Magic Study is the sequel to Poison Study. There will be spoilers for both books in this post but I will try not to ruin the ending for Magic Study (I did do a short review for it in my weekly reading wrap-up post).
I hesitated to read this book because most people reviewing it say they disliked this one a lot compared to the first book, Poison Study. That might be part of why I liked this one more than I expected. Going in, I thought I was going to dislike this one but I ended up liking it just as much as the first.
Another reason might also be that I did really like Poison Study, I didn’t love it. So for me, Magic Study didn’t have a high bar to meet on any account.
I also love Yelena in both books. I was totally fine following her by herself for the first part of the book and then when Valek shows up I was pretty excited. Some have said that they don’t like how much of a back seat he takes in this book but I thought it worked well. He trusts Yelena, she knows more about the situation and the country, and she has the magic needed to do the job. Him being a support and letting her run the show actually speaks a lot to his character. Some also questioned how much Yelena rebels against authority but that also made sense to me. Her mentor nearly kills her in the first book, I wouldn’t trust her either. She doesn’t know the government or her family in the new country. They also don’t trust her or her abilities (this also reminded me a little of Morrigan Crow) so I can’t see her going to them for help. It’s also made pretty clear that she would rather be in Ixia and how much she respects multiple people there (besides being in love with Valek).
There are plot and prose issues but they were in Poison Study too. Transitioning between scenes gives Snyder a lot of trouble in both books. Sometimes she uses Yelena’s internal commentary as a bridge, sometimes it’s the equivalent of a jump-cut, and then sometimes it’s these jarring things that are meant to move the plot forward but don’t make as much sense…
So I’m going into Fire Study with low expectations still (people didn’t like this one much either) but I’m anticipating that I’ll still have a fun time.