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Book Avengers: Magic Study by Maria V Snyder

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Hello and welcome to our September Book Avengers post!  Today we are featuring Magic Study by Maria V Snyder.  This is book two of Snyder’s Study series (book one Poison Study was featured last month) and after reading the first I was very eager to continue on with the series.  Keep reading to find out what we thought and what we selected to pick from for October!

mstudyYou 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…

Kristina’s Thoughts:

Well be warned any who read our post that this is about a second book in a series so though I doubt there will be much spoilers if any here but move forward at your own risk!
I loved that we finally got to meet Yelena’s family and see their quite different reactions to having her home.  I am sad that we didn’t get more time with her clan though because I think their lifestyle was very intriguing and I do hope that we can go back at some point.  (I haven’t even read the blurb for book three yet so I’m making these comments blind.)
For a good portion of the novel we stay with Yelena and at least on my side miss some of our favorite characters from book one.  Never fear!  You do see your favorites again!!  There were some new characters introduced though while I’m curious about, I cannot say I’m shocked by some of the deeds that took place.  There is one particular act that comes to mind and while I do not want to ruin anything for someone reading this series as well you can say my slowly changing opinion for someone changed from wary to ugly VERY quickly.  I think Yelena still has a long road ahead of her in learning to control and understand her magic and its limitations but she has a good head on her so to speak and have faith things will start to look up. (I do agree with Sarah about her approach at times though not 100%.)
Oh btw, I do completely agree with Sarah on one front.  I LOVED the horse.  (Doesn’t hurt that she shares my nick name. :P)

Did it live up to the hype?

I definitely wanted to pick up this one after reading book one and in my opinion Magic Study held its own.  At a base level it felt like the same story from book one with just a new setting but as I loved book one I was completely ok with this small change.  The characters remained flawed yet strong and I look forward to continuing on with this series and I will even if we do not continue (after voting of course) through our feature.

Kristina’s Rating:   4/5

Avenger Rating 4 STARS






Sarah’s Thoughts:

So, first things first. I wish the second half of the book was as good as the first half. At some point along the way, an intriguing beginning to Magic Study just kind of fell flat. What could have been a solid 4 star read for me, ended up being a very weak 3 stars.
My biggest complaint was with the main character. Which was a total letdown because she was my favorite part about the first book. It’s just that there were so many times that Yelena frustrated me with her habit of rushing in to save the day without any consideration for anyone else’s warnings. I understood the urgency she felt, but didn’t always agree with her methods.
For as much as I loved Valek in Poison Study, he left me a bit cold in Magic Study. He kind of popped in and out with a couple of swoony glances and bits of advice, but never really solidified himself as a solid character. I loved him so much in the first book and was disappointed he wasn’t more of a key figure this time around. There was so much to his relationship with Yelena that was left unexplored.
Finally, there are a ton of new (and old) characters in this book and not one of them captured me at all. Most notably…Cahill was a super wishy washy character, the bad guy(s) were boring and Yelena’s brother came off as a whiny brat. I did love the reappearance of Ari and Janco from book one, but they were relegated to ignored side characters this time around. At the end of the day, my favorite character ended up being Yelena’s horse!
Ok, so what DID I like? I liked exploring the new lands of Sitia, Yelena discovering the depth of her powers (always a favorite trope of mine), and the initial mystery and fear the new baddie of the book presented. So yeah, like I said above…the first half of the book was great!
Did it live up to the hype?

I’m kind of bummed to say that I didn’t love Magic Study, especially considering how much I loved Poison Study. Although there were times that I enjoyed it (mostly the first half), I never felt the urge to pick it back up once I had put it down. The plot was a little frantic at times and the ending dragged along a bit too much for me as well. I just felt like the magic (see what I did there?) from the first book was missing.

Sarah’s Rating: 3/5 The first half gets 4 stars and the second half gets 2 stars, so I’m splitting the difference!

Avenger Rating 3 STARS

 Stay Tuned


What Will Happen Next

Want to be a part of picking our next book?  Below are our three October picks that we’ve narrowed down from our current TBR list.  For your vote to count head on over to our twitter hashtag #bookavengers and vote using our twitter poll.  (It will be pinned this month to my twitter: @gone_pecan) Feel free to retweet and help promote your pick!  Voting closes September 26th and we will be announcing our next pick via twitter that day.

August picks:

fstudyThe apprenticeship is over—now the real test has begun.

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…

Honor 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.


Finnikin of the Rock and his guardian, Sir Topher, have not been home to their beloved Lumatere for ten years. Not since the dark days when the royal family was murdered and the kingdom put under a terrible curse. But then Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, a young woman with an incredible claim: the heir to the throne of Lumatere, Prince Balthazar, is alive.

Evanjalin is determined to return home and she is the only one who can lead them to the heir. As they journey together, Finnikin is affected by her arrogance . . . and her hope. He begins to believe he will see his childhood friend, Prince Balthazar, again. And that their cursed people will be able to enter Lumatere and be reunited with those trapped inside. He even believes he will find his imprisoned father.

But Evanjalin is not what she seems. And the truth will test not only Finnikin’s faith in her . . . but in himself.

americanLocked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.




We hope you guys enjoyed our post and vote to pick our next back list books!  Please remember voting will end September 26th (via our twitter poll) and we will announce our October pick then.  As always, if it is new to you as well please join us in reading, we’d love to chat with others while we are reading.  See you soon!



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