Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Review: Magic Study (Study #2) by Maria V. Snyder


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS:
You know your life is bad when you miss your days as a poison taster...
With an execution order on her head, Yelena has no choice but to escape to Sitia, the land of her birth. With only a year to master her magic - or face death - Yelena must begin her apprenticeship and travels to the Four Towers of the Magician's Keep.
But nothing in Sitia is familiar. Not the family to whom she is a stranger. Not the unsettling new facets of her magic. Nor the brother who resents her return. As she struggles to understand where she belongs and how to control her rare powers, a rogue magician emerges - and Yelena catches his eye.
Suddenly she is embroiled in battle of good against evil. And once again it will be her magical abilities that will either save her life...or be her downfall.
MY TAKE:
If you're a fan of Tamora Pierce and you haven't read this series, you should definitely give this a try.

In Magic Study, Yelena is now in Sitia to learn how to better control her magic and to get to know her family again. While there, she crosses paths with an exiled Ixian who plans on overthrowing the Commander, as well as a malevolent group bent on using magic for their own evil purposes.

I enjoyed the story and where the whole focus of this series is going. The introduction of two separate antagonists seemed like too much at first, but by the end of the book, it became clearer how it was all going to come together in the third book. There were maybe one too many scenes wherein Yelena was kidnapped, though. Usually, I like strong heroines to have moments like that, but when one of the characters pointed out that she was taken again, I ended up thinking about how many times she had been in a tight squeeze in the book.

As with the first book, I enjoyed Yelena's magic training sessions. It's a great way to learn about how magic works in Yelena's universe without feeling like it's an info dump. I also liked a number of the new characters introduced, especially Bain and Fisk. Cahil, though, I despised because he was fixated on Yelena and he would make a terrible king.

I wish there had been more of Valek and Yelena. I mean, there were some very brief telepathic scenes, of sorts, and then more by the end of the book, but there was something there that felt a little lacking in some way to me.

THE GOOD:

  1. You learn more about Yelena's world.
  2. The types and principles behind the magic in Yelena's world is fascinating.
  3. Valek and Yelena are cute together.

THE BAD:

  1. Yelena gets the short end of the stick plenty of times. 

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
I took my switchblade out, showing the inscription to Janco. “What about ‘Sieges weathered, fight together, friends forever’? Does that change if I become an official southerner?”
Janco rubbed the hair on his chin, considering.
“No,” Ari said. “You could change into a goat and it would still apply.”  
READ IT IF:

  1. You enjoyed the first book in the series.
  2. You like books with characters who use magic.
  3. You like strong heroines.

RATING:
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