Magic Study

December 2012 Prof. Cassandra Lobiesk

I thought it would be fitting that I do a follow-up on my review of Poison Study by doing one of its sequel (and I'll probably finish up the trilogy at some point by doing a third review!).

A former poison taster for the Ixian Commander, Yelena returns south to Sitia, where her parents and her magic training await. Magic had always been a frightening endeavor for Yelena, but she discovers that the process of learning would not be the worst part of her Sitian expedition. In fact, her move to the south also came with new family and friends, new surroundings, histories, and mythologies, and--just to keep the reader and Yelena from being bored--new and highly dangerous problems. How can anyone actually study for long enough with distractions such as magical serial killers, political animosities, and family members who aim to kill their siblings?

In the north, Yelena faced the danger of poison from people she expected not to trust. What happens when those she should trust--like her brother--want her dead? And what happens when her magic grows formidable enough to scare even the Master Magicians?

Truth be told, I felt just as anxious as Yelena walking into this Sitian environment. Like Yelena, I was apprehensive, fidgety, and even missing the morbid predictability of poison tasting. I found Sitia to be the opposite world to the militaristic northern Ixia, but whether I would like the people there much more than Yelena's old friends was suspect. I mean, come on, what was a book without Valek?

(That said, I will just say that there remains a secondary romantic link in Magic Study, so all is not lost!)

But I did love the book. It seems unfair to compare it to Poison Study--a tremendously good read, by the way. Poison Study focused on Yelena's survival skills and determination to not become a victim for the terrible cruelty she had suffered once. Meanwhile, Magic Study was a different place, a different problem, but with a direct link to what had happened in the previous book. The story in the sequel gave Yelena a different skill (magic) that she undoubtedly uses to help prevent others from becoming and/or remaining victims.

I can't wait to see what'll happen in Fire Study. But with the ending I got in this book? I'm sure to be excited!