Fantasy, Review, Young Adult

Poison Study | Maria V Snyder

Publisher: Mira Books
Published: 21/09/2007
Genre: Fantasy. Young Adult.
Series: Study Series #1, Chronicles of Ixia #1
Format: Paperback
Pages: 416
Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis (Goodreads)
A quick death
Or slow poison…

Yelena has a choice – be executed for murder, or become food taster to the Commander of Ixia. She leaps at the chance for survival, but her relief may be short-lived.

Life in the palace is full of hazards and secrets. Wily and smart, Yelena must learn to identify poisons before they kill her, recognise whom she can trust and how to spy on those she can’t. And who is the mysterious Southern sorceress who can reach into her head?

When Yelena realises she has extraordinary powers of her own, she faces a whole new problem, for using magic in Ixia is punishable by death.

It has been a few years since I first read this book and, as the author has announced that she is going to be releasing another book in the series, I decided that I needed to try and re-read the series before it is released.

I remember first reading this book up after a recommendation from a friend, she leant it to me as she had enjoyed it, and I fell in love with it right away. I can’t recall what it was about this book that caught my attention but, reading through it a second time, I found myself drawn to the way that the characters, as well as the settings, were described. Snyder gives you an amazing image as she sets the scene around you. As descriptive as she is, she definitely isn’t long-winded.

Poison Study follows our main character, Yelena, as she overcomes the trials and tribulations that come with the territory as she goes from being a prisoner sentenced to death for murder, to being a prisoner of the keep as the Commander’s new food taster. Under the watchful eye of Valek, the Commander’s second-in-command and known assassin, she begins to grow into herself.

With someone trying to attack her on almost a daily basis, Yelena begins to find herself becoming friends with some of the servants and guards, even starting to put her trust in Valek.

One of the main things that I enjoyed about this book is that, while given a genre of romance, as well as fantasy, the romance sector is actually on the backburner for the most part of the book. There are hints of feelings throughout the most part but, the writing focuses on other things.


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