April 9, 2010

The Crap Your Daughter Can Actually Read - part deux

Hello, mes amis, and welcome to the second edition of this word vomit we now know as The Crap. For those of you who are just tuning in, feel free to comment freely on any and all of this. And tell your friends. I’m looking for notoriety.

At any rate, this week’s installment brings us Maria V. Snyder and her fantabulous Study series.

Click an image to read an excerpt
This series is actually adult fiction, but it’s absolutely something that the high school Twilight lovers will enjoy. In “Poison Study”, we learn about Yelena, a young woman sentenced to death for murder under the law of a strict dictatorship. She’s offered a reprieve in the form of poison tasting, and takes it. From there, it’s pretty much just a clusterfuck of events that leads to her falling in love with someone pretty much everyone hates, and reuniting with a family she had no idea existed.

Again, I suck at real reviews, so here’s what Publisher’s Weekly had to say:

Book 1 – Poison Study. Shivers, obsession, sleepless nights—these are the results not of one of the milder poisons that novice food-taster Yelena must learn during her harrowing job training but of newcomer Snyder's riveting fantasy that unites the intelligent political focus of George R.R. Martin with a subtle yet potent romance. Through a stroke of luck, Yelena escapes execution in exchange for tasting the food of the Commander, ruler of Ixia. Though confined to a dank prison cell and doomed to a painful death, Yelena slowly blooms again, caught up in castle politics. But some people are too impatient to wait for poison to finish off Yelena. With the help of Valek, her steely-nerved, cool-eyed boss and the Commander's head of security, she soon discovers that she has a starring role to play in Ixia's future—a role that could lead to her being put to death as a budding magician even if she hits each cue perfectly. The first in a series, this is one of those rare books that will keep readers dreaming long after they've read it.

Book 2 – Magic Study. Family betrayal, a power-mad serial killer and a potential diplomatic crisis threaten the independent-minded heroine of Snyder's fine sequel to Poison Study (2005). With the overthrow of the royal family of Ixia, 20-year-old Yelena Zaltana, who was kidnapped as a child by the evil magician Mogkan, is now free to return home to Sitia. Her reunion with the family she hasn't seen in 14 years palls when her brother spreads rumors she's actually a spy from Ixia. At the Magician's Citadel, where Yelena enrolls to hone her prodigious magical talents, her powers raise concern that she might be a rare, powerful Soulfinder. Then a string of ugly murders reveals the presence of a rogue magician in the area. As Yelena joins the hunt for the killer, complications grow with the arrival of a diplomatic mission from Ixia—including her lover, Valek, a notorious spy and assassin, sure to be executed if anyone sees through his disguise. Snyder's lively, charming mix of romance and fantasy is sure to gain her new fans.

Book 3 – Fire Study. Fans of high-spirited adventure, intrigue and romance will celebrate the third book (after 2007's Magic Study) in the saga of reluctant mage and diplomat Yelena Zaltana. The news that Yelena is a Soulfinder, able to manipulate the spirits of the dead and the living, hasn't made her popular with the inhabitants of Sitia's Magician's Keep, since the last Soulfinder turned people into mindless slaves. First Magician Roze Featherstone's hostility toward Yelena increases until the Sitian Council decides to send Yelena north as diplomatic liaison to the rival nation of Ixia. When Roze takes over the council, imprisoning her rivals and driving the nation to the brink of war with Ixia, Yelena is caught between her duties as liaison, her love for Ixian intelligence officer Valek and her fear of her own power, which she must embrace fully to defeat Roze and restore the council. Snyder delivers another excellent adventure, deftly balancing international and local hostilities against Yelena's personal struggles.

So there you go. The babygirl will love it, you will love it, and that, in turn, makes for a fucktastic holiday season. The series is continuing in a spin-off with the story of Opal, whom we meet in the third book. Next week, we’ll see reviews for “Storm Glass” and “Sea Glass”, the next two books.

As always, I’m *begging* you to either comment here or drop me a line and let me know what you think. And I’m always looking for suggestions for books to review, so get to it. *chop chop*


Age Rating (according to publisher): adult (but I’m pretty sure it’s HS level safe)

Lemonade Rating: picnic-style. Lots of tree-climbing going on here.

Why I like it: It’s Aunt Dory safe. And there’s still some excellent romantic zing. You’re just waiting for the two of them to wake the fuck up and get on with it.

Music that (sorta-kinda) fits: You Make Me Smile by Blue October

How I found it: Barnes and Noble. The fuckers.

Formats available: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, ebook

Where to buy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders… “Fire Study” is available thru eharlequin.com and audible.com, as well.


No comments:

Post a Comment