Book Review

Book Review: Magic Study (Poison Study #2) by Maria V. Snyder

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: New adult fantasy
Length: 392 pages
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Publisher: Luna Books
Release Date: September 26th, 2006
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


You know your life is complicated when you miss your days as a poison taster…

With her greatest enemy dead, and on her way to be united with the family she’d been stolen from long ago, Yelena should be pleased. But although she has gained her freedom, she once again finds herself alone – separated from her lover Valek and suspected as a spy for her reluctance to conform to Sitian ways.

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 embroiled in 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 her new enemies.


I’ve never come across a more clear depiction of a cover and story not matching. Maybe because it’s an older book? I’m not sure, I’m just saying…the story is so much better and the cover does not do that justice in anyway.

On to the story portion. WHERE WAS VALEK. I do have a severe issue with love interests being established and then removed for 70% of the next book. That was the case here and gosh dang the story was incredibly better once he showed up. Not that I didn’t mind getting to see Yelena learning about her powers and all of that good stuff, but I wanted both of them more often.

Yet, I find myself unable to put the book down. I like reading them. Something about the writing style keeps me drawn in and I find that I fly through the pages. It’s an interesting story line and the side plots don’t always connect back in (because I’m still trying to figure out where book three actually goes), but it’s a series I want to continue.

These are a lot darker than I ever anticipated. I struggle with the necessity of this towards the plot line in comparison with other portions that are kept less explicit.

A lot of these new characters are interesting and I especially hope Leif gets a better story line come the third book. I didn’t always love how stubborn Yelena was being. Running off because she knew best, then getting captured again…and again.

I don’t know, this review has gotten ramble worthy because there’s plenty to pick from here. I am somehow attached to this story yet its flaws turn me off. I’ll give the third book a chance still for some redemption.

Overall audience notes:

  • New adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a few no detail, fade out scenes
  • Violence: murder, torture, physical altercations, poisoning, swords, arrows
  • Trigger warnings: sexual assault, torture, rape (mentioned about multiple girls, no full scenes, but smaller paragraphs remembering what occurred); suicide ideation, mention of suicide attempt, PTSD

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