Title: Poison Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series Status: 1st book in the Study Trilogy/Series
# of pages: 409
My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…
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…
Let me start by saying that I had no idea how much I was going to enjoy this book. I bought it because I had seen a couple of people mention it and the overall synopsis grabbed my attention but it was also because I was trying to get free shipping on a book order (XD). So imagine how amazed and surprised I am that I loved this book!
Starting with the premise of the book which centers around Yelena, who murdered a son of a prominent general and is now facing execution when she is given the chance to live if she becomes a poison taster. I was so intrigued by that tagline but diving deeper into the story it is about so much more than just a poison taster and was such an incredible story.
We focus on Yelena who despite a cruel and terrifying past has decided to try and make the most of whatever time she may have left even if death seems to await her each day. Her relationship with Valek, her mentor of all things poison related, is what really helped push the story along since this does have some great fast paced scenes but also a lot of moments that could drag if not for the character relationships and the dialogue that absolutely makes the story. For such a character driven story I was excited to see how interested I was in Yelena and her character definitely grows and transforms throughout the story.
I also loved the world itself since it is so odd and unique. Where the main story takes place, Ixia, feels almost like The Hunger Games in a sense there are divisions where people live which sounds almost identical to districts but less strict. While there are those elements there is also a southern nation, Sitia, that houses people that have magic and are not welcome in Ixia because they have condemned magic under the Commander Ambrose. This unique dystopian/fantasy mix worked way better than I would have thought and had me hooked.
Overall I loved this book and I am dying for the rest of the series to now arrive in the mail so I can marathon them.