Monday, February 10, 2014

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Release Date: March 2007

Publisher: Mira

Author Info: Goodreads & Website

416 pages

Buy it Here: Amazon

Our Rating: 4 1/2 stars

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..

You would think that being a food taster would be much better than being locked in a dungeon and eventually executed. Unfortunately for Yelena she is still very much a prisoner and is constantly having to worry about who will try to kill her next. Attempts on her life seem to happen frequently, regardless of the fact that Valek, the head of the Commander's security, is protecting her. 

In the beginning he doesn't seem to want to have anything to do with her, probably because she killed a man (which was the reason she was sentenced to death). The Commander sees crime as black & white, he doesn't care why you committed a crime or even if it was an accident or self defense. Yelena soon wins the respect and loyalty of Ari & Janco, two solders who make it their mission to protect her and who agree to help train her to fight. At one point in the story I found myself wondering which of the three men Yelena might end up with and although I was sure it would be Valek I would have been happy with any of the three men, who I grew to love just as much as Yelena did. 

When the Commander begins to act strangely and General Brazell (whose psycho son Yelena killed) is appointed his successor, Yelena and Valek are sure that something is going on. Yelena begins to suspect that it is some type of magic that is controlling the commander, but she can't even begin to image how crazy it will get! In order to stop Brazell's plans Yelena has to tell Valek what happened to her while she was under his care and his response reinforces how much he really cares about her. 

I thought the story was amazing, from beginning to end. All of the main characters (Yelena, Valek, Ari, Janco, Rand) were amazingly unique and so well developed. The villains in the story were also more than meets the eye, which I also loved. The only thing that really kept me from giving this story 5 stars was how the relationship between Yelena & Valek progressed. It was all going pretty well until suddenly, with the flip of a switch, they went from occasionally flirting to being in love with each other. I wish it hadn't gone from luke-warm to hot so quickly. 

I'm eager to read the next two books in the series & can't wait for book four to come out this year!   


  1. This is a very good book. You start reading and at first it makes you curious then intrigued and before you know it you just don't want to put the book down. So far I've only read this one my library currently doesn't have the second book Magic Study but they are suppose to be getting it so I can't wait to see how the story continues. In the mean time I read her book Touch of Power which is part of a different series but it is just as good as well. I have the second one in that series but haven't had a chance to start it yet.

  2. Hi, love your review - don't forget to check out Maria's latest books see for more details of which you'd be most interested in - beware spoilers :) xox

  3. I'm dying to read this series. I just finished the Healer series in January and want to get my hands on more books by Maria. Great review!

    1. I just finished the second book and I have to say it may have been even better than this one!