable because they were in a dire situation where they weren't able to fully express their-selves.
But in MAGIC STUDY, it still didn't really develop the way I wanted. They just picked up with how much they loved each other, but not a lot of talking about their feelings. Really, every time they got together they hardly even talked at all. And that drove me INSANE!!! I LOVE them as a couple. I think they're both awesome characters, and are well developed, but their relationship is not. I know they love each other, I mean it's definitely obvious. Because in POISON STUDY they're feelings built up from the beginning to almost the end, and had plenty of time for those feelings to progress and truly blossom into the love that they have for each other. But once they got together, I wanted more feelings, more talk, more togetherness, MORE OF THEM!! I don't know if that makes any sense, but nevertheless, I LOVE them together and apart, I just wish they had more time together to develop their feels for each other.
That aside, the rest of the book was AMAZING!! I loved all the new and old characters that came into play in MAGIC STUDY, and the direction that the plot took. I loved all the magic and adventure, and meeting Yelena's family, and the strong bonds and allies she built. And the new enemies she established in Sitia. I would of liked to visit Ixia again, but that's okay I'm sure we will in the next book, FIRE STUDY!
Yelena has left Ixia behind, forced to flea or face execution from the Commander for being a magician and having the power of magic pulse through her veins. She's eager, but nervous about returning to her homeland of Sitia, where she will learn how to wield her magic and reunite with her long-lost-family that she was stolen from all those years ago. But Yelena realizes very quickly that not everyone is willing to accept her with open arms in the magical city. Some think she has ulterior motives, some are even willing to kill her for it...
Now in Sitia and no longer forced to shield her powers, Yelena is able to let go and let free. But Yelena magic is stronger then she or her magician teacher and closet friend Iris, ever thought. Some are even threatened by her and the power she possesses, which happens to be progressing and becoming stronger with each passing day.
But the power is not the problem, she has an enormous power within, what she is struggling with is the control. With her power quickly strengthening at alarming rate, and her displaying unique powers that were once feared, it makes grasping and controlling all this power unsteady and very dangerous. Yelena must learn to wield and control her magic quickly if she has any chance of surviving her homecoming to Sitia.
Theirs a powerful magician stealing the souls of lesser magicians and claiming their magic for themselves. And if they're not stopped, not only will innocent lives be lost, but all of Sitia will fall under the control of the Soul Stealers power. Once the Soul Stealer claims enough souls and magical powers, he will be nearly unstoppable...
With Yelena's strengthening power, and her unique abilities, she may be the only one equipped enough to stop the Soul Stealer before all of the Country plunges into darkness and evil...
Yelena will have to dig deep within to discover who she really is and what she's actually capable of to complete the mission she's set out for. But she's unequipped to go at it alone. She must call on some old friends, including her most strongest ally of all, Valek, and build bonds with new allies in her hometown country of Sitia if she has any chance at stopping this madman before it's too late. But every step she takes seems like their is always someone there trying to keep her from conquering her goal. She will have to be prepared to face all, and determined to overcome the unthinkable if she's going to defeat the evil threatening to claim the country she's grown to love.
MAGIC STUDY was almost as good as I hoped for, minus the issue I had with the relationship development, it was perfect! I only knocked a half of star off my rating for the lack of development in Yelena and Valek's relationship. BUT... I STILL LOVED THEM BOTH. No matter how much time they spent together or apart and how deep they're feelings were talked about with each other. I still enjoyed their time together and can't wait to see them reunite again in FIRE STUDY!!
Overall, MAGIC STUDY was a magically alluring, and utterly addicting read from beginning to end. Maria V. Snyder captured my heart in POISON STUDY, and owned it with MAGIC STUDY, and I'm sure FIRE STUDY will be the link that ties them all together and completes my heart as whole.
Never a dull moment in this book. It seems attacks are coming at her from all directions: rivals, maniacs, magicians, family.
While I didn't like the character Leif all that much, nor did I care for Cahil or Goel or the master villain, I suppose they were necessary evils to 1) tie her back to what happened to her in Ixia in Book 1 to make it a proper sequel, 2) tie her to her origins in Sitia to help the reader care about this country 3) give her some other purpose than studying magical history and theory at the academy.
I did love the roles played out by Elena's family, Irys and the Master Magicians, The Ambassador of Ixia, her schoolmate Dax and of course, Valek and the power twins.
As for the romance, my goodness, it's even better in this book than in book 1. The first moment when our heroine is about to be overcome and bested by her own inexperience while being outnumbered or out-classed, she turns her thoughts to her love to give her strength and Ms. Snyder gives what I believe is one of the most heart wrenching, beautifully romantic scenes I have read. And I read A LOT. I had to put it down and remember to breathe. His selfless love for her is absolute. Even though we know he would have followed orders to kill her in book 1, he would not have lived without her. The ferocity of his feelings is as sharp as his assassins blade and her feelings for him are deeper than anything she's ever known. Sexy times are tasteful and Ms. Snyder does emotional romance quite well in this book. Again, both H and h have other obligations and duties, and neither will hold the other back despite their feelings. I suppose because the H is about 34, he is not the young archetypal buck who is jealous, possessive or alpha male. Due to her experiences and her personality, Yelena is wiser than her 20 years. I find that extremely refreshing. That equal partnership romance based on mutual understanding is mature and welcome compared to what other author's throw into the mix (i.e. triangles, rectangles, misunderstandings and secrets that test relationships).
We are introduced to a lot of new characters, some tied to the first book, some not, and Yelena weathers all with gusto. Yelena has old allies, new allies, enemies and frenemies throughout this book and it's a little dizzying to keep score. We also find that she is connected to the mysterious and ancient nomadic tribes of the desert plains, as well as a very talented primary clan of Sitia. It explains a lot of her abilities and is a segue into Book 3 where I think we get to the meat of what is a "Soulfinder." I have a theory Yelena will either destroy everything or save everyone. Perhaps the prophetic story line has been done and overdone by other authors, but I think the readers who have come along this far like Yelena enough to follow through with her. Yelena does what she thinks is right, and I think even the reader will agree with her decisions, even if it doesn't work out, because she thinks things through, makes a logical choice from what she knows and sticks to the plan. I find her "what would Valek do...?" mentality amusing and very sweet because in many ways, no matter how crazy her life becomes, he and what she learned from him continues to be her anchor.
There's no stopping this girl. I can't wait to read Book 3.
Sexual Nature: M/F Sex is non graphic G
Violence: Murder and Rape off page.
This is a fantasy written about two completely distinct countries who just started new diplomatic trade. The main character Yelena is from both, orphan, prisoner and poison taster in the military dictatorship of IXia and magician student, returned daughter in Sitia. In book one Poison Study of the series Yelena's very bleak life in Ixia was explored. In this book she is in Sitia the democratic of the two countries studying magic, and hunting a killer.
The book was a quick fun adventuresome read, but I got ADHD with characters jumping from foe, to friend, to foe. I understand the author wanting to cause tension but the author should have focused on one major aspect either, Yelena's magic study, the murder or the political intrigue; as everything seemed muddled by too many subplots. In the first book I was able to get to know the world of Ixia, but I felt Sitia and it's people were over shadowed by the subplot of a wannabe King and murder, only for the to be a foil to show how awesome Yelena's magic was. Add in Yelena's family and her magic training and I felt pummeled with too many subplots. Plus the depth of characters that was present in the first book are missing in this follow up.,
Will I continue the series? I hate leaving series unfinished but I won't one click immediately.
Most recent customer reviews
Yelena started getting on my nerves. I don't mind flawed characters so long as they grow and learn from their previous mistakes.Read more