Magic Study (Study #2)
by Maria V. Snyder (Goodreads Author)YOU KNOW YOUR LIFE IS BAD WHEN YOU MISS YOUR DAYS AS A POISON TASTER...
With her greatest enemy dead, and on her way to be reunited with the family she'd been stolen from long ago, Yelena should be pleased. But though she has gained her freedom, she can't help feeling isolated in Sitia. Her Ixian background has changed her in many ways—and her newfound friends and relatives don't think it's for the better....
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 involved with 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 all her new enemies....
My Review: 6/10
** spoiler alert ** A solid 6/10 because I had as many problems with the story as things I enjoyed.
It's a page turner and the plot keeps moving enough to keep you interested. But it had been over a year (maybe a year and a half?) since I'd read Poison Study and to be honest, I remembered next to nothing of the first book (which I really enjoyed) probably because I had read Graceling around the same time and there were a lot of similarities. Anyway, I only remembered bits of Poison Study after Yelena would refresh my memory, and this probably kept me from getting annoyed that the storyline was so similar.
I like when mysteries and pasts are uncovered, so I liked the baseline for Yelena returning to her roots. I thought the release of her childhood memories was suspiciously uncomplicated, though.
The biggest problem I had was that the villains were all so one dimensional: sick, twisted evil maniacs who favor torture and rape. Evil exists in many forms and to many degrees and this just got old.
I still don't understand the commander. I just don't get it.
I appreciated Valek's presence, though I'll agree that his role was very limited. If I only had one night left with my soul mate, I don't think I'd spend it on sex and sleep, but hey that's just me. I still don't understand how he escaped the noose. Or how he is able to give all of his energy or whatever to Yelena. These are things I felt were shoddily explained at best.
I thought Cahil's sudden flip to jealous admirer and then back again to lethal, suspicious enemy was unbelievable. And why wasn't Yelena suspicious? He asks her to accompany him to a ball *what?* and then she's all, -freeze, taken aback- giggle, what do I wear? *I.Can't.Even.*
I agree with other readers that Yelena got herself into too many disasterous predicaments and frequently seemed to escape thanks to dumb luck.
I can't think of any specific thing that was well done. The one thing I can say, though, is that I don't regret reading it. I requested the book from my library and then read reviews and decided that when I got the book, I'd probably just return it; it sounded like it would be a waste of time. But I did end up reading it, and I'm glad. There were things that bugged me, but not enough to impede the flow of the story line, making me too frustrated or angry to get caught up in it. In the end, I just feel confused. I will read the last book because, although I have a bad feeling about it, I am interested in seeing what Yelena becomes.