I’m a day early with the review, but I’ll be participating in a Holloween blog hop this weekend, so make sure you stop by if you want to chance to win a $5 Amazon gift certificate!
Title: Poison Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Release date: December 2008
*Notes: I purchase it with the old Luna cover. New cover has been reissued.
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered a 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 dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and she develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life’s at stake again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…
I selected Poison Study because of the wonderful description in the first chapter. The scene was so well crafted, I had to know what happened next. Because of the laws in Ixia, if you take a life, even in self-defense, your own was forfeit. After a year in prison, Yelena was finally going to be executed. Until she was offered a choice to become a food taster. It was not the safest occupation, but she had the run of the castle and freedom she’d been denied for years. Wills clash between her and Valek as they struggle to keep everyone alive, and she begins to suspect that not all is what it seems.
While I liked this book, I didn’t love it. The story itself was great. The characters unique, the plot interesting enough to keep me reading. Yelena was a scrappy survivor I could sympathizes with. Unfortunately, I felt the first person writing distance me from getting to know her better. Poison Study is a book that will linger in my mind because of the wonderful world-building, and although I’m curious to find out what happens to Yelena, I’m not sure it was enough to get me to buy the next book.