maria v. snyder

Book Review: Fire Study


Fire Study (Chronicles of Ixia #3) by Maria V. Snyder – Paperback, 441 pages – Published June 7th 2013 by Mira Ink

This is the third novel in the Chronicles of Ixia series by Maria V. Snyder. There are more books – I’m not quite sure how many – but I am definitely done with this series.

Again, we follow Yelena – our 20-something protagonist with magical powers. She’s discovered that her powers make her a Soulfinder, and people fear her because of it. But she uses her powers for good, even if the Fire Warper tries to get her on his side.

Even though Yelena is a bit older than the usual YA protagonist, the way this book is written just feels immature to me. It’s almost entirely composed of simple, declarative sentences with little emotion. I can’t connect with Yelena, even when she suffers the loss of a loved one or comes near to death herself.

I said this about the first book, and I’ll say it again; Snyder doesn’t seem to portray the passing of time. At all. There is a section of this book that was meant to have been over several weeks, but I just didn’t feel it. There’s no character development. Even the relationships don’t seem to have any feeling. Basically, I just can’t connect with anyone or anything in these books.

Though there is nothing bad about the writing, I just didn’t like this book. I found it hard to read and didn’t really enjoy it. The plot sounded decent – escorting souls to the sky, defeating evil magicians – but I was so disappointed. 2 stars.


Random Fridays


Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder (Chronicles of Ixia #3)

Drawing power, I projected my mind and encountered a confusing array of dream images.


A quote from the book you’re currently reading selected using a random number generator.

Hosted by Rebecca at Books and Messy Buns.

Book Review: Magic Study


Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder (Chronicles of Ixia #2) – Paperback, 419 pages – Published June 7th 2013 by Mira Ink

This is the sequel to Maria V. Snyder’s Poison Study, a Chronicles of Ixia novel. It follows Yelena after she has discovered her magical abilities, and features familiar characters such as Irys, Valek, Ari and Janco.

The book begins with Yelena’s return to the Zaltanas, her family clan, fourteen years after being kidnapped from the forest. Her brother, Leif, is clearly not as happy to see her as her parents. The siblings travel to the Keep together, where Yelena is to begin her magic training. But while on their journey to the Citadel, they are ambushed by strange men. Yelena discovers that it was set up by her brother, who believes her to be a spy from Ixia. They intend to take her to the Keep where a Master Magician will search her mind for the proof they require.

Of course, Yelena is found innocent and is allowed to start her training. Cahil, the leader of the ambushers and the supposed heir to the Ixian throne, has trouble coming to terms with his mistake.

Several victims of a mysterious murderer have been found, one of which has managed to survive the attack. But can Yelena rescue her, even after her soul has retreated into hiding?

The man – Ferde – is attempting to harbour souls from innocent girls. Yelena is determined to stop him, even if it means risking her own life.

While hunting for Ferde, Yelena must deal with Leif, the vengeful Goel, Cahil and a visiting party of Ixians. Who would’ve thought that she would look back and find her poison-tasting days peaceful?

There is action, magic, love, confusion and more in this book, yet I struggle to feel any emotion from this series. I don’t feel Yelena’s pain, or her fear or excitement. I don’t feel anything from these books. I don’t understand why; these are perfectly good stories, well written. But I just don’t enjoy them.

I am still going to read the next novel, and I am curious as to what will develop in Yelena’s life. And although there are typos and punctuation placed where I find a little strange, I do acknowledge that these are decent books. The plot’s good, and there’s a nice mix of action and magic. Yelena is older than most YA protagonists – at around twenty – which is refreshing, but still not quite right to me. I will be generous and give this novel about 2-3 stars, though, as there are no real faults to be found with the writing itself.


Book Review: Poison Study


Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (Chronicles of Ixia #1) – Paperback, 409 pages – Published June 7th 2013 by Mira Ink

I decided to read this series because this book was voted in for being one of the books of the month in a YA group I’m part of on Goodreads.

So the title of this book becomes quite obviously relevant when Yelena, who is destined for the noose, is given the job of food tasting for the commander. She is taught about all the different poisons by Valek, until she can identify them by their scent and taste.

Obviously, this job has its risks. But it’s still better than definite death, which Yelena was expecting after murdering the former king’s son. No one knows her reasons for murdering Reyad, but over time, the reader discovers the truth of King Brazell’s orphanage.

While working with Valek, Yelena finds herself treating the castle like her own home. She becomes friends with a pair of guards after “running away” to test the ability of the Ixian soldiers. The main chef, Rand, and the seamstress also become good company. Yelena finds herself starting to forget her past notions of running away to Sitia.

Things start to get complicated when Brazell turns up, followed by a powerful magician. Yelena meets Star, who pays people in return for information. Could one of Yelena’s friends be working for her?

The romance element of this was, to me, completely wrong. I just didn’t feel anything between the two characters (who I won’t name, so as not to spoil anything) and I think it was just totally irrelevant. I didn’t feel like Yelena needed any kind of love interest, as she was a good character on her own.

Time passing and the development of characters and relationships just didn’t feel great in this either. I didn’t feel Yelena and Rand’s friendship becoming a thing, and I didn’t feel time passing at all, really. I wasn’t excited by the book, even though the plot was clever and seemed interesting.

So I don’t have any outstanding feelings for this, meaning I’m going to give Poison Study 3 stars out of 5.