by Maria V. Snyder
Published by Luna Books
Book 2 in the Poison Study Series
You know your life is complicated when you miss your days as a poison taster...
With her greatest enemy dead, and on her way to be united with the family she'd been stolen from long ago, Yelena should be pleased. But although she has gained her freedom, she once again finds herself alone - separated from her lover Valek and suspected as a spy for her reluctance to conform to Sitian ways.
Despite the turmoil, she's eager to start her magic training - especially as she's been given one year to harness her power or be put to death. But her plans take a radical turn when she becomes embroiled in 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.
RATED: 16+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Violence New Adult Interesting
Magic Study by Maria V Snyder is the second book in her Poison Study Series, and centers around Yelena, who has travelled across the border to her home country. While Yelena is thrilled to be reunited with her family after 14 years, and to learn how to control her magic, she misses Valek, and her friends, and the people of Sitian don't trust her, and suspect she is a spy. Yelena quickly finds herself mixed up with Ixia's lost prince, who wants his throne back, magicians who want her dead, and a brother who hates her.
Once again, Magic Study continues Poison Study's originality. Magic Study was interesting still, despite being separated from Valek. I loved how she often took matters in her own hands, and Valek completely trusted her, often no questions asked, whereas everyone else questions her judgement and motives. The family arc was interesting, and in my eyes, realistic. In most books, I feel authors will immediately bond the protagonist and family, but in reality, it doesn't work like that. These people are strangers, and it takes Yelena time to build relationships with them. Magic Study remained consistent with the first book. My only issue is, and it's the same issue I had in the other book, is I wish the sex wasn't skimmed over. I want a little freaking smut.
I loved the evolution of Yelena. She can take care of herself, and trusts her instincts. She is empathetic towards others. I hated that we didn't get too much Valek in this book, as I believe when the two of them together, the story benefits, but what we did get I loved. I love how much he trusts her, and their connection with one another. Didn't think I would ever love the pet name "love", until now. Surprising with the sex skipped over the way it is, that I can still feel the chemistry between these too with less interactions. I was honestly a bit worried when Cahil's character was introduced, because I thought there might be a love triangle forming. While I believe he may have had feelings for her, Yelena's love for Valek remains true, and Cahil, in the end, cares more about power than anything, and I know we haven't seen the last of him.
I was concerned going into Magic Study that I wouldn't like it. Yelena being separated from Valek was upsetting, but I was pleasantly surprised. The story kept me hooked, and there was a lot of character growth from our young heroine that I appreciated. So far, this series is great, and I can't wait to start the next book, Fire Study.
Yelena meeting her family
Yelena rescuing herself, and cutting a deal with Cahil
Dax counting all the rumors spreading about Yelena
Yelena's father helping Yelena, despite the danger, and trusting her judgement
Leif and Yelena working out their differences
Valek giving Yelena the bracelet he carved
Where to Buy
Leif: "I told you it was a waste of time. What did you expect from a northerner?"
Yelena: "You can expect me not to give up as easily as you have."
Cahil: "Pretty bold. To think you can reach her when a Master Magician could not."
Yelena: "Pretty stupid, to give up before all possible solutions have been tried."
Yelena: "So, I'm not your first student?"
Cahil: "No, but you've been my most stubborn one."
Yelena: "That's all I can offer."
Cahil: "Because of the person who gave you that butterfly pendant?"
Cahil; "And what did you give him in return?"
Yelena: "My heart."
Cahil: "I realized something."
Yelena: "Which was ..."
Cahil: "If I told you, you would be angry. I don't want to end the evening with a fight."
Yelena: "And if I promised not to get upset?"
Cahil: "You would anyway."
Yelena: "Tomorrow, then?"
Cahil: "Ask me the next time we're fighting."
Yelena: "What if we don't fight?"
Cahil: "With you, there is always a next time."
Yelena: "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."
Yelena: "This is dangerous."
Valek: "I knew falling for you was dangerous, love."
Yelena: "Who are you?"
Alea: "You haven't figured it out? Have you killed that many men?"
Yelena: "Four men, but I'm not averse to killing a woman."
Cahil: "Your heart mate will exchange his life for yours."
Yelena: "You're going to need more men to capture me."
Cahil: "Truly? Take another look."
I glanced over my shoulder. Cahil's men had kept their distance from Kiki's hindquarters, but, even in the twilight, I could see that each one held a blowpipe to his mouth, aiming at me.
Cahil: "That darts are treated with Curare. An excellent Sitian weapon. You won't get far. Will you cooperated or do I need to have you immobilized?"
Before I could understand what Kiki meant, Valek, sauntered into our group from the tall grass of the plains. Everyone froze for a second in shock. Cahil gaped
Valek: "That's an interesting choice, love. You'll need some time to think it over."
Leif: "She thought I could assist you in some way. Instead, I had tried to -"
Yelena: "Kill me? You can join the 'I Want to Kill Yelena Guild.' I hear they have six members in good standing. Valek is president since he had wanted to kill me twice."
Valek: "Your mother sounds like a formidable woman."
Leif: "You have no idea."
Valek: "Well, if she's anything like Yelena, my deepest sympathies."
Yelena: "How do you always know when I need you?"
Valek's eyes flamed with an intensity that I had rarely seen.
Valek: "I don't know. It's part of me like hunger or thirst. A need that must be met to survive."
Valek: "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."
Check out the rest of the Chronicles of Ixia Series