DNF Series Review: Study by Maria V. Snyder

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:


Synopsis for Poison Study (from Goodreads):

Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…


Series: Study Trilogy; The Chronicles of Ixia

There are numerous spin-off/companion series. See Goodreads for book order.

Author: Maria V Snyder
# of Books: 3 (Poison Study, Magic Study, Fire Study)

There are 3 novellas: #1.5 Assassin Study; #3.5 Power Study & #3.6 Ice Study

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Adventure, High Fantasy
Heat Rating: cold
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: March 2007 – March 2009
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook


PLEASE NOTE: I did not finish Poison Study (I was about halfway through when I stopped). Find out why and if I plan to pick it up at a later time below…

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

When the spin-off/continuation of this series (Soulfinders) was being released earlier this year, this series sparked my interest. I heard a lot of good things via Goodreads so I decided to put these books on hold at the library. Luckily I got them all around the same time; unluckily I had a lot of books to read and felt the pressure to read all of my books before their due dates.

What I Liked:

The Concept

The concept behind this series is very original to me.  The whole predicament Yelena finds herself in is very intriguing and something I have never come across before. I like the danger that’s at play. And I also like how Yelena is a murderer—probably not the nicest way to phrase it but I like that she isn’t a goody-two-shoes heroine and that she holds no apologizes for her actions.

The World

I really like the setup of this city. Instead of some tyrannical ruler, you actually have someone who seems like an OK guy in charge. I like how the hierarchy of the  world is laid out as well. It was very refreshing to read.

What I Didn’t Like:

Very Slow plot movement

This book just couldn’t keep my attention. I’m sure that part of the problem was that I wasn’t in the right mindset to read a slower book but I found myself drifting. And normally I like plots where a lot is going on but I just felt like too many things were thrown out at once and then left to ferment while another plot-line was worked for a bit. I’m sure if I was into this book like I expected and usually am, this wouldn’t have been an issue but this time around it was. I was halfway through and I felt like we were just scratching the surface when we should have been in the thick of something.

Will I finish it?

I really think this was just a case of bad timing. Because I felt the pressure to read so many other books I just didn’t have the patience to read something on the slower side of things. In the end, it was simply a matter of priority to decide what books to read and which ones to drop. And unfortunately, I opted to read the sequels to a series I had already started.

I plan on finishing Poison Study at the very least. When I stopped reading it was building really nicely so I think it has a lot of potential to keep my interest when I actually have the time to.

My Rating: –


This one showed a lot of promise and I’m not quite ready to give it up. I hope to pick this series back up later when I have the time for this slower inaugural book.

Read if You Like: magic, slow building stories
Avoid if You: don’t like slow stories, want more romance


  • Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (His Fair Assassin Trilogy #1)
  • Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood (The Poison Diaries Series #1)
  • Defiance by C.J. Redwine (Defiance Trilogy #1)


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