All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Mini Reviews: Magic Study and Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder

on April 6, 2020

Magic Study (Study #2)
Maria V. Snyder
2013 (originally 2006), 432p
Read via Scribd

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

Discovering her fate could prove deadly… Yelena Zaltana has been found guilty of possessing magical powers. The Code of Behaviour that rules the land of Ixia states she must be executed. Escaping to the south and seeking sanctuary from the family she hasn’t seen in fourteen years could be her only hope. But even with her family behind her, the freedom Yelena has fought for is once more in jeopardy. With only her magic to protect her, she must fight to find a place for herself in this new realm. With only one year to prove herself Yelena’s future is uncertain, when magic is involved one mistake could mean sudden death. 

Okay, I see a lot of Maria V. Snyder content coming up on the blog in the future so I thought to cut down on posts, I’d combine my reviews of books 2&3 into one post. I mentioned last week that I had been struggling to find motivation to read…..I think it was because the books I had intended to read just didn’t fit with my mood with the new self isolation rules. So I just decided to find something to read that interested me and when I read Poison Study, the first in this series, I knew I’d be binging all the rest.

In this one, Yelena has travelled to the land of her birth to learn about her magic. She is also reunited with her family – but not all are overjoyed to have her back in the fold. And that suspicion extends to the magicians of the Citadel as well, where Yelena has a year to prove herself and learn to master her unique type of magic. She’s also separated from Valek, who remains loyal to the Commander in Ixia and with a bounty on her head, Yelena cannot return there. It’s unlikely Valek would get a warm reception in Sitia either, so a reunion in the future seems uncertain.

I loved this just as much as the first one – I appreciated getting to learn more about magic (which is banned in Ixia, so even Yelena’s knowledge is almost non-existent at this point). She travels to train with Irys and learn how to harness her magic as well as be reintroduced to her real family, whom she was kidnapped from when she was just 6 years old. Her brother Leif is immediately hostile and she finds herself set up, ambushed, abused, threatened, etc any number of times and that’s even before she reaches the Citadel. There’s also a new threat to Ixia unearthed that Yelena must investigate and keep an eye on, even though she can’t travel to Ixia to warn anyone, lest someone actually carry out the execution order.

This was very fun, fast paced and clever – I loved Yelena’s discovery with the horses and the bonds they forged! Also enjoyed Valek’s ability to discern when she’s in trouble and offer assistance, even from far away.


Book #55 of 2020

Fire Study (Study #3)
Maria V. Snyder
2008, 441p
Read from my TBR shelf

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder – able to capture and release souls – spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena’s unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena’s fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before…

Honour sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself – and save the land she holds dear.

Rolled straight on to book 3 after finishing book 2! Yelena now knows what type of magic she possesses but unfortunately no one knows a great deal about it – it’s rare and tends to make people fear her. There’s also a new threat, a break off tribe from the Sandseed clan have delved into long-forbidden black arts and someone is trying to stir up a war between Ixia and Sitia. Yelena finds herself even more on the outer than she has ever been before, cut off from her mentor and still isolated from her heart mate. She thought she’d neutralised the threats of book 2 but now they’re teamed up and are on the move and Yelena finds herself with very few people to trust. The Sitian council seem convinced that Yelena is a traitor and have called for her arrest, which would result in her execution. Roze, the Master Magician who has always resented her, has made some sort of power play that finally seems to allow her to move on Yelena.

This book sees Yelena both forced to lead and also forced to admit that sometimes, she truly does not know what to do. She’s always been able to rely on people for advice – Valek, Irys, Bain, Moon Man, etc. But in this book most of those are removed from her in various ways and for various different reasons. She has people looking to her for help and answers and she doesn’t always have them. She is also forced to realised some important things about herself and her magic and undergo several gruelling tests.

This was the original end of the series but the author has since returned to it for a couple more volumes so it feels quite final once you reach the conclusion. Valek and Yelena have a few issues in this one, the likes of which they haven’t experienced before. Yelena’s ‘view’ of Valek undergoes some criticism from the man himself when she makes a careless comment based on his reputation and even though he’s damaged by it, he keeps showing up. Even though Valek is a formidable assassin of incredible skill and presumably a superior strategist he quite often defers to Yelena in terms of deciding what the plan is and he always, always gives her what she needs when she needs it. I really like their dynamic and the fact that they did face some challenges in this book.

I’m reading the books in the order recommended on Maria V. Snyder’s website, so next up are 2 books in the Glass series spin off, which is about Opal, whom we met in book 2 of this series. Luckily I already own these as they were part of my binge purchase when I acquired close to a dozen of Snyder’s books!


Book #56 of 2020

2 responses to “Mini Reviews: Magic Study and Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder

  1. Marg says:

    So…got your reading mojo back I see.

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