Review: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Posted March 27, 2014 by Charlotte in Reviews / 0 Comments

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Review: Poison Study by Maria V. SnyderPoison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Published by Harlequin Teen on September 27, 2009
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 409
Format: Paperback
Source: Own Copy
Buy on Amazon

Choose: A quick death or slow poison ...
On the eve of her execution for murder, Yelena Zaltana is offered an incredible reprieve - on the condition that she becomes the food taster for the military leader of Ixia, Commander Ambrose.
Avoiding poison is the least of her troubles, however ... General Brazell, father of the man she killed, has vowed bloody revenge; she's beginning to have feelings for her captor, Valek; and someone is plotting the downfall of the current regime.
In a desperate race against time, Yelena must learn to control the growing magical talent withinn her and master the demons of her past. The Commander's life, the future of Ixia and all those she loves depend on it ...

Yelena is an intriguing heroine, with both her past story (which is slowly revealed) and her novel occupation of food taster. Poison Study is written from Yelena’s perspective and it is clear how resourceful Yelena is. She does not like to ask for help. She is not a whiny damsel in distress character. Instead she accepts the punishment for her actions and to plan ahead so that she has options.

Valek in the beginning appears to be cold, cruel and selfish, with no apparent redeeming feature. However as the books progress he becomes a more likeable character. No he is not the perfect boyfriend for the heroine. Rather we see his personality and that, while at times he remains a mysterious character he exudes a quiet confidence.

All the characters have been developed so that they have their own background and quirks. For example Janco rhymes when he fights. They is also Ari, Janco’s fighting partner, and co-mentor to Yelena. Janco and Ari’s scenes were always light-hearted and full of banter. It always made me smile when I saw their names on the page.

While there is a romance, it is not overwhelming nor does it feel like the plot is overridden. Instead it stays nicely burning in the background.

The one thing that really bothered me about this book was the extreme violence and use of rape against Yelena, which was written in a causal style, which made me feel very uncomfortable.

Yelena’s story is a journey from being slated to be executed, to being given a second chance (even if there is still a chance of dying) and how to make the most of opportunities given to you and what you can achieve.

Overall Poison Study is a light-hearted fantasy (especially if you ignore the violence) that is easy to read and will appeal to a wide number of people.

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