Title: Poison Study
Author: Maria V Snyder
Release Date: September 21st 2007
Publisher: Mira Books
Series: Study Series
Format: ebookRating: ★★★★★
Yelena has a choice – be executed for murder, or become food taster to the Commander of Ixia. She leaps at the chance for survival, but her relief may be short-lived.Life in the palace is full of hazards and secrets. Wily and smart, Yelena must learn to identify poisons before they kill her, recognise whom she can trust and how to spy on those she can’t. And who is the mysterious Southern sorceress who can reach into her head?When Yelena realises she has extraordinary powers of her own, she faces a whole new problem, for using magic in Ixia is punishable by death... source Goodreads
Yelena is a mere few days away from facing execution as punishment for committing murder in Ixia when Poison Study beings. One of the many laws in Ixia states that no matter the circumstance taking someones life faces the death penalty, though for Yelena there's one loophole that may just save her life.... temporarily... by becoming the new food tester for the Commander.
Within the first few pages a strong bond between the reader and our main character is formed. Which is odd when you think about it, as from the first page you're routing for a killer, but that's the magic of Maria V Snyder's writing I guess. She really knows how to captivate her audience. We follow Yelena though her training as the new food taster, learning about different poisons but most of all learning who she can trust, if anyone.
Poison study is full of twists and turns and I've got to say that at no point in the book was I second guessing where the story was going. Normally I predict endings pretty efficiently, but with Poison Study I just didn't. Now I'm not sure if this was just because I din't want to guess ahead or that it was purely just unpredictable, but either way I loved reading it just as the author intended.
I absolutely adored this book, which surprised me as normally I wouldn't class myself as a fan of fantasy. I don't particularly enjoy the medieval time period either, being more of a modern day/futuristic girl myself, but I fell for this book hook, line and sinker. Maria V Synder's writing is impeccable creating interesting, mysterious and extremely well developed characters. From the get go I needed to know Yelena's secrets, no matter how terrible they were guaranteed to be. I needed to know that she would be safe, but most of all I needed to know more about the mysterious Valek!
I recommend this book wholeheartedly to anyone. I loved it! So much so that I just had to pick up the second in the series, Magic Study, straight after I finished the first. [another first for me]
If you decide to pick up Poison Study by Maria V Snyder then please let me know as I'd be curious to know what you make of it, and if you've already read it... then what did you think?