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review: “magic study” December 6, 2009

Posted by Katie in reviews.
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Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder.
Mira // Paperback // 448 pages.
Reviewed from purchased copy.

[Spoilers for “Poison Study!”]

After the events in “Poison Study,” Yelena travels to Sitia to discover the true nature of her magic, and to reunite with the family she was taken from so many years ago. But Yelena’s mysterious powers even unsettle the seasoned magicians of Sitia — they fear that she is a rare, powerful Soulfinder. And the last Soulfinder nearly destroyed Sitia…

This book, while good fantasy, does have a case of middle book syndrome. The plot dances away from the author a few times, some of the characters get repetitive, and Yelena magically sprouts powers just as she needs them.

Okay, now that I’ve moved on from the negatives, I’ll go to the positives.

The world building is still exquisite. The characters do develop, especially Yelena. I enjoyed watching her grow throughout the course of this book; reconnecting with her family and the people of her native country. I really love this world and the characters that are in it.

I missed Valek and being on the edge of his character — not knowing if he was in love with Yelena or not, not knowing if he was on her side or not. That suspense was what kept me so enthralled during the first book and I was sad that it wasn’t in the second book. (Not that I expected it to be, but I still wanted something to replace that urgent debate.)

To me, “Magic Study” felt even more adult than “Poison Study” and I can’t really put my finger on why. Once again, we don’t have any gratuitous scenes, and Yelena reads well as a YA character, so I still think the titles have great YA appeal, and would be a great bridge into adult fiction though!

SWAN catalog
Maria V. Snyder




1. Cassandra Jade - December 6, 2009

I like that phrase “middle book syndrom”. Thanks for sharing this review.

2. historyofshe - December 7, 2009

I think this one was my least favorite out of the series, but that’s not to say I didn’t like it. The first one was just so, so, so good. I felt as though Magic Study kinda deviated away from how I thought it was going to go– particularly how Yelena’s family was described. Not a bad thing, just different! 😀

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