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young adult book reviews & more

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Poison StudyIn Ixia, punishments are meted out on an eye-for-an-eye basis, and so Yelena, convicted of murder, faces the noose. She’s spent nearly one year confined in prison, and she has little hope for life, so it’s a great surprise when she’s offered the opportunity to live and work as a food taster for the Commander of Ixia. Yelena is given back life, as well as a room in the palace and the best food in all of Ixia. But with this blessing also comes hardship: the head of security, cold and cruel Valek, deliberately gives Yelena a poison called Butterfly’s Dust to prevent her escape, a poison only he has the antidote for; General Brazell wants her dead in retribution for the murder of his son; and Yelena is developing magical abilities, which is outlawed in Ixia. Yelena finds herself an unwilling participant amidst a secret plot to seize control of Ixia, but she may be able to influence the outcome for the better if she can only preserve her own life and conquer her demons first.

Spellbinding, fantastic, and impossible to put down, Poison Study is the incredible beginning of what promises to be an unforgettable trilogy. The plot draws readers in from the very first page and holds their attention beyond the end four hundred odd pages later. Snyder effectively blends fantasy, action, and romance into a suspenseful and interesting tale that sparks my imagination. On top of such a well-written story, Snyder’s characters are also well developed and realistic. Yelena in particular has my sympathy from the very beginning. She isn’t defined as a good girl heroine who does everything right, but as a beaten woman who knows she’s done wrong. This makes her so much easier to relate to despite the horrible crime she committed, and her haunting past and subtle but tentative inner strength gain her respect and hope that she will end up safe and victorious. Another delight is the unexpected complexity of Valek’s character. That in combination with Yelena’s story is what makes Poison Study into such a unique read that’s impossible to forget.

I look forward to more of Snyder’s powerful storytelling in Magic Study and Fire Study, the continuations of Poison Study. I recommend Poison Study to all readers, eager or not, especially fans of Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, The Abhorsen Chronicles by Garth Nix, and the A Great and Terrible Beauty trilogy by Libba Bray.

Rating: 5.0

Review copy from personal collection

16 munch(es) :

Melissa said...

Great review! Looks like one to add to my wishlist.

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

This definitely is going on the wish list. It sounds just like my cup of tea. I'll be looking for it!

Dottie :)

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

I got this the other day and your review has made me even more eager to start it!

Cat said...

Yes, yes! Others should read this series as it is so enchantingly fantastic!

It was one of the first fantasy series I have read in a long time that I fell in love with from the first few chapters.

In case you're interested, my review is here. The other two books follow since I read them all in a row.

Leigh said...

This sounds like an amazing book - is it YA?

Lisa Schroeder said...

Oooh, sounds really good and unique!!

Kathleen Elizabeth said...

I absolutely LOVE this book. the next two aren't nearly as amazing but they're still pretty good and have the same fantastic characters that made me fall in love with the first one.

SunShine said...

Hey-I nominated your blog for an award-you can check it out at my blog.

Hope you have an awesome day!

Serena said...

Wow, another book I hadn't heard of before. sounds like a great book! Off to the good reads tbr list!

~THE OPTIMISTIC PESSIMIST ~ said...

Ohhh I have this in my TBR pile. Great review..

Insert Book Title Here said...

I loved this novel too, but Fire Study let me down. Hope you like it tho.

Khy said...

I've been hearing nothing but good things about this series; I need to get them. D:

Shelley said...

Hi, it's Book Fanatic from Myspace. I finally got my blog up and running. I've added your page andlook forward to reading your reviews!

http://bookfanaticblog.blogspot.com/

Sara said...

I LOVE this books... and the next one, but the last one wasn't really the best.... Snyder has a new book called Storm Glass about a character that Yelena meets in one of the Study books. Storm Glass is a new trilogy (that I think) centers around this character. It looks really good.

KD said...

sounds good! On my wish list as of now :D

Sadako said...

This sounds awesome! I really loved your review.

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