POISON STUDY (Study #1)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Publisher: Mira Books
Published Date: March 1st 2007
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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…
Throne of glass is a bit too similar to this book if you ask me. I read TOG quite something ago and I didn’t finish it for some reason so I can’t say how similar these books are or which book I like more. I will say, though, that I REALLY enjoyed this book. The writing draws you in and there are some twists and turns enough to keep you on your toes (I did not see any of them coming). Some people complain that the writing keeps you detached from the characters but I disagree. I LOVED the characters; even the side characters were fleshed out well.
I think Yelena is my favorite protagonist. I have a lot of others whom I adore, but Yelena is kinda on another level. She’s one of the strongest and most badass female characters out there. I loved her passion for acrobatics and I love how that talent helps her throughout; it reminds me of Inej in a way (which is a bonus). She’s been through so much (including sexual, verbal and physical abuse. So if that bothers you, steer clear from this one) and her reactions were very realistically put. She is truly strong-willed, she is clever and if she wants something, she works hard for it. Valek, aside from being a kick-ass assassin, is very swoony. I love him. He comes off a bit stoic, selfish and cold, but there is more to him. His snark is one of my favorite things about his book. The chemistry between him and Yelena was well-developed. They just fit together so well and you can’t help but root for them, especially during their little banters. Ari, Janco, The Commander and all the rest were pretty solid characters as well.
Plot-wise there is a lot going on and there is a lot at risk for Yelena. You don’t know where things are going next and you don’t if Yelena would get through the day at all, which makes an interesting read (although you feel pretty bad for her). With the traces of magic she discovers in herself while in a state where magic is forbidden, her job as poison taster and the many who pursue her death, she constantly finds herself in danger.
The only thing I didn’t like is the way Yelena and Valek’s relationship was rushed towards the end. It felt out of place and I wish the author had kept up the slow-burn pace between those two.
Book 2 and Book 3:
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Find Author: http://www.MariaVSnyder.com