Magic Study  - Maria V. Snyder This book was better than Poison Study, and I loved that book. That should say a lot about this one.I had heard mixed reviews about the second book to the Study series. Some say Magic Study wasn't as good as the first book; others say that Yelena has turned into a Mary Sue; even more say that because Valek wasn't "more" in this book, the book fell flat. I have to disagree with all. The book was marvelous, and I'll tell you why.I felt that Magic Study expanded upon the story that started in Poison Study very consistently. The story continues with Yelena's adventure of finding her family and, most importantly, herself and her place in the world. This is the main idea throughout the whole book. Because of Yelena's life, she doesn't know who she really is deep down or where she belongs. With the adventures in this book, she is able to find who she is and what she really wants. It was great being there with Yelena as she discovered new things about her family and herself.I love how Snyder has Valek play in the background of Yelena's life. Yes, she is in love with him, and their relationship is important to her; however, this story is a story about Yelena, not Valek and Yelena. I get so tired of people complaining that a story isn't good because the male part in the relationship wasn't the forefront of the character's thoughts. It's nice to read a story where a relationship isn't the most important bloody thing in the world. It should be about Yelena, and Yelena should worry about herself. She's such a well developed character, and I think Snyder did a great job with this.I loved exploring Yelena's family - seeing her mother for the first time, the sturdiness of her father and the great development behind her brother. It was so shocking to see that Yelena's family was actually alive and in Sitia at the end of book one, and it was so pleasing to meet everyone in this book. It makes me feel closer to the characters, and I feel like Yelena could be sitting right next to me.Great read. This series has turned into a favorite, and I will definitely read more by Snyder in the future.