I know Mondays are typically the day I post a book/movie review however Hurricane Sandy wasn’t the nicest and ruined some of my plans. For anyone who was wondering, my area of Delaware was relatively spared considering what our northern neighbor New Jersey received. Please the East Coast in your thoughts and prayers!
So this weekend (which was Sunday and Monday, I had to work Saturday) I spent my time curled up on the couch, watching the rain and wind and reading the last book in the trilogy I mentioned a couple Mondays ago in this post. So at last I have finished the trilogy and can review it!
The trilogy is called the Study Series by Maria V. Snyder. It a science fiction/dystopian society type book, one of my favorite genres. I bought the series, as a bundle on my Nook months ago and was so excited to finally get the time to read them.
The first book Poison Study introduced 19-year-old Yelena who is about to be executed for murder. She lives in the northern territory of Ixia, a place ruled by a strict Code of Behavior put in place by an unbendable Commander Ambrose. It is a place organized into 8 neat, precise Military Districts, each ruled by Generals, where everyone wears a uniform, everyone has a job, and Magicians are executed on sight.
Before her execution however she is offered the chance to become the food tester for the Commander. An opportunity to live, she quickly agrees. Things do not go simply for Yelena however, her agreement is just the start of a crazy, terrifying new adventure for her.
Soon she is being chased by Magicians trying to kill her outside the castle while inside the castle, General Brazell, the father of the man she killed, is trying to exact revenge for his son’s death. (Which by the way we do learn about and really, he deserved it.) And the in the midst of all this crazy drama? She is falling in love with the Commander’s assassin, Valek, who is not only her boss but also the man who has poisoned her so she cannot runaway without the antidote.
In the end? She saves the lives of the children in trouble, stops General Brazell from trying to overthrow the Commander, and saves the Commander from the brink of death. Her reward for these feats? A signed execution order from the Commander because during the course of these events Yelena revealed that she too is a Magician.
And that my friends is just the first book. Sounds interesting, right? The next book Magic Study is a continuation of Yelena’s adventure as she flees to safety to the southern territory of Sitia, Yelena’s homeland where she was kidnapped from her Zaltana Clan when she was 6 years old. And since Yelena can’t go anywhere without danger and adventure following her, she is again thrown into the fray. This time, to stop an evil magician killing young girls to perform an ritual using blood magic.
But like all heroine, Yelena again saves that day… for awhile. Because, in the third and final book, Fire Study Sitia and Ixia are on the brink of war and it is up to Yelena alone to find a resolution. And find a resolution she does, but without lots of fighting, some tears, and come beloved character’s dying. But in the end, Yelena saves the day and gets her happy ending with Valek.
My opinions of the books? They are good! The author created a whole new world with characters who are great. As the reader, I wanted Yelena to win and get her happy ending the whole time. The interactions between all the characters are great, there is a nice balance of sarcasm, humor, and seriousness which makes the situation and character’s reactions seem real.
However, let me warn you, the books get slightly graphic from this point on. The details that Maria V. Snyder gives of the torture and rituals can get gory. There is torture, rape, and death in the books. I would highly suggest that the age limit be heeded on these book, ages 14 plus.
But please don’t let that keep you from these books. There really are great books that teach about sacrifice and discovering one’s true self and accepting who one is.
So pick up the Study Series by Maria V. Snyder! I highly recommend them! The books have been added to our Amazon store!
My next step? The Glass Series, a trilogy set in the same universe focusing on a minor Study character.
Question of the Day
Have you read the Study Series? If not, do they sound like something you would read?