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Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder
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Magic Study (edition 2006)

by Maria V. Snyder (Author)

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1,9931113,375 (4.02)99
Member:keristars
Title:Magic Study
Authors:Maria V. Snyder (Author)
Info:LUNA books (Harlequin imprint) (2006); ebook edition, 327pp
Collections:Books I own
Rating:***
Tags:21st century, fiction, ya, fantasy, magic, form:e-book, series, series:study, pov:first-person

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Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder

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Magic Study
4 Stars

Exiled from Ixia, Yelena travels to Sitia for a reunion with her family. Unfortunately, things aren’t all rosy as Yelena soon finds herself struggling with the difficulties of getting to know parents who are virtual strangers and a brother who resents her return. Upon beginning her studies at the Citadel, Yelena learns some troubling truths about her magic and a sadistic serial killer sets his sights on her. As she becomes embroiled in an age old struggle against evil, Yelena’s strength and ability will be put to the test.

As with the first book in the series, Magic Study contains harsh themes including rape and torture. As such, it might not be suitable for younger or impressionable readers despite its apparent categorization as Young Adult.

While not as fast paced or original (not unexpected as this is a sequel) as Poison Study, Yelena is an engaging and resourceful heroine, and accompanying her as she begins her magical training and investigates a series of brutal crimes is quite entertaining. She does seem to get ambushed, kidnapped, tortured and beaten several times and one hope she would be more careful but apparently not...

The secondary characters are an interesting mix from Yelena’s agoraphobic mother and obnoxious brother to the arrogant heir to Ixia’s throne and the enterprising street urchin who comes to Yelena’s aid on more than one occasion. There are also other more familiar faces: the Commander is as enigmatic as ever and Yelena’s camaraderie with Ari and Jenco is wonderful. It is, however, disappointing that Valek takes his time putting an appearance, but he is ultimately well worth the wait and things heat up in more ways than one upon his arrival.

One a final note, Gabra Zackman's narration is very good although she does sound older than Yelena's 20 years. Nevertheless, this doesn't bother me as Yelena is very mature for her age.

All in all, an enjoyable installment and I look forward to continuing with the series particularly as Snyder is planning additional books. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Aug 20, 2014 |
“Living is a risk...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.”

I still liked this book! I devoured it pretty fast because it was that good! Yeah, Poison Study is better than this one but that does not mean that this is a bad book. I just felt like there is just too much happening and one thing is not even finished or solved and then there's another something going on, etc. It was action-packed like seriously but I wish the author gave me time to breathe.

Brief Summary:

Yelena was on her way to Sitia because magicians are not welcome in Ixia. She was looking forward to training in the Magician's Keep for her to learn to control her powers and maybe, she can meet her family, too. She did not want to be away from Valek but she have to. But what she found in Sitia is not what she expected. She met all kinds of people, good or bad, funny or annoying, and soon, she saw herself kind of softening to Sitia.. Some evil things happened and she dies everything that she can to help. But some people are stopping her. And sometimes she wonders if she should trust these people's plans or just trust her own instinct...

The Characters:

Yelena. Ha. This girl is always looking for trouble! She is so stubborn that sometimes I want to shake some sense in her. Yeah, she does those things for others but I just wish she would listen for once! But I don't know.. sometimes, I liked her recklessness. It was making things interesting.

How cool is it that she can communicate to horses? I just adore Kiki, Yelena's horse. I wish I could feed her peppermints myself. Haha.

I liked how Yelena helped those poor beggars without just giving them what they want. She helped them, taught them how to move and function on their own. It was touching.

Valek. Ehhhh. Though he was not in the book most of the time (and just appeared in definitely unexpected and cute moments), I appreciate his presence nonetheless.

“When I carved this, my thoughts were on you, love. Your life is like this snake's coils. No matter how many turns it makes, you'll end up back where you belong. With me.”

Valek is confident, cocky, mischievous, reliable and many other things. I like all of them about him.

Cahil. Duuuude, I want to strangle this guy. He was so annoying! Gaaah. -_- But, I pity him actually. I think he was just being used as a pawn of other people to pursue their personal agendas.

Leif. He is Yelena's older brother and he is another guy that I wanted to choke to death. But.. before I do that, I wonder about some things.. It was not explained why he was experiencing so much guilt, why he is living in so much pain. I want him and Yelena to restore their relationship.

The other new characters that are introduced are pretty interesting! They absolutely add spice to the book, making it more entertaining.

The ending was okay. I was excited to see where will Yelena go from here. ;)

“My future appeared to be a long twisted road fraught with knots, tangles, and traps. Just the way I liked it.”

Final Rating: 3.5/5 stars ( )
  margaraawr | Aug 8, 2014 |
“Living is a risk...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.”

I still liked this book! I devoured it pretty fast because it was that good! Yeah, Poison Study is better than this one but that does not mean that this is a bad book. I just felt like there is just too much happening and one thing is not even finished or solved and then there's another something going on, etc. It was action-packed like seriously but I wish the author gave me time to breathe.

Brief Summary:

Yelena was on her way to Sitia because magicians are not welcome in Ixia. She was looking forward to training in the Magician's Keep for her to learn to control her powers and maybe, she can meet her family, too. She did not want to be away from Valek but she have to. But what she found in Sitia is not what she expected. She met all kinds of people, good or bad, funny or annoying, and soon, she saw herself kind of softening to Sitia.. Some evil things happened and she dies everything that she can to help. But some people are stopping her. And sometimes she wonders if she should trust these people's plans or just trust her own instinct...

