Magic Study (Study #2, Chronicles of Ixia #2)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Publication: June 1st, 2009
Publisher: Mira Books
Format: eBook, 416 pages
Genre: High Fantasy
Read: June 2015
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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.
Plot -5 out of 5 stars
This is so fast paced, incredibly so, it almost makes you feel overwhelmed but in a good way. It’s full of tension and mystery. There are quite a few things going on which bring a lot of action and suspense. Plus we have quite a few things that our main character is trying to figure out and get answers to and we get a lot of intrigue from that. It’s just wonderful and addicting.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Snyder’s writing style is really straight forward, much like if we were listening to Yelena talk because that’s pretty much her character’s voice. It’s really dry and sarcastic which brings a lot of chuckles while reading. But at the same time, it offers great descriptions and detailed world building. Especially in this book where we step into the other “kingdom” that is part of this world which is made up of a bunch of clans of magicians, so there’s a lot of bits of culture and traditions mixed in that are really interesting.
Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
I absolutely love the characters of this series. Yelena is my favorite female protagonist ever. She’s strong and powerful. She takes life by the horns and does what she feels she needs to do at all times. She has the tendency to be reckless with her decisions but it all comes from a good place because above all, she’s kind and selfless. Yelena is opinionated and beautiful in a totally unforgiving way, with a dash of ‘I don’t give a fuck’ attitude. Usually here I would talk about the male counterpart of the story, because let’s face it, there usually is one, but in this story, Valek didn’t make as much of an appearance. The moment that he did show up, he was himself in all of his protective, suave and ninja like glory. But it was refreshing to see Yelena stand up alone and develop completely with not as much of his influence. We also get introduced to a plethora of new characters. I adored the grand majority of them. They were all amazing! Each one intriguing and complex. One in particular irked me in the worst way but I believe that was his sole purpose, for the reader to hate him.
Absolutely adored this book! I felt like it was just as good or even better than the first.
The plot of this book is non-stop action and danger. Yelena travels to Sitia to become an apprentice of magic and to reunite with her long lost family. The first part goes well. She goes to the school, called the Citadel, she makes a few friends (one named Kiki who is amazing and whom I will talk about later) and she learns the extent of her powers, which are freaking awesome by the way. The second part not so much. Her mother and father, named Perl and Esau, are ecstatic to see her. Her brother, Leif, on the other hand, was not. Him and the majority of her family think she’s a spy sent from Ixia to learn all their secrets. Obviously, it jars her perception of Sitia by a mile so she’s kind of turned off from it. And on top of all of that, we find out that there is a crazy, psychotic, magician serial killer on the loose. And Yelena being her, obviously, has to help to find him and put a stop to him. With all of these things going on, the plot is super fast paced. Non-stop action and twists and turns and discoveries like punches to the face. It’s very hard to catch your breath with this book but honestly, it was amazing for me. Some people may me turned off but it was just what I needed when I read this.
Yelena is my favorite. Of all time. I absolutely love her to death and beyond. She’s amazing. Her personality is so harsh around the edges but she still manages to get people to like her because of her kindness and selflessness. She has a very no nonsense attitude about the things that bother her or she doesn’t like, whether it’s toward her or to other people. She has the tendency to speak her heart out and I just love her so much. She’s brave and powerful and determined and strong willed. I can’t wait to read more of her in the next books to come.
I want to talk a little more closely about the supporting characters before finishing this off. We have a lot of old ones from the first book make an appearance as well as brand new ones that honestly blew me away. First, Ari and Janco, Yelena’s first friends from Ixia. They make a pretty small show in this second book but their dynamic is still on point. Their friendship is beautiful, they kind where you can joke around and make fun of each other but always be sure that they have each other’s backs. Irys, Yelena’s teacher, is great, but she shows a little bit of some personality negatives in this book. Although I understood where she was coming from, it bothered me some. We get the pleasure *sarcasm* to meet a character by the name of Cahill. All I have to say about him is that he is like a fly moving around your head that you want to smack to the counter to its death but it just keeps flying just out of your reach. Leif was annoying as all hell in the beginning, we find out why but I did not like it at all. I still don’t know 100% how I feel about him and I’m hoping he’ll show up in the next book so I can figure it out.
Last but not least, Kiki! She is Yelena’s horse and as we see in Poison Study, Yelena can communicate with her mind and she has conversations with Kiki, who is wonderfully hilarious and sassy in a very simple way. She’s the best addition to the series by far.
So that’s it for this review! Thanks for reading and let me know what you think! I’ve tried not to overshare since it is a second book so I hope I didn’t ruin it. See you on my next post!