Magic Study

Paperback | November 18, 2008

byMaria V. Snyder

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So far, I've managed to survive. You would think after being kidnapped as a child, imprisoned in my teens and released to become a poison taster, I would have endured enough. But no. The discovery of my magical abilities—powers forbidden in Ixia—has resulted in an execution order. My only chance is to flee to Sitia, my long-lost birthplace.

But Sitia is unfamiliar. I'm treated like an enemy—even by my own brother. Plus I can't control my powers. I want to learn about my magic, but there isn't time. A rogue magician has emerged and I'm targeted as his next victim.

Will my magical abilities save me…or be my downfall?

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From the Publisher

So far, I've managed to survive. You would think after being kidnapped as a child, imprisoned in my teens and released to become a poison taster, I would have endured enough. But no. The discovery of my magical abilities—powers forbidden in Ixia—has resulted in an execution order. My only chance is to flee to Sitia, my long-lost birthp...

Maria V. Snyder was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in Meteorology at Pennsylvania State University in 1988, before deciding to become a novelist in 1995. Snyder graduated with a Master's degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in 2007. The first two books in...

other books by Maria V. Snyder

Poison Study
Poison Study

Paperback|Feb 20 2007

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Fire Study
Fire Study

Paperback|Feb 19 2008

$16.88 online$16.95list price
Night Study
Night Study

Paperback|Jan 26 2016

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see all books by Maria V. Snyder
Format:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 8 × 5.13 × 1.12 inPublished:November 18, 2008Publisher:MiraLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0778327124

ISBN - 13:9780778327127

Appropriate for ages: 14 - 17

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Magic study Kept the same pace. Good characters. Interesting. Looking forward to the next book. I liked the next series as well. The glass series.
Date published: 2015-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magic Study The second novel in the poion study trilogy. A page turning, high volocity read! the story just keeps geting better. Non stop twists and turns, intrigue around every corner.
Date published: 2015-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is the second book in the Study series by Snyder and I loved it as much as the first! This is the second book in the Study series by Snyder and I loved it as much as the first! And that's saying a lot when it comes to books in series (usually I'm disappointed with the second book). What I liked the most was that we got to follow Yelena's continuing story, with some familiar characters along with a whole group of new characters. As with her first book in the series, Magic Study is a fast paced read. There is plenty of action and tense moments. That, along with Yelena's development as a character made it hard for me to put down. I was keen to see what would happen.
Date published: 2015-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love the series I adore the entire series. Yes, it is a bit sappy and cheesy at places, and your eyes might roll by how much peril this one young lady can go through, but I love it. Call it a guilty pleasure, or just the talent of Maria Snyder and her ability to pull readers deep into her world and stories, but I will always read her novels.
Date published: 2014-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really well-crafted fantasy/magic story! This is one of those books that I just didn't want to put down once I'd started it! The story is so exciting, so well-structured and so creatively written that I literally flew threw it, without even noticing where the time went. In the second installment of Yelena's story, she has beaten her enemies in Ixia and been released to return home to Sitia and her family, after having spend 14 years being tortured, beaten and manipulated for the various nefarious purposes of others. And while Yelena is happy about the prospect of finally being reunited with the family she barely remembers, she is nervous about trying to pick up after so long, and she's devastated at being forced - because of her magical abilities - to leave Ixia under pain of execution, because it also means leaving Valek, who she now loves, and wants to be with. Once back in Sitia, and under the protection of the Council of Magicians, Yelena begins her training to learn to control her magic. But, as usual, things don't go smoothly, and Yelena makes enemies - really through no fault of her own - and becomes involved in a dangerous plot that includes murder and treason. The best thing about Maria Snyder's books is how she creates a multi-faceted, highly detailed world, in which each character feels completely real to the reader, and where you can completely immerse yourself in the story feeling like you're a fly on the wall the entire time. I really enjoy these books, including the one I've read from Snyder's other series "the Glass books" and I highly recommend anything by her if you like fantasy/magical/alternate world books.
Date published: 2011-04-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good fun!! (The Chapters-Indigo website has been deleting my ratings so: I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars/leaves.) I liked this one. I wasn't sure after reading the first book in the series, Poison Study, given the Mary Sue aspects of the main character. However, I'm glad I gave this series a chance as this book was quite enjoyable. The world building was very well done and highly imaginative. The plot was, in general, quite exciting. The book's weaknesses were (IMHO): (i) the plot's tendency to be dominated by Yelena's tendency to 'barrel' or rush/plow through things, (ii) Yelena's status as a definite Mary Sue. Addressing the second point first, to my mind this book (and its prequel) is a good example of the fact that having a Mary Sue in a novel does not automatically ruin said novel (if you can accept that aspect of it). The first point was the only thing I could point to as somewhat problematic in this novel, but even this did not prevent me from enjoying it. All in all, I tend towards recommending this one. Similar recommended titles (given here because of the weird problems I've been having with the Chapters/Indigo website and which they STILL haven't fixed): -Grimspace, by Ann Aguirre -Stardoc #1, by S.L. Viehl -Stormwalker, by Allyson James
Date published: 2010-01-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fantasy for the modern woman Yelena returns in this novel to find her long lost home and family, and she even finds time to enrol in a magic college. As always, our heroine manages to find trouble at every turn but uses her wits, and sometimes brawn, to get herself out of it. I found this novel a little slower paced than the first and, at times, slightly far-fetched. Snyder also has a habit of letting modern dialogue slip into the book, somewhat spoiling the atmosphere that she carefully builds up. Altogether it is still a great read with charismatic characters and a fast-paced plot. Well recommended.
Date published: 2009-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spellbinding In Poison Study, Maria Snyder captures readers hearts with the strong willed and fierce Yelena, who survives against all odds, between people bent on her murder, to constantly tasting poisons and ensnaring both friendships and hearts. Magic Study is an equally strong sequel to Poison Study, Yelena's emotions are so real and her friends so lifelike it seems like the world walks off the page. When Yelena is pulled apart from her heart mate Valek she must return to the past. However to her she is going back to a world she never knew. Once again her world spins wildly out of control and her feelings for her life in Sitia and her past life in Ixia are crossed and she must risk everything to save the people she loves, in both countries. New friends, foes and heartbreaks are sure to bind all readers to this book, and make sure they can't put it down till they are done.
Date published: 2009-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Poison Study is one of my favorite book and I had high expectactions for Magic Study and I was not deceived by it. Like PS it was a page turner, the plot was well written. And I was so happy to see Valek, I feared that we wouldn't see much of him but we do. Something that I really like about his book is that Yelena is not perfect, she do mistakes and stupid things wich is kinda nice because I can stand a perfect character, it gets on my nerves. Anyways it's an awesome fantasy novel and I can't wait to read Fire Study.
Date published: 2009-07-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good This is the 2nd book to the series and again it was as entertaining as the first. It was nice to finally see Yelena learn more about her family and who she really is.
Date published: 2009-04-22

