The sequel to the epic ‘Poison Study’ is just as jam-packed with action and adventure, as Yelena continues her quest to harness the magic she possesses, whilst hunting down a criminal rogue who steals souls in the night. I was very surprised to give ‘Magic Study’ 4 stars, as it’s often the case that sequels decrease in quality compared to the debut. However, ‘Magic Study’ completely defies this stereotype and makes this series even more worth reading!
One of the negatives I encountered with this book was the repetition of events. When Yelena is captured in the first novel, it is exciting. You fear for her life and what might happen to her. But, when it happened to her multiple times in ‘Magic Study’, I started to lose the sense of excitement and intrigue. I knew she was going to be OK, because she had been the times before. It was just different depending on who saved her: Valek, Janco and Ari or Irys.
The enemy was certainly a threat, and I liked how pressing the whole matter was. Everything seemed necessary to the plot, every event was built upon later. I get the feeling that these books are very well planned, as you can read something, then fifty pages later, see how it all fits into place.
I adored the new Sitian setting and how Yelena coped with the different lifestyle. Sitia was a very interesting place, with very different outlooks compared to Ixia. It was mostly divided into tribes and magicians, places where Yelena fits in more than the Commander’ castle.
Parts of the plot from ‘Poison Study’ also follow Yelena into this story, especially the Criollo and all that that entails.
New characters were introduced as Yelena is residing in Sitia. She finds her family, all of whom I loved to a varying degree. She goes to a magical ‘academy’ type place to learn about magic and how to control it. No one trusts Yelena, which is upsetting, because as the reader, we’re aware of why she makes the decisions she does and I found myself wanting to convince every other person that Yelena was THE GOOD GUY.
The magicians were excellent guides, as was Moon Man, but I think the most prominent new characters are the horses. Yelena has the power to mentally communicate with horses, which reminded me of Percy Jackson, which is always a good thing.
Also, Opal was introduced, who is the star of the the Glass series, the next three books in the Chronicles of Ixia. I look forward to reading more about her there!
Something that really sets ‘Poison Study’ apart from other books of the same genre is the distinct lack of romance. Yelena has Valek, and therefore another love interest is necessary. They’re separated by laws and cities, but when has that ever stopped them before? Valek visits and they get time together, but its not over the top. I think this is one of the reasons this novel transgresses the YA genre, and can be enjoyed by an older audience, as well as a younger one.
Overall, I would give ‘Magic Study’ 4 stars. It was a beyond-excellent sequel and highly enjoyable. When reading Maria V Snyder’s work I feel completely immersed in the story and that’s something that really enhances how much I love the book. I cannot wait to find out what happens next!