Monday, February 10, 2014
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Author Info: Goodreads & Website
Pages: 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!