Title: Poison Study
Series: Study #1
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Publisher: Luna Publishers
Published Date: September 1, 2006
ISBN 13: 9780373802579
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…
Through trial and error, I've learned to be picky with books. Especially ones that sound as promising as Poison Study. I've learned that if a book sounds interesting on the back cover, it usually isn't so. However, I am so glad that this wasn't the case.
Immediately from the beginning, I was drawn into the book. Snyder has a straightforward style of writing, yet it does not leave the imagination lacking. I instantly clicked with Yelena's character, and even to this day I still think she is one of my favorite female leads in any book I've read. She's intelligent and cunning, but sometimes her past gets the best of her. That's another thing; no matter how bad her situation got, (and it was pretty grim) she never once blamed it on anyone else.
Valek's character was particularly interesting to me. I really enjoyed how Snyder took the time to reveal all of his quirks and qualities. In the beginning, I strongly disliked him, for I was convinced he was one of the bad guys. After all, he had poisoned Yelena, hadn't he? But as the story progressed, I found my opinion of him changing. The growth and change behind his character really boasts Snyder's writing skills.
And don't even get me started on the plotline. Normally, I don't dig books that are laced with politics, but I found myself overlooking it for the sheer fact that it only made the story that much better. There were so many twists and turns, that my head was spinning by the end.
I also adore books that have an Old Age setting to them. Often, I read a lot of modern day/supernatural themed books, so this was a refreshing change of pace. I honestly can't even find something I disliked about this novel. If I had to be nit-picky, I would have to say that there were some questionable adult themes, such as abuse and rape. But it wasn't graphic at all, and I have read worse, so I can't even really consider it a complaint. All in all, I would definitely give this book five out of five stars. I can't wait to read the next in the series!