Sunday, July 12, 2009
Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder
Second Volume of the Study Trilogy. Read Elise's Poison Study Review!
Yelena is on her way to be reunited with the family she'd been stolen from long ago. Although 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 magical training. 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 her new enemies.
Character Development: 10/10
Overall Enjoyment: 10/10!!!
Total Score: 70/70
Alcohol, Drugs, etc: Drugging of young female victims of rape and torture by rogue magician.
Sexual Content: Several scenes, but no details.
Disturbing Images: Several graphic scenes of rape and violence.
If you thought Poison Study was good, just you wait! Those adventures--though brilliant in pretty much every single way known to mankind--are just a little preview to the wonders and horrors of the sequel. The most obvious difference is, of course, the setting. While takes place in Ixia, in Magic Study Yelena returns to her birthplace, the magic-ridden southern land of Sitia.
In this book, Yelena seems to have grown up. Her experiences from Poison Study have truly changed her, and it is evident, unlike so many sequels throughout the YA genre. I cared about Yelena and her choices/actions/well-being so much I hardly realized that I was sitting in my bedroom and not in the Sitian Citadel or the Illiais Jungle or wherever our heroine happened to be. And while her strength is immense, she never becomes a cheesy superhero. In fact, there are more failures than successes this time around, yet the book is an amazing, triumphant story.
Magic Study is many things--fantastical, rereadable, all-consuming--but above all else it is well balanced. A blend of deep magic, dangerous adventure, heartrending romance, hilarious sarcasm, jittery secrets, fascinating discoveries, and an amazing array of new and old characters, there is nothing about this book that I found lacking. It was, in a word, perfect.