March 2, 2012

Book #22 - Magic Study (study #2)

Magic Study (Study #2), Maria Snyder
392 pages
high fantasy
Started 2/25/12
Finished 2/26/12

I like it when a book keeps sight of the main plot points and doesn't deviate to focus on the red herring - usually the budding romance between the two main characters. Did you ever notice that? You get a really good first book with a really fun plot. Along the way, the protagonist falls in love. Then, in the second book, it's all, "Oh, I love so-and-so so much! I want to put myself in mortal peril so that he can save me!" "Oh, I'm thinking about so-and-so all the time. I can't wait until we're together next." "Oh wait - there was a plot?" Don't get me wrong - I LOVE a good romance. It makes a good story great and gives a great excuse for some good angst and action. But, please, if you spend an entire book setting up a complex plot, please don't abandon it in favor of the love story. Wind them together and make the story amazing.

Thankfully, Magic Story does just that. In fact, the plot arc gets even more interesting and complex, and Valek, Yelena's love doesn't even show up until halfway through the book. It gives plenty of time to flesh out Yelena's back story and to introduce some new, key characters, like Irys, her magic instructor, and Leif, her brother. The story told is wonderful - Yelena meets her family that she hasn't seen since she was 6, and isn't sure what she thinks of them. She heads to the capital city of Sitia to begin developing her magic abilities, but doesn't stay there long when it's discovered that someone is kidnapping young girls with magical talent and killing them to add to the killer's own power. Yelena seems to be the only one who has a clue how to stop the bad guy. So, she abandons her training to try and discover who is committing the heinous act and stop him or her. Valek shows up to help her out, along with some of her other friends from Ixia.

Like Poison Study, Magic Study was an awesome book. I loved the story, the characters and the world building. The author's descriptive language is wonderful. And, Yelena's relationship with Valek is very fulfilling. They love each other, but know when to put it aside in order to get a job done. I do love this book.  

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