4-star · Book Reviews · Series

Book Review: Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder

 ★★★★/★★★★★
Title: Magic Study (Study Series #2)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
PubDate: September 1, 2007
Page count: 419

“Living is a risk, I snapped at him. Every decision, every interaction, every step, every time you get out of bed in the morning, you take a risk. To survive is to know you’re taking that risk and to not get out of bed clutching illusions of safety.”

To be honest, I enjoyed this book more than the first one, Poison Study. There was more action, more adventures, more revelations and Yelena got to know her family and a bit more of her history. I was actually hoping to see more of Yelena’s relationship with Valek but Valek didn’t appear until the latter part of the book. It was kinda disappointing but I think it just made his connection with Yelena stronger.

So the second book gives us the story of Yelena traveling and following Irys, Fourth Master Magician, to Sitia after finally defeating Brazell and Mogkan, the people who kidnapped her when she was a child. Yelena has no choice but to flee to Sitia  after revealing her magic to Commander Ambrose who forbids magic in Ixia. But despite that, Commander Ambrose gave Yelena a head start so she can go to Sitia, his payment to Yelena for saving his life.

Yelena’s plan is to follow Irys to Sitia so Irys can teach her how to control her magic and so she can meet her family. Once in Sitia, her family, except his brother Leif, is glad to see her again. Her parents, Perl and Esau, are relieved to see her alive and well but Leif seems not happy with her return and Yelena can only wonder why. However, this meeting with her family is short-lived because Yelena still needs to go to the Academy where she needs to study and learn to control her magic. At the Academy, Yelena meets the other three Master Magicians, her fellow students, and a new enemy-turned-friend-turned-enemy-again, Cahil and his men, including Goel.

I loved this book better because here we see Yelena grow and learn how to make decisions of her own. Since Valek and her friends, Ari and Janco, are not there with her, she learns to trust other people too (and that also includes horses). And while she struggles to control her own power and with the idea that she might be a Soulfinder, she also deals with the different problems around her. She confronts Leif who hates her and thinks she’s a spy from Ixia, she tries to help capture the perpetrator who raped and almost killed Tula, she braves facing Cahil who also thinks she’s a spy and wants to use her to know more of Ixia’s military structure. But more importantly, Yelena tries to balance her loyalty between Sitia, her home, and Ixia, where she learned how to live. She wants to show the people of Sitia that Commander Ambrose only wants the best for his people and at the same time she wants to make Commander Ambrose see that magic can also be a good thing for the people of Ixia.

Another thing that intrigued me was Cahil’s intentions and plans. I know he and Yelena had started on the wrong foot because he thought Yelena was a spy but when Roze, the First Master Magician, confirmed that Yelena wasn’t, he just suddenly became all concerned and sweet around Yelena. Maybe I was wrong (and please tell me I was!) but I think he liked Yelena. Too bad when he found out that Yelena already had a ‘heart mate’, and worse when he found out it was Valek, he became all mad and he began suspecting Yelena again.

“Don’t worry. I’m only your escort tonight. I would offer to protect you from the drunken attentions of the other men, but I know all to well that you’re quite capable of holding your own. You’re probably armed. Right?”

“Always.”
Cahil to Yelena

Like I said, I was also hoping to see more of Yelena-Valek moments but Valek was absent until the latter part of the book. Same with Ari and Janco. But I think their absence made Yelena become more self-reliant and stronger. She learned to depend on herself instead of always depending on Valek, Ari and Janco to save her.

He made a weak attempt to look innocent, but I knew better. “Should I guess how many concealed weapons you have or should I strip search you?”
“A strip search is the only way to be absolutely certain.” Valek’s deep blue eyes danced with delight.

Overall, I loved this book. With Yelena discovering her true power and the people around her trying to help her out, I enjoyed everything. Even Yelena’s interaction with Kiki was entertaining. So that being said, I wish you also enjoy this book!

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