Summary: Yelena is about to executed for murder. In Ixia when you commit a crime, your punishment is essentially the crime itself, kind of like an eye for an eye. There are no excuses. When the guards come to retrieve her, she is taken to Valek’s office, the Commander’s assassin and spymaster. He gives her a choice: be executed now or serve as the Commander’s food taster. As the food taster, Yelena could be poisoned at any meal and die anyway. Yelena is no fool and becomes the food taster. As the food taster, it seems Yelena only runs into more problems: enemies from the past, strange magicians from the neighboring country, feelings for Valek.
I love love love this book! The world just swept me up and I fell in love with it all over again. To be honest, I had completely forgotten about a couple characters, like Rand and Liza. But oh well, now I remember them. The way Snyder brings you slowly into the world is crafty. She gives you just enough information so you’re not confused and weaves in pieces of the culture throughout the story.
I love Yelena, she’s one of my favorite protagonists. The first time I read this was recently after reading Throne of Glass and I would sometimes mess the two characters up since they are both very sassy and snarky. I was so happy when Yelena started being sassy again, I wasn’t used to her quietness in the beginning. Let me clear that up: I’ve read both Magic study & Fire study and Yelena is very sassy in those from what I remember so her not being sassy was weird. Yelena goes through a rough journey in this book: she’s almost killed like 7 times. She stops being fearful and learns to have confidence in herself and it really shines at the end J
I love Valek too. He’s just wonderful, sighs. For me, the romance wasn’t as entrancing as it was the first time. I still enjoyed it, but I wasn’t quite as sucked into it as I was the first time through. Despite that, the other things in the book make up for it: namely Ari & Janco. I love them and their jokes! It’s perfect! They are the best comic relief and super loyal friends which I admire.
The plot seemed to move a little slowly at first with Yelena’s training, but after the first murder attempt I was hooked! One thing I would like more of was the components and characteristics of the different poisons. I can’t help it, I’m a super science nerd. I’m excited to reread magic study next! Can’t wait to see the development of Yelena’s magic and her relationship.