The Characters:

Yelena. Ha. This girl is always looking for trouble! She is so stubborn that sometimes I want to shake some sense in her. Yeah, she does those things for others but I just wish she would listen for once! But I don't know.. sometimes, I liked her recklessness. It was making things interesting.

How cool is it that she can communicate to horses? I just adore Kiki, Yelena's horse. I wish I could feed her peppermints myself. Haha.

I liked how Yelena helped those poor beggars without just giving them what they want. She helped them, taught them how to move and function on their own. It was touching.

Valek. Ehhhh. Though he was not in the book most of the time (and just appeared in definitely unexpected and cute moments), I appreciate his presence nonetheless.

“When I carved this, my thoughts were on you, love. Your life is like this snake's coils. No matter how many turns it makes, you'll end up back where you belong. With me.”

Valek is confident, cocky, mischievous, reliable and many other things. I like all of them about him.

Cahil. Duuuude, I want to strangle this guy. He was so annoying! Gaaah. -_- But, I pity him actually. I think he was just being used as a pawn of other people to pursue their personal agendas.

Leif. He is Yelena's older brother and he is another guy that I wanted to choke to death. But.. before I do that, I wonder about some things.. It was not explained why he was experiencing so much guilt, why he is living in so much pain. I want him and Yelena to restore their relationship.

The other new characters that are introduced are pretty interesting! They absolutely add spice to the book, making it more entertaining.

The ending was okay. I was excited to see where will Yelena go from here. ;)

“My future appeared to be a long twisted road fraught with knots, tangles, and traps. Just the way I liked it.”

Final Rating: 3.5/5 stars ( )
  margaraawr | Aug 8, 2014 |
A solid 6/10 because I had as many problems with the story as things I enjoyed.

It's a page turner and the plot keeps moving enough to keep you interested. But it had been over a year (maybe a year and a half?) since I'd read Poison Study and to be honest, I remembered next to nothing of the first book (which I really enjoyed) probably because I had read Graceling around the same time and there were a lot of similarities. Anyway, I only remembered bits of Poison Study after Yelena would refresh my memory, and this probably kept me from getting annoyed that the storyline was so similar.

I like when mysteries and pasts are uncovered, so I liked the baseline for Yelena returning to her roots. I thought the release of her childhood memories was suspiciously uncomplicated, though.

The biggest problem I had was that the villains were all so one dimensional: sick, twisted evil maniacs who favor torture and rape. Evil exists in many forms and to many degrees and this just got old.

I still don't understand the commander. I just don't get it.

I appreciated Valek's presence, though I'll agree that his role was very limited. If I only had one night left with my soul mate, I don't think I'd spend it on sex and sleep, but hey that's just me. I still don't understand how he escaped the noose. Or how he is able to give all of his energy or whatever to Yelena. These are things I felt were shoddily explained at best.

I thought Cahil's sudden flip to jealous admirer and then back again to lethal, suspicious enemy was unbelievable. And why wasn't Yelena suspicious? He asks her to accompany him to a ball *what?* and then she's all, -freeze, taken aback- giggle, what do I wear? *I.Can't.Even.*

I agree with other readers that Yelena got herself into too many disasterous predicaments and frequently seemed to escape thanks to dumb luck.

I can't think of any specific thing that was well done. The one thing I can say, though, is that I don't regret reading it. I requested the book from my library and then read reviews and decided that when I got the book, I'd probably just return it; it sounded like it would be a waste of time. But I did end up reading it, and I'm glad. There were things that bugged me, but not enough to impede the flow of the story line, making me too frustrated or angry to get caught up in it. In the end, I just feel confused. I will read the last book because, although I have a bad feeling about it, I am interested in seeing what Yelena becomes. ( )
  lyssa73 | Aug 2, 2014 |
I was really impressed with this novel. It is very different from the first, but has an interesting plot and wonderful new characters (as well as old ones!) I think I might have even liked it more than the first, mainly, I think, because we learn more about Sitia in this book which I really enjoyed. Sitia is absolutely fascinating.

Yelena learns a lot about herself and her family in this book. Self-discovery is weaved throughout. There is also much danger and action, of course. Yelena never seems to have it easy! I loved this book and recommend it fully to others. ( )
  RoseCrossed | Jun 26, 2014 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
To my children, Luke and Jenna, a constant source of inspiration and love. You both are truly magical.

In loving memory of Anthony Foster.
First words
"We're here," Irys said.
Quotations
My Story Weaver had to be laughing his blue ass off right now.
-Yelena
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Book description
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.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0778327124, Paperback)

So far, I've managed to survive. You would think after being kidnapped as a child, imprisoned in my teens and released to become a poison taster, I would have endured enough. But no. The discovery of my magical abilities—powers forbidden in Ixia—has resulted in an execution order. My only chance is to flee to Sitia, my long-lost birthplace.

But Sitia is unfamiliar. I'm treated like an enemy—even by my own brother. Plus I can't control my powers. I want to learn about my magic, but there isn't time. A rogue magician has emerged and I'm targeted as his next victim.

Will my magical abilities save me…or be my downfall?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:04 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The second novel in Snyder's Study series. After saving the Commander's life, Yelena is set free to get her magic under control or be destroyed by the other wizards for disrupting the order of things.

(summary from another edition)

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