Luna Books, the imprint lovingly shepherded by veteran editor Mary-Theresa Hussey, has consistently published some of the very best of this cross-genre crop, gorgeously packaged and presented with cover art that respects the sensibilities of the readership. Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder, is an example of what makes the imprint so intriguing. Yelena, a captive young woman forced to become a poison taster in last year's highly acclaimed Poison Study, has survived and even triumphed with the death of her greatest enemy. In Magic Study, she heads home to be reunited with the family she has not seen since she was six years old, then eagerly undertakes her magic training (or else be put to death). She quickly becomes entangled in a plot between rivals and must fight even her own brother. This book is intensely readable, and there is no trouble picking it up without reading the first, though this reader will certainly be going back to find it.
Colorado writer Barbara Samuel won a 2006 RITA Award for her novel Lady Luck's Map of Vegas (Ballantine).