Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Study #1
I read this book because I saw other bloggers
recommending it. I also loved the
premises behind the story (I LOVE books with the feel of 1400 or 1500 Europe or
far away lands).
Yelena’s world is a bit grim. She’s due to hang that day when the guards
drag her to Valek’s office, an adviser for the Commander of Ixia. Apparently a position has opened up and she
suddenly has a decision to make: become the Commander’s food taster or
hang. Bewildered, Yelena accepts the
position but has no idea how this decision will completely change her life.
Yelena is unable to flee both her past and
Valek, and to make matters worse guards are vying for her life almost daily. Wanting to defend herself Yelena haggles help
from the most unexpected sources to start training. It turns out Yelena is far more talented in self defense than
most. When the government in Ixia is
mysteriously disturbed, Yelena realizes where her loyalties lie, to a Commander
she fears and a man who she is inexplicably drawn and forced to. Can Yelena flee Ixia unscathed? And what is she really capable of?
What I LIKED about this book
Ah!!! I loved the setting, the mysterious powers and
the courageous Valek. I loved that Yelena
is weak in the beginning but through training and self-discovery becomes the
heroine you can root for and revel in her strength. Yelena tastes
the Commander’s food for poison, so you are always on your toes for this
book. The turns are unexpected and
Yelena’s allies aren’t easily predictable.
What I DISLIKED about this book
Yelena and Valek suddenly let their feelings for
each other known with only 15 pages left in the book. This romance, though predicted, was
rushed. One page Yelena feels respect
and admiration for Valek and his job and the next they are all over each other. I would have liked a little more ease into
Overall I’m going to give Poison Study 4.5 out
of 5 stars. I should mention that there
are some adult themes in this book including torture, rape and some
interactions between Valek and Yelena, so this book may not be suitable for
young readers. I will have to read Magic
Study to find out what happens between Valek and Yelena and if Yelena can
really find “home”. I would recommend
this book to fans of fantasy and romance, especially if you liked Grave Mercy
(although technically Poison Study came out way before Grave Mercy so maybe I
should say if you liked Poison Study then read Grave Mercy).