Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Release Date: June 1st, 2004
Rating: 4.9 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...
So this book.......oh, this book. I heard about it a couple of times while watching polandbannanasBOOKS (I love Christine!) on YouTube and was like.....eh sounds interesting. I was planning on reading it, but it wasn't like GOTTA HAVE IT. So I was actually pretty surprised to find myself buying it the day before I was to fly back home. But I bought it. And then I READ it. ALL. NIGHT. LONG. I had to get up at 7 to catch my flight. I stayed up till 5...willingly. Basically, Poison Study is life. It is so brilliant and AAAHHHHHH!!!
Poison Study starts out with a memory. A memory of Yelena being tortured. Then you come back to the present and she is being taken up to have her last meal before she is to be hanged for murder. Before she does however, she is offered a position. To be the Commander's new food taster. Yelena excepts.
Let's move on to Yelena now. Oh. My. God. I love this girl. She is smart, and cunning, and strong. Anything and everything you could possibly want in a heroine. And she is so intense and real, its awing. Its evident from the very beginning by the way that she analyzes every angle of all the decisions she makes and the way she tries to figure out, quite successfully, the motives of others. She also comes right out and says she is a murderer, with no regret whats so ever. I know that sounds bad, but its kinda wonderful. She doesn't blame others, she knows exactly what she did and that it was her decision (her reason is a good one, trust me). I think that's what I like the best about Yelena she is strong enough not to lie to herself. That and she's super cunning and smart. Did I mention that? Because she is. Its remarkable. She's just SO AWESOME!!!!!! (and awe inspiring)
Now this food taster gig. When I first heard it I thought "Oh, so she just tastes his food and if there's poison they'll know cause she'll be dead. Right?" WRONG. It is so much more than that. Her employer and the Commander's right hand man, Valek(more on him later) does not leave her defenseless. No, he teaches her how to survive and detect poison. Which is so cool! It's actually a really intense job, not to mention the fact that she's targeted by the enemies she made during her life before the murder. This book is just action packed. Its one thing after another, but never feels rushed or too much to handle. If anything you crave more each time a new disaster happens.
Then the world. I totally, totally thought it took place in our world. Wow, I was wrong. This is a completely fantasy world. With magic*glitters surround words* and battles and SWORDS (I really like swords) and wonderfulness, just in general. (This is making me want to reread Poison Study...)
On to Valek!!!! There's not much that I can say that's not spoiler-y but he is amazing. Ah-may-zing. He is basically the guy version of Yelena, except that he's colder and naaaahhhhhhhhh just meh, just meh. He's really really cool and kick-ass and stronger and better than...well everyone. Yes, Valek. Is amazing. Just, just, just. Read. My only advice, read it. Preferably when you have time to sit and not put it down. Because you wont want to put it down. Ever. *slowly melts from all the emotions*