"We're here," Irys said. I looked around. The surrounding jungle bulged with life.
–Maria V. Snyder - Magic Study - c.2006 - pg.9
This is the sequel to Poison Study and is the second in the Study trilogy. After the events in the first book Yelana, at the start of this, is on her way to meet her family for the first time in fourteen years. Leaving Ixia she heads for Sitia, where she can learn how to control her magical abilities. But of course things don’t go smoothly, if they did I guess there wouldn’t be much of a story, now would there.
I really enjoyed this one. It is a good quick read, nothing too challenging, but well-written and entertaining. Yalena is still quite sensible. Her actions usually seem reasonable and although she does occasionally dart headfirst into danger, it is in keeping with her character. She acts before she thinks. In the end this usually works out well for her, even if it does get her into trouble. And yes, she idoes tend to think a lot of her own abilities, but I guess that is a character flaw I prefer to one of constant self-doubt and having to be rescued.
As in the previous book, however, the politics are a little strange. Sitia is more of a oligarchy than a monarchy I suppose, but it is also an awful lot more liberal than Ixia, with that country’s strange almost fascist tendencies. And Yelana sees these differences, and, in many instances, seems to think that fascism works better. Of course that may all be down to her familiarity with Ixia and the strangeness that is Sitia is to her.
Although Janco and Ari do show up they don’t get too much time on screen, which is a pity, I like them and their banter. And for those expecting more between Yelana and Valek, well, he does make an appearance, and an important one, but that isn’t central to the story, not really.
Overall this is very enjoyable and I’ll have to go buy the third in the series now.