Maria V. Snyder, One Author, Three Great Fantasy Book Series For Women And Girls
I ran a book club a few years back, and it was great. Each month a club member would select the book to read and agree to host the meeting. There were no rules for the genre of books, it was just whatever interested the hostess. One month a friend of mine chose the book “The Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder for our book of the month.
Prior to this book club selection, I had never heard of this author, nor was I particularly into the fantasy genre. I felt obligated to read the book to be able to reasonable discuss it at the next meeting. I started reading with dread, and within two chapters I was hooked.
The Study Series (Soulfinders)
The Study series was my introduction to the fantasy world of Ixia and Sitia. The Study series has many wonderful characters, but the story primarily resolves around Yelena, a young woman discovering her magical powers in a world where magic has been forbidden, and danger lies all around.
Not only will you fall in love with Yelena, but with as Valek well, her partner and love. As Yelena discovers her powers, she uncovers who she is, where she came from, and finds her purpose. Yelena is no damsel in distress, and rescues others, and sometimes needs saving as well, from herself.
Poison Study - Murder, mayhem and magic…Locked in a coffin-like darkness, there is nothing to distract me from my memories of killing Reyad. He deserved to die—but according to the law, so do I. Here in Ixia, the punishment for murder is death. And now I wait for the hangman's noose.
But the same law that condemns me may also save me. Ixia's food taster—chosen to ensure that the Commander's food is not poisoned—has died. And by law, the next prisoner who is scheduled to be executed—me—must be offered the position. - Book Excerpt
Magic Study - A lesson in loyalty—a master class in intrigue...So far, I've managed to survive. You would think after being kidnapped as a child, imprisoned in my teens and released to become a poison taster, I would have endured enough. But no. The discovery of my magical abilities—powers forbidden in Ixia—has resulted in an execution order. My only chance is to flee to Sitia, my long-lost birthplace.
But Sitia is unfamiliar. I'm treated like an enemy—even by my own brother. Plus I can't control my powers. I want to learn about my magic, but there isn't time. A rogue magician has emerged and I'm targeted as his next victim. Will my magical abilities save me…or be my downfall? - Book Excerpt
Fire Study - The Apprenticeship is Over—Now the Real Test has Begun. When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder—able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before….
Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself—and save the land she holds dear. - Book Excerpt
The Glass Series
The Glass series is revolves around Opal Cowan, a seemingly ordinary girl, with extraordinary abilities. Opal's story begins in the Study series, and continues in the Glass series. Opal comes from a family of glassmakers, and is a glass maker herself. The interesting and amazing thing about Opal glass is the touch of magic all of pieces consist of. Opal's gifts are unique, valuable, and dangerous to many, which is why Opal is a threat.
Storm Glass - As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowan understands trial by fire. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan's glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal's unique talents to prevent it from happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap into a new kind of magic. Yet the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control her powers…powers that could lead to disaster beyond anything she's ever known. - Book Excerpt
Sea Glass - Student glass magician Opal Cowan’s newfound ability to steal a magician’s powers makes her too powerful. Ordered to house arrest by the Council, Opal dares to defy them, traveling to the Moon Clan’s lands in search of Ulrick, the man she thinks she loves. Thinks, because another man—now her prisoner—claims Ulrick’s desire for blood magic has eclipsed his passion for her.
In hostile territory, without proof or allies, Opal isn’t sure whom to trust. And now everyone is after her special powers for their own deadly gain, making her path more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. - Book Excerpt
Spy Glass - After siphoning her own blood to defeat her enemy, Opal Cowan has lost her powers. More, she’s immune to the effects of magic. Opal is now an outsider looking in, spying on those with the powers she once had, powers that make a difference in her world.
Until spying through the glass becomes her new power. Suddenly the beautiful pieces she makes flash in the presence of magic. She also discovers that someone has stolen some of her blood—and that finding it might let her regain her powers. Or learn if they’re lost forever… - Book Excerpt
The Healer Series
The Healer series is my favorite of all Ms. Snyder's series. Avry is a powerful, selfless woman, with healing abilities like no other. A plague has killed many people, and Avry and healers like her have been blamed. Filled with guilt of all the deaths she may be responsible for, and dealing with the loss of her loved ones as well Avry goes on the run.
Avry, always the healer, is determined to discover what caused the plague, and to find a cure. On her journey, Avry saves many lives, and makes many enemies and allies too, including Kerrick her love, and Tohon an evil Prince who has a mental hold on her.
Touch of Power - Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Fifteen Realms, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.
Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life… - Book Excerpt
Scent Of Magic - As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomaniacal King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confidant, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.
Though she should be in hiding, Avry will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet: an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat. - Book Excerpt
Taste Of Darkness - She’s fought death and won. But how can she fight her fears? Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought the plague and survived. She took on King Tohon and defeated him. But now her heart-mate, Kerrick, is missing, and Avry fears he’s gone forever.
But there’s a more immediate threat. The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With armies in disarray and the dead not staying down, Avry’s healing powers are needed now more than ever. Torn between love and loyalty, Avry must choose her path carefully. For the future of her world depends on her decision… - Book Excerpt
There are many other books by Ms. Snyder not mentioned in the above list. If you are looking for something for young adults (YA), and dystopian type genre, I recommend Inside Out and Outside In by Ms. Snyder. The books are great for preteens and teens and has a little bit of a mystery.
I hope you give these books a try. I never would have thought they were my thing, but I love to read, and these books fed my obsession. Are you familiar with these series? If so, what is your favorite?