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.
Other reviews of Poison Study: