Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Review: Poison Study

Poison Study coverTitle: Poison Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult
Pub Date: 2005, MIRA Books
Trade Paperback, 409 pages


About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooma 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...

My Thoughts

I really must thank all of you bloggers who've read and reviewed this book. This was yet another one that I probably never would have come across had I not decided to become a book-blogger. But I am so glad I did--in short, it was amazing!

Snyder's writing style is fluid and at times almost lyrical--colorful, vivid descriptions abound and I felt as if I could have been right there in Ixia. The story was nothing short of brilliant--one of just a few truly original (at least, to me) books I've read lately. (That list includes The Hunger Games and Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely books.) Poison Study had me hooked from the beginning and I had a hard time putting this one down--let's just say it's a good thing there's not much going on at work these days, because it gave me time to sneak in a lot of pages today.

Aside from the writing, even better are the characters--I think it is probably safe to say that for most of us, characters (along with the plot) can make or break the book. Yelena has gone through unimaginable horror in her young life and her past still haunts her, yet she overcomes it all to become an incredibly strong young woman. She makes friends who help her to become that woman, in Valek, Ari and Janco. Also intriguing is the magical Irys from Sithia. And of course, there are some really abominable, evil troublemakers that we all love to hate... I always love for people to get their comeuppance! And yes, there's a romance that develops, but I won't give any spoilers away--suffice it to say that it made the story that much better.

I will definitely be ordering the other two books in this series: Magic Study and Fire Study. Even though Poison Study did have a fairly tidy ending as far as the conflict was concerned, I am anxious to read more of Yelena's story.

My rating: 5 stars

Other reviews of Poison Study:

Em's Bookshelf ~ Dear Author ~ The Book Muncher
Book Minx ~ Poisoned Rationality ~ The Story Siren
Bitten By Books ~ Paperback Passion ~ In My HeAd
Books With Swords

If you have reviewed this book and would like me to include a link, please leave a comment below, thanks!


  1. Thank you for the review. I've been wondering if I should read this. It's on my to-read list for sure now!

  2. I'm a fan of this book two and about to read the two sequels. My critique group and I got to meet Maria V. Snyder last Saturday at a book signing and she was really nice!

  3. This is one of my all time favorite books. Yelena is a wonderful character and Ari and Jenco are just hilarious. Great review.

  4. Don't forget Storm Glass-- it just came out! It's a spinoff, but you definitely want to read all 3 Study books first!

  5. Great review! I've heard good things about this book from several places. I really should get my hands on it!

    Also, I've given you an award:

  6. I just bought this book because of all the great reviews I've read. I can't wait to read it!

  7. I may now have to pick this up too - it sounds great!

  8. Lifeafterjane ~ I definitely recommend it. I wasn't expecting to like it so much but it was such a good book!

    Frankie Diane ~ How cool, I wouldn't mind meeting her, myself!

    Kathleen ~ It's definitely one of my faves, too, I can't wait to keep reading the series!

    Britt ~ I almost picked up Storm Glass yesterday but I need to finish the Study series first :-)

    Jo ~ Thank you so much! :-)

    GBTQ ~ I can't wait to see what you think of it!

  9. So glad to hear someone else has liked this book since it's in upcoming stack... :)

  10. Thanks for the review. This book really does sound good and I love the cover.

  11. I've heard how amazing this is. I'm so glad you enjoyed it because now I'm even more sure I'll enjoy it. It's been on my TBR list for a while and I really need to get it so I can get to the newest ones.

    I have to read these to start her new Glass series too, I love the covers! & I've heard the first in that series is good too.

  12. I am so glad that you liked it. Hopefully the other books aren't a let down for you.

  13. Great review! I have this one sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. I agree with what you said about characters making or breaking a book - it's all about characters for me, even a so-so plot can be overlooked when the cast is terrific.

  14. Isn't this a great book! I actually was a little unsure when it first came out, but I loved the trilogy! I have been planning a reread this year, but it hasn't happened yet!

  15. This sounds really good, love the idea of a female food taster - on to the list it goes


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