Extra Content

Read from the Book

"We're here," Irys said.I looked around. The surrounding jungle bulged with life. Overgrown green bushes blocked our path, vines hung from the tree canopy, and the constant chatter and trill ofjungle birds beat at my ears. Small furry creatures, who had been following us through the jungle, peeked at us from their hiding spots behind huge leaves."Where?" I asked, glancing at the three other girls. They shrugged in unison, equally confused. In the thick humid air, their thin cotton dresses were soaked in sweat. My own black pants and white shirt clung to my clammy skin. We were tired from lugging our heavy backpacks along snake-thin jungle paths, and itchy from hosting unnameable insects on our skins."The Zaltana homestead," Irys said. "Quite possibly your home."I surveyed the lush greenery and saw nothing that resembled a settlement. During the course of our travels south, whenever Irys had declared that we had arrived, we were usually in the midst of a small town or village, with houses made of wood, stone or brick, hemmed in by fields and farms.The brightly dressed inhabitants would welcome us, feed us and, amid a cacophony of voices and spicy aromas, listen to our story. Then certain families would be summoned with great haste. In a whirlwind of excitement and babble, one of the children in our party, who had lived in the orphanage in the north, would be reunited with a family they hadn't known existed.As a result, our group had grown ever smaller as we'd traveled farther into the southern land of Sitia. Soon, we had left the cold northern air far behind, and were now cooking in the steamy warmth of the jungle with no sign of a town in sight."Homestead?" I asked.Irys sighed. Wisps of her black hair had sprung from her tight bun, and her stern expression didn't quite match the slight humor in her emerald eyes."Yelena, appearances can be deceiving. Seek with your mind, not your senses," she instructed.I rubbed my slick hands along the grain of my wooden staff, concentrating on its smooth surface. My mind emptied, and the buzz of the jungle faded as I sent out my mental awareness. In my mind's eye, I slithered through the underbrush with a snake, searching for a patch of sunlight. I scrambled through the tree branches with a long-limbed animal with such ease that it felt as if we flew.Then, above, I moved with people among the treetops. Their minds were open and relaxed, deciding what to eat for dinner, and discussing the news from the city. But one mind worried about the sounds from the jungle below. Something wasn't right. Someone strange was there. Possible danger. Who's in my mind?I snapped back to myself. Irys stared at me."They live in the trees?" I asked.She nodded. "But remember Yelena, just because someone's mind is receptive to your probing doesn't mean you're permitted to dive into their deeper thoughts. That's a breach of our Ethical Code."Her words were harsh, the master level magician scolding her student."Sorry," I said.She shook her head. "I forget that you're still learning. We need to get to the Citadel and begin your training, but I'm afraid this stop will take some time.""Why?""I can't leave you with your family like I did for the other children, and it would be cruel to take you away too soon."Just then, a loud voice from above called out, "Venettaden."Irys swung her arm up and mumbled something, but my muscles froze before I could repel the magic that engulfed us. I couldn't move. After a frantic moment of panic, I calmed my mind. I tried to build a mental wall of defense, but the magic that ensnared me knocked down my mental bricks as fast as I could stack them.Irys, however, was unaffected. She yelled into the treetops. "We're friends of the Zaltanas. I'm Irys of the Jewelrose Clan, Fourth Magician in the Council."Another strange word echoed from the trees. My legs trembled as the magic released me and I sank to the ground to wait for the faintness to pass. The twins, Gracena and Nickeely collapsed together, moaning. May rubbed her legs."Why have you come, Irys Jewelrose?" the voice above asked."I believe I may have found your lost daughter," she replied.A rope ladder descended through the branches."Let's go, girls," Irys said. "Here, Yelena, hold the bottom while we climb."A peevish thought about who would hold the ladder for me flashed through my mind. Irys's annoyed voice admonished me in my own head. Yelena, you will have no trouble getting into the trees. Perhaps I should have them raise the ladder when it's your turn to climb, as you might prefer to use your grapple and rope.She was right, of course. I had used the trees to hide from my enemies in Ixia without the convenience of a ladder. And even now, I'd enjoyed an