Series: Study #2on 2012-08-15
Genres: High Fantasy
Source: Purchased myself
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Also in this series: Poison Study, Shadow Study
Yelena is a survivor. Kidnapped as a child, held prisoner as a teen, then released to act as a poison taster, she is now a student of magic. But these magic skills place her in imminent danger, and with an execution order on her head, she has no choice but to escape to Sitia, the land of her birth.
But nothing in Sitia is familiar. As she struggles to understand where she belongs and how to control her powers, a rogue magician emerges and Yelena catches his eye. Suddenly she is embroiled in a situation not of her making. And once again her magical abilities will either save her life or be her downfall.
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.
We are introduced to the diverse, magical world of Sitia – and God is it an amazing place! I am not usually a verse-lover, but Snyder has a way of changing my mind. She also manages to incorporate a few subtle messages about poverty in a capitalist society – there’s no preaching, but she does use the fantasy world to make a point or two about our own society. It’s old school and totally made me smile.
Snyder manages to introduce a variety of different cultures and locations without bogging the book down with information. Same goes for the characters – although there were a lot of new faces, it was never overwhelming.
Luckily, Valek did manage to make his way into the book. I’d been worried about him, and although he is not as central to the plot as he was in Poison Study, he was equally as amazing. Seriously, this man gives me tingles. *sighs* As for Yelena, she now officially joins Mercy (from the Patricia Briggs Series) as a female lead whose judgement I actually trust. And that I like her is a lovely bonus.
Bottom line? The Study Series is a must read! The quality has been consistent as the series goes on – which is a rare gift nowadays. I’d recommend this to everyone I know – romance readers, literary fiction readers, mystery lovers, fantasy addicts… anyone and everyone!