Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Sunday Salon: Review: Magic Study


Happy Sunday, Saloners! I thought I'd do something different this week and simply write a book review. We ended up getting quite a bit of rain yesterday while at Callaway Gardens, so I was able to finish up Magic Study. (And due to the rain, we're already back home to enjoy the rest of our relaxing weekend. By the way, thank you to all of you who left comments on my anniversary post, we had a wonderful time and I'll post some pics later!) It's hard to believe I read 5 books last week--that's got to be a record for me, lately! Anyway, here we go with the review... If you haven't read any of Maria V. Snyder's books, you might want to check them out!

Magic Study coverTitle: Magic Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Pub Date: December 2008, MIRA
Trade Paperback, 441 pages


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?

My Thoughts

Well, after reading Poison Study earlier in the week, I could not keep myself from going out and buying the second book in Snyder's Study series and bumping it up my reading list. (And to give you an early idea of how much I liked Magic Study, I just ordered the third book, Fire Study, this morning.)

Snyder has written yet another original and highly imaginative work with Magic Study. I love her descriptive writing style that makes me feel as if I could be in the world she has created. While I really found Poison Study and her life as Commander Ambrose's food taster intriguing, reading Yelena's story as she learns more about her magic was just as interesting. We learn more about how magic works in Sitia--some people are Master Magicians and can do anything, while others have a few talents or even just one. Yelena appears to have many talents--one of which I love involves her ability to communicate telepathically not only with people, but with animals.

We also see that Sitia is a very treacherous place--especially for Yelena--and it is as if we are being given the impression that Ixia is a much better place to live. Even still, I enjoyed getting to read about the new characters that Snyder introduces us to in Sitia while still being able to read about Yelena's friends from Ixia when a delegation arrives at the Keep. And really, much of the action begins once they've all arrived. But once again, Snyder successfully ties up many loose ends critical to the story, while still leaving it open to continue in the third book. I much prefer that as opposed to having everything wide open and waiting for any kind of resolution to occur. If you enjoyed Poison Study, you shouldn't be disappointed by Magic Study. It is fast-paced with never a dull moment. These books are quickly becoming some of my favorites.

My rating: 5 stars

Other reviews of Magic Study:

Dear Author ~ Em's Bookshelf ~ Poisoned Rationality
Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings

If you have reviewed this and would like me to include a link to your review, please leave a comment below! Thanks!


  1. I definitely want to read this set now. I am sorry to hear you got rained off, so do have a relaxing Sunday to make up for it.

  2. I didn't like this one as much as I like Poison Study, but I have Fire Study on my MP3 player now. Maybe it'll be my next listen.

  3. Don't forget Storm Glass is out now!! It's a spinoff, with Yelena as a side character!

    (Read Fire Study first, though!)

    I LOVE these books!!

  4. interesting premise.. another one to look for.
    Great review!


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