A quick death
or slow poison...
Yelena has a choice - to be executed for murder, or become food taster to the commander of Ixia. She leaps at the chance for survival, but her relief may be short-lived.
Life in the palace is full of hazards and secrets. Wily and smart, Yelena must learn to identify poisons before they kill her, recognise whom she can trust and how to spy on those she can't. And who is the mysterious Southern sorceress who can reach into her head?
When Yelena realises she has extraordinary magical powers of her own, she faces a whole new problem, for using magic in Ixia is punishable by death...
Poison study starts off introducing Yelena. Yelena has admitted to murdering the General Brazell's son Reyad and was sentenced to death by hanging.
When the time comes to face the hangman's noose, however, she instead finds herself in Valek's office. Valek (the Commander's personal security chief) then offers Yelena a choice; to be hanged, or to become the Commander's food taster.
This book had me hooked from the first page; the descriptive writing, originality and the pace of the story enveloped me completely.
I particularly loved the rate at which Yelena's past was revealed. It's not the typical book where the protagonist brings to light the events that brought her/him to where he/she is towards the end of the book, all at once, in a fit of anger or passion. Poison Study, rather, exposes Yelena's reasons for being in the dungeon, for murder, and for what happened to her family gradually throughout the book, keeping the reader enthralled. It also helps that Yelena's past is a past like no other I have read before.
All of the characters in Poison Study captured my attention with their mystery, wit and unique relationship with Yelena. Because I have to tell you; most of them had some form of relationship with Yelena some way or another; be it an enemy for murdering their son, protecting them from poisons or working undercover for them to expose the person(s) trying to overthrow the government! Yep, this book sure has it all!
On the whole, Poison Study was a captivating read and has to be one of the best books I have read this year!
My Rating: 10/10
Publisher: Mira Books
Author: Maria V. Snyder