Friday, May 21, 2010

Book Review: Poison Study

Poison Study (Study, book 1) by Maria V. Snyder

Murder, mayhem and magic...

Locked in a coffin-like darkness, there is nothing to distract me from my memories of killing Reyad.  He deserved to die--but according to the law, so do I.  Here in Ixia, the punishment for murder is death.  And now I wait for the hangman's noose.  But the same law that condemns me may also save me.  Ixia's food taster--chosen to ensure that the Commander's food is not poisoned--has died.  And by law, the next prisoner who is scheduled to be executed--me--must be offered the position.

A palpable darkness.  Poison Study begins in the dank, dark confines of the dungeon where Yelena awaits her execution for murdering Reyad.  Though Yelena is led up out of the dungeon, and given the opportunity to become food taster to the reigning military leader Commander Ixia, the darkness of the dungeon pervades this novel.  Maria V. Snyder creates a gritty realism that is at once believable and yet at times painful to read.  Your heart goes out to Yelena and I found myself wanting to comfort her and help her.  Though terribly betrayed by the men who took her in as an orphan Yelena holds out hope that perhaps she will one day find someone she can trust to be her friend, fantasizes for someone to love and love her in return, and yet she is faced with the harsh reality that she will likely not survive her next meal.  Yelena though has a propensity for overcoming adversity and a strength of will that makes her an incredibly enjoyable to read heroine.

I hesitate to recommend this book to young adults, even though the main character herself is young, due to violence and adult situations in the form of abuse, torture, and rape.  I would also warn readers who are sensitive to these topics.  Forewarned of the difficult subject matter I would recommend this book to readers of fantasy, paranormal fiction, mystery, suspense, and especially to fans of paranormal fantasy including magic.

Source:  This book was purchased by me for review.

Poison Study on Amazon.
Poison Study on Goodreads.


  1. thanks for the info about the book --I do have this book in my to read pile.

  2. Thanks for your review on this one. Looks like it is better for older teens/adults. On June 18th I'm going to get a new young adult book by Kate Kaynak, called, "Minders." This will be her first installment in a psychic espionage series that looks very intriguing. Hope you can check it out!

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Great blog you have here, I like the focus :) this book sounds interesting.. I may add it to the TBR list.

  4. Thanks for hopping by my blog yesterday! You do have a nice blog! :) I enjoyed Poison Study too! I think it was my favorite of the series, but the others are definitely good as well! Will you be reading them?

  5. I definitely plan to read the other books in the Study series though it may be September before I get to the next book in the series. :)

  6. I am still curious about this book. Thank you for the great and informative review. I think I am going to have to try this series out at some point here. Thank you.

  7. Good review E.J. I didn't remember how dark the first book was. It gets a little less dark in books 2 and 3.

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