Review: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Choose: A quick death and hell or slow poison and hell.

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.
(NOTE - There is mental, physical and sexual abuse in this book.)

“Yelena.” I halted in the doorway, looking back over my shoulder.
“You once said I wasn’t ready to believe your reason for killing Reyad. I’ll believe you now.”
“But I’m not ready to tell you,” I said and left the room.”
And no people, that's NOT a spoiler. Yelena killing Reyad is mentioned in the first couple pages itself. Yelena. One of the most believable, relatable, three-dimensional YA heroines with the most wonderful character development I've seen. Never once was I told by the author that she was brave or beautiful or stupid or crazy. Everything I know of her personality now, I learnt from the various situations in the story and her reactions to it.

She has murdered Reynad and made enemies because of that. And now she is wary of the people she meets and is constantly watching her back. I was glad to see her behave how a person with a bounty on their head would. She didn't do anything stupid or jeopardize her safety unnecessarily. She was scared of being caught by the wrong people and while it made her angry and sad that she had to constantly watch her back, she did it anyway because she wanted to stay alive. It's all these little things about her character that makes her feel so real and that's why I could take her seriously.
“Everyone makes choices in life. Some bad, some good. It's called living, and if you want to bow out, then go right ahead. But don't do it halfway. Don't linger in whiner's limbo.”
VALEK. Holy cow, why does every book I read have a guy I fall in love with? I have waaaay too many book boyfriends! Valek was again one of the most believable characters I've read in a long time. When he gives Yelena a choice with her life, he doesn't treat her like some kind of special snowflake. He poisons her. He later even admits he wanted to kill her twice. Valek is manipulative, loyal, smart, cold, sarcastic, artistic and brave. I rarely see characters with so many personality traits!
“One, and two, and three, four, five. Keep fighting like this and you will die," Janco sang.”
And HOLY MOTHER! A big applause for well written, wonderful secondary characters! I love Ari and Janco. I need more of them in the coming books or imma cry.

Okay first off let me say this. There are many things in Poison Study similar to Throne of Glass but let me remind you that Poison Study was published quite a looong time before ToG.

That being said, Poison Study starts off with Yelena in prison, accused of murder. She doesn't even deny it and has kind of come to terms with the fact that she is going to be executed. But when she gets a chance to live, she takes it. Even though it is the job of a food taster where the possibility of dying by poisoning is very high. I quite enjoyed all the different things we learn about poisons along with Yelena.

Yelena is in constant danger because she killed the only son of a powerful man; a man she once trusted. And now he wants her dead. It doesn't help that he has a large number of solders and assassins at his command. The story is about Yelena keeping safe and also figuring out the mysteries surrounding her life and the Kingdom.

There is romance in the story which I really loved but was glad it wasn't central to the storyline. It was quite believable and while it seemed a little fast towards the end, I can't help but LOVE it. I have a new OTP!

The writing is clear and to the point. There is no flowery language and long descriptions but yet the author creates wonderful imagery with her words. The story is fast paced and something's happening at every page! I loved how I finished the book in a single sitting and couldn't even be distracted by FOOD! That. Never Happens.


- Excuse me, WUT?!

Every fantasy lover needs to read this book! Wonderful world building, well written relatable characters, intriguing plot and fast paced writing! What more could I ask for?

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