Friday, October 22, 2010

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

To escape a horrific life, Yelena does something horrific in turn; she murders the son of her orphanage's benefactor who is also the General of her District.  Sentenced to execution, she is offered the chance to live if she take the job as the food taster for the Commander of Ixia, a job that comes with many risks of its own.  Now she chances death with every taste all the while dodging assassins from the General and magicians from the southern continent who seem to have it in for her as well.
I used the map of the castle that I had copied in my journal to find the library.  It was a multilevel suite of rooms, burgeoning with books.  The smell of decay and dust floated in the air along with a sense of abandonment.  I was saddened by the knowledge that this tremendous source of information was going to waste because the Commander discouraged his people from educating themselves beyond what was necessary for their jobs.  p.158
Question: How awesome is this book?
Answer: Pretty freaking awesome!

I've seen this around and finally got around to reading it.  I wish I had read it sooner because it was really really good.  The main character reminded me a bit of Katsa but without the awesome Graceling powers.  Yelena had such a strong spirit and great survival skills.  When she is offered the poison as food taster, she immediately begins to calculate her escape.  Even after she is tied down to the position by the poison she is given to prevent this escape she does everything she can to prevent being killed by the General whose son she killed, learning a lot about herself along the way.

All the characters were well drawn and, in addition to, Yelena, I especially liked Valek, the chief of security and the Commander who is a very interesting character that surprised me at the end.  I liked how level-headed and fair the Commander is and the friendship between him and Valek.  I also liked the dynamic between Yelena and Valek.  The story really sucked me in and it was one of the first books I've stayed up late to finish in a long time.  It was intriguing and sad and fantastic and hopeful.

Read for the Take a Another Chance Challenge - Blogroll Roulette: I went from The O.W.L.'s blogroll to her number 2 (the number from random) blog and ended up on Bookworming in the 21st Century and picked Poison Study from her list.  She gave it 5/5 so I'm optimistic.

Hogwarts: Defence Against the Dark Arts
Take Another Chance


  1. Fantastic review. I need to check this out. I always hear amazing things about it.

  2. I'll have to look this one up. Sounds like a great read.

  3. Love the review! =D

    I'm now following you and added your button to my blog (I'm kinda collecting them). Feel free to have a look around my blog and follow me if you like it (which would make me really happy!).


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