Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder (Study #3)


23789222When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder – able to capture and release souls – spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena’s unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena’s fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before….

Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself – and save the land she holds dear.


Fire Study started off very slowly for me, to the point that I had to drag myself to the page.
Continue reading “Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder (Study #3)”

Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder (Study #2)


23795140So 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?


Magic! New friends and foes! Yea!

The good: Continue reading “Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder (Study #2)”

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (Study #1)


23564319Murder, mayhem and magic…

Locked in a coffin-like darkness, there is nothing to distract me from my memories of killing Reyad. He deserved to die—but according to the law, so do I. Here in Ixia, the punishment for murder is death. And now I wait for the hangman’s noose.

But the same law that condemns me may also save me. Ixia’s food taster—chosen to ensure that the Commander’s food is not poisoned—has died. And by law, the next prisoner who is scheduled to be executed—me—must be offered the position.


Plot, how I love thee! Poison Study has it in spades, backed up by well-drawn characters, interesting political systems, and even a little romance. I have found a new series to binge on!

The good:

  • The world building is detailed and free of info dumps. Things start very small (the cell Yelena is being held in) and slowly expand as she moves from prisoner to poison taster and beyond.
  • While there are two main areas and political systems there is no good guy and bad guy. In Ixia there’s a strong welfare state to help those in need but they execute anyone who doesn’t follow their crazy strict rules. In the South they don’t kill magicians on sight but beggars are left to starve in the streets. It’s complex and I love it.
  • The Commander’s secret is amazing and interesting and ties the books into current issues in a concrete way.

The not-so-good:

  • While everyone is shelving this as young adult I would actually characterize it as a new adult fantasy. It’s all here – 20-ish protagonist with a trauma-filled past making her way in the world. I could have done without a flashback or two, but Yelena took care of things.
  • …that it ended! Usually I space out books in a series but I’m going to jump into the next book head first. Here goes!