Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder
(Mira, Paperback, 2006)
Having discovered that she has magical powers, Yelena is no longer welcome in Ixia. She sets off to Sitia to find her family and to enroll at the Citadel, an academy for magicians. Yelena's homecoming is not exactly welcoming, though. Her brother suspects her of being an Ixian spy and the teachers at the Citadel believe that Yelena will spin out of control before she is able to master her magic. As Yelena struggles to find her place, she is caught up in the evil machinations of a rogue magician.
In Poison Study, we learned a little of Yelena's magical abilities but it wasn't fully explained to us. Magic Study offers more insight into Yelena's abilities and the history of magic in Ixia and Sitia. Maria V. Snyder has again written an intriguing and totally captivating story. Yelena is a survivor, accustomed to solving her own problems, so it is interesting to see her have to work with her family and teachers. The first time I read this book, I was disappointed at how little Valek pictured in the novel; however, when I reread it, it seemed as if he was in it much more than I remembered. Suffice it to say, he is really the ultimate romantic interest--he swoops in whenever Yelena needs help and yet he offers her the independence to find her own way. Ari and Janco also have hilarious cameo appearances in Magic Study. I always wished that I had older brothers to watch out for me and teach me things, and I imagine Ari and Janco would be the perfect older brothers. My favorite aspect of this novel was the fantasy element. Yelena's magic is strange and frightening to those around her and it was exciting to read about her adventures. This was another wonderful book by Maria V. Snyder and a satisfying addition to Yelena's story.