occasional "walk" through the treetops to keep my skills honed.Irys smiled at me. Perhaps it's in your blood.My stomach filled with unease as I remembered Mogkan. He had said I was cursed with Zaltana blood. I'd no reason to trust the now dead southern magician, though, and I'd been avoiding asking Irys questions about the Zaltanas so I wouldn't get my hopes up about being a part of their family. Even while dying, I knew Mogkan would have been capable of pulling one last spiteful trick.Mogkan and General Brazell's son, Reyad, had kidnapped me along with over thirty other children from Sitia. Averaging two children a year, they had brought the girls and boys north to Brazell's "orphanage" in the Territory of Ixia for use in their twisted plans. All of the children had the potential of becoming magicians because they had been born to families with strong magic.Irys had explained to me that magical powers were a gift, and only a handful of magicians came from each clan. "Of course, the more magicians in a family," Irys had said, "the greater chance of having more in the next generation. Mogkan took a risk kidnapping children so young; magical powers don't manifest until a child reaches maturity.""Why were there more girls than boys?" I had asked."Only thirty percent of our magicians are males, and Bain Bloodgood is the only one to achieve master level status."As I steadied the rope ladder that hung from the jungle's canopy, I now wondered how many Zaltanas were magicians. Beside me, the three girls tucked the hems of their dresses into their belts. Irys helped May start up the rope rungs, and then Gracena and Nickeely followed.When we had crossed the border into Sitia, the girls hadn't hesitated to exchange their northern uniforms for the bright multicolored, cotton dresses worn by some of the southern women. The boys switched their uniforms for simple cotton pants and tunics. I, on the other hand, had kept my food taster's uniform on until the heat and humidity had driven me to purchase a pair of boy's cotton pants and a shirt.After Irys disappeared into the green canopy, I set my boot on the bottom rung. My feet felt as if they were swollen with water, weighing me down. Reluctance clung to my legs as I dragged them up the ladder. In midair, I paused. What if these people didn't want me? What if they didn't believe I was their lost daughter? What if I were too old to be bothered with?All the children who had already found their homes had been immediately accepted. Between the ages of seven and thirteen, they had been separated from their families for only a few years. Physical resemblances, ages, and even names had made it easy to place them. Now, we were down to four. The identical twins, Gracena and Nickeely were thirteen. May was the youngest at twelve, and I was the oldest of the group at twenty.According to Irys, the Zaltanas had lost a six-year-old girl over fourteen years prior. That was a long time to be away. I was no longer a child.Yet I was the oldest one who had survived Brazell's plans and remained whole. When the other kidnapped children reach maturity, those who had developed magical powers had been tortured until they surrendered their souls to Mogkan and Reyad. Mogkan had then used the magic of these now mindless captives to enhance his own, making the children nothing more than living bodies without souls.Irys bore the burden of informing the families of these children, but I felt some guilt by being the only one to survive Mogkan's efforts to capture my soul. The effort, though, cost me a great deal.Thinking about my struggles in Ixia led to thoughts of Valek. An ache for him chewed at my heart. Hooking an arm around the ladder, I fingered the butterfly pendant he had carved for me. Perhaps I could devise a way to return to Ixia. After all, the magic in my body no longer flared out of control, and I would much rather be with him than among these strange southerners who lived in the trees. Even the name of the south, Sitia, felt thick as rancid syrup in my mouth."Yelena, come on," Irys called down to me. "We're waiting."I swallowed hard and ran a hand over my long braid, smoothing my black hair and pulling out the few viney tendrils that clung to it. Despite the long trek through the jungle, I wasn't too tired. While shorter than most Ixians at five feet four inches, my body had transformed from emaciated to muscular during my last year in Ixia. The difference had been in my living arrangements. From starving in the dungeon to tasting food for Commander Ambrose, my situation had improved for my physical well-being, but I couldn't say the same for my mental well-being during that time.I shook my head, banishing those thoughts and concentrating on my immediate circumstances. Climbing