Poison Study is the first book in its alluring series, written by Maria V. Snyder.
Nineteen year-old Yelena has been in a dungeon for just less than a year awaiting her execution for killing General Brazell’s son. But just before Yelena’s execution, she is given a choice. She can choose to either be executed or become the Commander’s food taster in Ixia. She can choose a quick death, or a slow poison…
But not everyone is pleased by Yelena becoming the new food taster. Brazell’s loyal followers are itching for the chance to kill Yelena. But Yelena can’t escape. Valek, Ambrose’s second in command, has taken Yelena under his wing. Valek teaches Yelena how to identify different poisons, but he also ensures that Yelena doesn’t escape. He has given her the deadly poison called Butterfly Dust. If Yelena doesn’t receive her daily dose of antidote, she’d be dead in a day. One wrong move and Yelena would be dead…
Yelena is developing magical abilities that she can’t control. In Ixia, magic is illegal and anyone who is suspected to have magical talents is executed. But she must use her magical ability to protect herself not only from magical users who wish to take her and use her powers, but from the threats within the castle wall.
To make matters even more complicated, Yelena is slowly developing feelings for Valek, her friend and mentor. The more time they spend together, the more Yelena begins to realise that Valek is not as cruel and cold as he makes himself seem. He might actually have feelings for Yelena too…
I really enjoyed reading Poison Study. From the very beginning, I was absorbed into the world of magic and poison tasters. The story line grabbed me from the very first sentence. I was constantly wondering what Yelena was going to do and how Valek would react to her actions.
At the start of the book, Yelena was a frightened girl struggling to be alive for another day. But the more time that goes on, the more she grows physically and emotionally stronger. From the beginning, Yelena was a very intelligent person. I knew that she wouldn’t do anything stupid, but because of how strict Valek was towards her, I was constantly worried that Valek would punish her for not doing something right or not guessing a poison correctly.
At the start, Yelena was fearful of Valek, although later in the book, Valek really revealed his true feeling to Yelena. After that moment, I instantly fell in love with Valek. I felt like Valek was such a mysterious person and I liked that. I longed to read about the moments when Yelena and Valek were together and I loved every second I read about them.
I also enjoyed spending time with the carefree and witty pair, Ari and Janco, who seemed like older brother to Yelena. This whole book was unbelievably addicting and absorbing. I struggled to put the book down because of how good it was!
There were lots of twists revealed in the book which kept me glued to the pages until the very last page. There was an equal amount of danger and romance in this book, which I absolutely loved.
I really enjoyed reading Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder and I’d give it a score of 8.5 out of 10. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!