April 12, 2012

The Sisters Wicked Review: Magic Study

 Magic Study
Maria V Snyder
Study Series #2
Genre: Fantasy 
Rating: 4

Yelena returns to her home country of Sitia, and a family she didn't know she had. Her return to the Zaltana clan is far from warm as she endures the frightened and even hostile stares. Her time in Ixia has cast suspicion on her  and now even her own brother believes she is a spy. Yelena takes comfort in her long lost parent's affection and looks forward to her future of developing her magic skills with Irys at the Citadel. However, when her journey is interrupted by a man claiming to be the rightful king of Ixia, Yelena is set on a new path. 

My sister Lindsae and I teamed up again for our read of Magic Study. We were pretty excited to dive right into this one after finishing Poison Study. You can read her review on her blog Day In the Life of A Diva. 

This second installment of the Study trilogy very much mirrors it's predecessor. In fact the whole experience of reading this book felt almost identical to my experience with Poison Study. The book is slow to start, a bit more so than the first book, and introduces quite a handful of new characters. Once I did get into the meat of the story though I got caught up pretty quickly and soared through large chunks of chapters at a time. Just like the first book, this was an overall enjoyable, adventurous read. 

My problems with this book revolve around the great many times Yelena gets captured, beaten up, bullied, tortured, etc. I understand she has made herself an impressive following of enemies, however abduction isn't the only plot device there is to hammer this point home. You cannot base your entire story on and carry the plot solely on having your heroine abducted three to four times throughout the length of your book. It just gets annoying! Yelena is by no means a wimpy heroine! We know this girl can take care of herself! This stops being an exciting, "Oh no, Yelena!" moment the second time around. There are so many ways Snyder could have carried her plot. I guess she was just really feeling the whole "Yelena get's kidnapped by a disgruntled acquaintance" thing while writing Magic Study. 

The other thing that really irked me was that Yelena seems to think she doesn't need anyone's help and can solve the world's problems all on her own. Even after being expressly told numerous times by Irys and her other magical superiors to ask them for help, she just surges on ahead alone constantly. This really isn't one of those things where you agree with the hero/heroine of the book and feel they are just being held back. No, Yelena is just being stupid half the time, continuously putting herself and others needlessly in danger. WTF Yelena? Help is literally a telepathic signal away and she just decides, "Nah! I got this!" By the end of the book, I was shaking my head and sighing. I have definitely lost some respect for Yelena because of this.  

Something interesting I noticed throughout my read was that many of the magical elements of this story, including Poison Study, seem to appear in Snyder's new Healer series. The ability to heal a person by taking the damage onto your own body is the power of the heroine of the Healer series and also makes a substantial appearance in Magic Study. Snyder also used the same romantic development from Poison Study in Touch of Power. I just thought this was interesting as the comparisons are starting to pile up the more I read the Study series. Many authors use the same formulas in their books, but in this case, I was stuck by the more substantial resemblances. I guess what I'm trying to say here is I'm not sure how I feel about this yet, but it definitely hasn't deterred me from continuing to read Snyder's books. 

Even though there were two major things that got under my skin,  Snyder again wowed me with her masterful world building, rich characters and strong narrative. Yelena's ability to connect telepathically with horses was another delightful addition to the mix, and an appearance of our favorite assassin does not disappoint!  I look forward to wrapping up this series with Fire Study.

1 comment:

Besos, Kisses, Baisers said...

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The wickedness continues...