up the rest of the ladder, I expected it to end at a wide branch or a platform in the tree like a landing on a staircase. Instead, I entered a room.I looked around in amazement. The walls and ceiling of the room were formed by branches and limbs that had been roped together. Sunlight leaked in between the gaps. Bundled sticks had been worked into chairs that had cushions made of leaves. The small room held only four seats."Is this her?" a tall man asked Irys. His cotton tunic and short pants were the color of the tree's leaves. Green gel had been combed into his hair and smeared over all his exposed skin. A bow and a quiver of arrows hung over his shoulder. I guessed he was the guard. Why, though, would he need a weapon if he were the magician who had frozen us? Then again, Irys had deflected that spell with ease. Could she turn aside an arrow as well?"Yes," Irys said to the man."We've heard rumors at the market, and wondered if you would pay us a visit, Fourth Magician. Please, stay here," he said. "I'll get the Elder."Irys sank into one of the chairs, and the girls explored the room, exclaiming over the view from the single window. I paced the narrow space. The guard seemed to disappear through the wall, but upon investigation, I discovered a gap that led to a bridge also made of branches."Sit down," Irys said to me. "Relax. You're safe here.""Even with that heartwarming reception?" I countered."Standard procedure. Unaccompanied visitors are extremely rare. With the constant danger of jungle predators, most travelers hire a Zaltana guide. You've been edgy and defensive ever since I told you we were headed to the Zaltana's village."Irys pointed at my legs. "You're in a fighting stance, prepared for attack. These people are your family. Why would they want to hurt you?"I realized that I had pulled my weapon off my back, and was clutching it in the ready position. With effort, I relaxed my posture."Sorry." I threaded the bow, a five-foot wooden staff, back into its holder on the side of my backpack.Fear of the unknown had caused me to clench. For as long as I could remember in Ixia, I had been told my family was dead. Lost to me forever. Even so, I used to dream of finding an adopted family who would love and care for me. I had only given up that fantasy when I had been turned into Mogkan and Reyad's experiment, and now that I had Valek, I felt I didn't need a family."That's not true, Yelena," Irys said aloud. "Your family will help you discover who you are and why. You need them more than you know.""I thought you said it was against your Ethical Code to read someone's mind." I rankled at her intrusion on my private thoughts."We are linked as teacher and student. You freely gave me a pathway to your mind by accepting me as your mentor. It would be easier to divert a waterfall than to break our link.""I don't remember creating a pathway," I grumbled."If there was a conscious effort in making a link, it wouldn't have happened." She watched my face for a while. "You gave me your trust and your loyalty. That was all that was needed to forge a bond. While I won't pry into your intimate thoughts and memories, I can pick up on your surface emotions."I opened my mouth to reply, but the green-haired guard returned."Follow me," he said.We wound our way through the treetops. Hallways and bridges connected room after room high above the land. There had been no hint of this maze of dwellings from the ground. We didn't see or meet a soul as we passed around bedrooms and through living areas. From glimpses into the rooms, I saw they were decorated with items found in the jungle. Coconut shells, nuts, berries, grasses, twigs and leaves were all artfully arranged into wall hangings, book covers, boxes and statues. Someone had even fashioned an exact replica of one of those long-tailed animals by using white and black stones glued together."Irys," I said, pointing to the statue, "what are those animals?""Valmurs. Very intelligent and playful. There are millions of them in the jungle. They're curious, too. Remember how they spied on us from the trees?"I nodded, recalling the little creatures that never stood still long enough for me to study. In other rooms, I spotted more animal replicas made from different colored stones. A hollow-ness touched my throat as I thought of Valek and the animals he carved out of rocks. I knew he would appreciate the craftsmanship of these stone statues. Perhaps I could send one to him.I didn't know when I'd ever be able to see him again. The Commander had exiled me to Sitia when he had discovered I possessed magical powers. If I returned to Ixia, the Commander's order of execution would be in effect, but he had never said I couldn't communicate with my friends in Ixia.