Saturday, August 20, 2011

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Reviewed by: Baby Sister Brittany
The Sisters say: Addicting, Adventurous, Awesome

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…

Thanks to the girls at Two Chicks on Books for recommending this to me.


Yelena’s story captured me from the very first moment. The author’s language is so vivid and sensory-based that I could really feel the environment in the dungeons. I could feel the grime on her skin, the smell that clung to her, the weakness in her muscles. There wasn't a moment that I wasn’t rooting for her to survive. Even though you know she did something to earn her a death sentence, you don’t care. I felt for her so intensely that I wanted her to survive.

And when she takes the chance to be a food taster, risking death by poison rather than the noose, the story completely swept me away.

Yelena is both a meek and strong character, which makes her immediately likeable. There’s just enough introspection to allow you to connect to her and to her past, without getting bogged down in her inner monologue. The action continued to pull me along (and I do mean pull, I couldn’t put this book down!!!)

There is a gorgeous romance at the heart of this book, but it’s budding is slow and realistic. Despite the slow pace, I never once wanted the book to hurry up. I trusted Snyder’s story telling completely, and was willing to go with her wherever she took me. I knew it would be worth the wait (and it was)!

This book is a fantasy set in another world, but it’s a land that is easy to connect to, easy to follow, and easy to understand. It’s a great fantasy for people who don’t normally like high fantasy.

There were so many secondary characters that I loved, as well. People just seem naturally drawn in by Yelena, and they become like the family she never had. Some of my favorite moments were when Yelena decides to learn self-defense from a few soldiers. She’s determined, and the soldiers are hilarious.

I could go on and on about this book, but the truth is that I pretty much loved all of it. It’s part of a finished trilogy (so there’s three books for you to read). Book two was great too, though I think I still like this one more. I’m in the middle of Book Three now, and it’s taking all my strength to write this review instead of finishing it.

Heck, who am I kidding?

I’m off to finish it right now! Toodle-loo!