Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (Study, #1)
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Received: ebook from Stephanie @ Once Upon a Chapter (July RAK)
Read: 7/2/2011 — 7/5/2011
In six words: Upon finishing, I just said, “Wow.”
1. Poison Study
2. Magic Study
3. Fire Study
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…
Why I Read This Book and General Thoughts
Listen up: if you want to recommend a book to me, the best way to get me to read it is through Tara @ 25 Hour Books. I honestly think she knows which books I’ll like better than I do. Poison Study was recommended to me by Tara, but I received the book from Stephanie @ Once Upon a Chapter for July’s RAK. I rarely read the summaries of books that Tara recommends; instead, I prefer to just start reading. I had no idea what to expect from Poison Study, but I don’t think there is a synopsis that could do it justice. Poison Study was one of those rare books that, upon completion, left my body humming with a million indescribable emotions that only seem to escape through a single word: “Wow.”
A More In-Depth Look
Yelena’s life sucks. She has been condemned to death — whether by execution now or poisoning later, it doesn’t matter. The final result is the same. Reading Poison Study makes us wonder how this story could manage not to break our hearts. Death awaits Yelena as surely as she lives and breathes. How can there possibly be any sort of acceptable ending? And as if being food taster and risking death every day isn’t enough, mystery and other threats begin building with every new day.
Valek was an incredibly intriguing character, and even though I was not always sure what he was up to, I knew I liked him. I have a thing for enigmatic men who possess the skills to kill you but choose to…do other things with you instead. There was really no way to stop me from liking him. And I felt the draw between Valek and Yelena, though like Yelena, it was difficult to decipher Valek’s true feelings. Although the romance is not the main focus of the plot and is rather light, it still provides an integral thread to the story, and without it, I would not have enjoyed Poison Study as much as I did. And let me not forget the rest of the supporting characters — they were well-written as well.
While reading, I rocketed between being shocked the story was moving so quickly, thinking the story couldn’t possibly work out to my satisfaction with the amount remaining, and wishing there were more to read. If not for life getting in the way of my reading, I would have easily devoured Poison Study in a single day; it captured my attention right from the opening lines. Poison Study is the kind of book you remember long after you have finished reading it. And yes, in case you were wondering, Poison Study did manage to end to my satisfaction.
There is so much more I could say about this book, but it would give too much away, and I’d rather you just read Poison Study for yourself.
You Might Enjoy This Book If…
Poison Study blends medieval history with fantasy and a unique premise. If any (or all) of these interest you, you might enjoy this book.
25 Hour Books — 4 stars