Book reviews, musings and waffle from a British lit addict

Review: ‘Magic Study’ by Maria V. Snyder

First weekend in September (how crazy!) so here’s my first September review:


Ordinarily I would include all or bits of the blurb but, as this is a follow-up to Poison Study (reviewed here), I’m breaking from tradition. If you want to, feel free check out the Goodreads description here. I’ll cut straight to my thoughts and try to keep what I give away about the first book in the series to a minimum – apologies if that makes my review sound a tad odd…


What I would say:

For some reason, I’m struggling to sum up how I feel about this one. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy it – just not as much as the first and I’m not sure why – hence the struggle. I actually suspect I just missed some of my favourite Ixian characters from the first…

The story moved from Ixia to neighbouring ‘country’ Sitia which was fantastic for a couple of reasons. One: there was a lot of character development as family members were discovered and relationships developed; two, there were (and forgive the potential over-analysis going on here) some really interesting political points being made.

Upon arriving in Sitia’s main city, our favourite lead female encounters a group of beggars and fails to grasp the concept – why? Because it seems beloved Ixia is in fact a communist state – where “basic necessities are provided to all by the Commander’s military”. The Sitians fail to comprehend how this is possible because the beggars surely were just lazy and got themselves into their plight? Add into this some discussions on the nature of crime and punishment – Ixia: all judged by the Commander with capital punishment prevalent; Sitia: all judged by a group of officials with high-tech prisons the norm. All of which led me to love the book all the more – not just your average fantasy fodder!

Forgive my digression, the lawyer in me couldn’t help it! Political undertones aside, this novel is also brilliant as a fantasy tale – the magic element is the focus here and the mix of new characters and old favourites is perfect! Again, we have a truly bad ‘baddy’ – a serial murderer/rapist no less – and it makes parts of the story really strong.

Overall: A fantastic sequel for those who loved the first -again, prepare for more than just light and fluffy magic spells – it gets dark but it’s awesome for it! Roll on #3: Fire Study.