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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Review: Poison Study (Study #1) by Maria V. Snyder

Yelena, convicted of murdering the son of a powerful general, awaits execution. But with only a few hours left, she is offered an incredible reprieve — and agrees to become the new food taster for Commander Ambrose, the military leader of Ixia. Living in a palace and eating only the best meals is a dramatic change for Yelena, who spent the last year locked up in a rat-infested dungeon, eating gruel. But she soon realizes that she has more to worry about than ingesting potentially lethal poisons in the commander’s meals. The general whose son she murdered has vowed bloody vengeance, and everyone in the commander’s retinue look at Yelena as an untrustworthy criminal. The longer she stays alive, however, the more she begins to understand her own perplexing abilities — all of which will be put to the test when cunning rebels plot to take control of Ixia.

Poison Study is one of my new favorite reads and the start to what I expect to be a very original series. Yelena is one of the most refreshing female characters I’ve come across in a long time. She is as tough as Katniss from The Hunger Games, without being as annoying, and her struggles in her childhood have made her into a complex and completely relatable character. Yelena is entering her twenties and is a bit older than most heroines I am used to reading about lately, which is a good thing for me since I am twenty three and can’t relate as much to characters in their teens as I used to. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone looking for a more adult fantasy novel. The leading male in this book is older, in his thirties, and reminds me a bit of Booth from the television show Bones. I think he is a man girls of any age will fall for. The supporting cast of characters is also wonderful; with the strong magician Irys and her fierce but well meaning attitude, and Ari and Janco and their playful yet protective manners. Another thing I liked about this book is that not all of the “bad guys” were completely “bad”. In the real world, it’s not so black and white, and I love that this book was willing to show that. The commander’s story also really touched me and I loved that Maria chose to go there with the story. Pick up this book, you will not regret it. I’ve already started book two!

Cover Art: 5/5

Characters: 5/5

Story: 5/5

Writing: 5/5

Overall Rating: 5/5

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