Review: Maria V. Snyder – Magic Study

Magic Study
Maria V. Snyder
Yelena has been exiled, and now heads home with her new mentor. But the brother she never knew she had seems to be against her, and there are too many threads to sort out what is really happening.
3244135Yelena’s relationship with Cahil moves much too quickly compared to what I expected. Also, the way it develops seems very warped. You’ll understand if you read this book.
Yelena makes friends easily now, yet reacts violently to rape, and it just doesn’t seem quite right. The focus on rape of young girls is uncomfortable. I feel like it doesn’t really serve a purpose, and it and the bloodletting add unnecessary drama. People can be kidnapped and killed without needing all that.
I’d like to see a little more development of Yelena as an adult. Yelena’s friend-making abilities have moved far too fast, and her need for contact with Valek seemed a little odd. They were forever having sex! It made me wonder when she’d end up pregnant.
Sometimes there seems to be too many plot points going on at once, and at the same time they seem so superficial that you don’t want to follow them.You know the minute Yelena befriends someone she is going to be using them later. This is particularly true of the beggars.

I don’t think that this book is really reflective of its title. Although Yelena does study a little more magic, it’s not really like she seems to learn anything – she just does things the way she always has and has discovered that she is different. Yelena might be a SoulFinder, but noone is willing to tell her what that is. There are a couple of inconsistencies there too, as she is mocked by the SoulStealer. Souls can’t be returned without creating husks.

I was enveloped in the story, and I couldn’t put it down. Yes, it was that good that I finished it in an entire morning while trying to study for an exam the next day, but some aspect were stilted. It took me a number of pages to become involved with the story, but once I was, I was hooked.
The ending was a little predictable. Sorry, but true. I knew what Yelena would do before she did, even though there was a total lack for me with getting inside Yelena’s head.
Suitable for older teens and adults. Rape, bloodshed, unmannerly torture and murder. I couldn’t say I loved the way this book was written, but the plot is certainly compelling and left me with my heart in my mouth.

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