Poison Study

Poison Study

by Maria V. Snyder

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Overview

ABout to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooma 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...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778324331
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 02/27/2007
Series: Maria V. Snyder's Study Series , #1
Edition description: Original
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 86,968
Product dimensions: 5.13(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.11(d)

About the Author

Maria V. Snyder is the New York Times bestselling author of the Study series, the Glass series, the Healer series, Inside Out, and Outside In. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Meteorology from Penn State and a Master of Arts degree in fiction writing from Seton Hill University. Unable to part ways with Seton Hill, Maria is currently a teacher and mentor for the MFA program. Find her on the Web at MariaVSnyder.com.

Read an Excerpt

L o c k e d i n d a r k n e s s that surrounded me like a coffin, I had nothing to distract me from my memories. Vivid recollections waited to ambush me whenever my mind wandered.

Encompassed by the blackness, I remembered white-hot f lames stabbing at my face. Though my hands had been tied to a post that dug sharply into my back, I had recoiled from the onslaught. The fire had pulled away just before blistering my skin, but my eyebrows and eyelashes had long since been singed off.

"Put the f lames out!" a man's rough voice had ordered. I blew at the blaze through cracked lips. Dried by fire and fear, the moisture in my mouth had gone and my teeth radiated heat as if they had been baked in an oven.

"Idiot," he cursed. "Not with your mouth. Use your mind. Put the f lames out with your mind."

Closing my eyes, I attempted to focus my thoughts on making the inferno disappear. I was willing to do anything, no matter how irrational, to persuade the man to stop.

"Try harder." Once again the heat swung near my face, the bright light blinding me in spite of my closed eyelids.

"Set her hair on fire," a different voice instructed. He sounded younger and more eager than the other man. "That should encourage her. Here, Father, let me."

I twisted to loosen the bonds that held me as my thoughts scat-tered into a mindless buzzing. A droning noise had echoed from my throat and grew louder until it had pervaded the room and quenched the f lames.

The loud metallic clank of the lock startled me from my nightmarish memory. A wedge of pale yellow light sliced the darkness, then traveled along the stone wall as the heavy cell door opened. Caught in the lantern's glow, my eyes were seared by the brightness. I squeezed them shut as I cowered in the corner.

"Move it, rat, or we'll get the whip!" Two dungeon guards attached a chain to the metal collar on my neck and hauled me to my feet. I stumbled forward, pain blazing around my throat. As I stood on trembling legs, the guards efficiently chained my hands behind me and manacled my feet.

I averted my eyes from the f lickering light as they led me down the main corridor of the dungeon. Thick rancid air puffed in my face. My bare feet shuff led through puddles of unidentifiable muck.

Ignoring the calls and moans of the other prisoners, the guards never missed a step, but my heart lurched with every word.

"Ho, ho, ho, someone's gonna swing."

"Snap! Crack! Then your last meal slides down your legs!"

"One less rat to feed."

"Take me! Take me! I wanna die too!"

We stopped. Through squinted eyes I saw a staircase. In an effort to get my foot onto the first step, I tripped over the chains and fell. The guards dragged me up. The rough edges of the stone steps dug into my skin, peeling away exposed f lesh on my arms and legs. After being pulled through two sets of thick metal doors, I was dumped onto the f loor. Sunlight stabbed between my eyes. I shut them tight as tears spilled down my cheeks. It was the first time that I had seen daylight in seasons.

This is it, I thought, starting to panic. But the knowledge that my execution would end my miserable existence in the dungeon calmed me.

Yanked to my feet again, I followed the guards blindly. My I stunk of rat. Given only a small ration of water, I didn't waste it on baths.

Once my eyes adjusted to the light, I looked around. The walls were bare, without the fabled gold sconces and elaborate tapestries I had been told once decorated the castle's main hallways. The cold stone f loor was worn smooth in the middle. We were probably traveling along the hidden corridors used solely by the servants and guards. As we passed two open windows, I glanced out with a hunger that no food could satisfy.

The bright emerald of the grass made my eyes ache. Trees wore cloaks of leaves. Flowers laced the footpaths and over-f lowed from barrels. The fresh breeze smelled like an expen-sive perfume, and I breathed deeply. After the acidic smells of a fine wine. Warmth caressed my skin. A soothing touch compared to the constantly damp and chilly dungeon.

I guessed it was the beginning of the hot season, which meant that I had been locked in the cell for five seasons, one season shy of a full year. It seemed an excessively long time for someone scheduled for execution.

Winded from the effort of marching with my feet chained, I was led into a spacious office. Maps of the Territory of Ixia and the lands beyond covered the walls. Piles of books on the f loor made walking a straight line difficult. Candles in various stages of use littered the room, singe marks evident on several papers that had gotten too close to the candle's f lame. A large wooden table, strewn with documents and ringed by half a dozen chairs, occupied the center of the room. At the back of the office a man sat at a desk. Behind him a square window gaped open, permitting a breeze to blow through his shoulder-length hair.

I shuddered, causing the chains to clatter. From the whis-pered conversations between prison cells, I had determined that condemned prisoners were taken to an official to confess their crimes before being hanged.

Wearing black pants and a black shirt with two red diamonds stitched on the collar, the man at the desk wore the uniform of an adviser to the Commander. His pallid face held no ex-pression. As his sapphire-blue eyes scanned me, they widened in surprise.

Suddenly conscious of my appearance, I glanced down at my tattered red prison gown and dirty bare feet roughened with yellow calluses. Dirt-streaked skin showed through the rips in the thin fabric. My long black hair hung in greasy clumps. Sweat-soaked, I swayed under the weight of the chains.

"A woman? The next prisoner to be executed is a woman?" executed aloud. The calm I'd established earlier f led me. I would have sunk sobbing to the f loor if the guards weren't with me. The guards tormented anyone who showed any weakness.

The man tugged at the black ringlets of his hair. "I should have taken the time to reread your dossier." He shooed the guards away. "You're dismissed."

When they were gone, he motioned me to the chair in front of his desk. The chains clanged as I perched on the edge.

He opened a folder on his desk and scanned the pages. "Yelena, today may be your lucky day," he said.

I swallowed a sarcastic reply. An important lesson I had mastered during my dungeon stay was never to talk back. I bowed my head instead, avoiding eye contact.

The man was quiet for a while. "Well-behaved and respect-ful. You're starting to look like a good candidate."

Despite the clutter of the room, the desk was neat. In addition to my folder and some writing implements, the only other items on the desk were two small, black statues glitter-ing with streaks of silver—a set of panthers carved to lifelike perfection.

"You've been tried and found guilty of murdering General Brazell's only son, Reyad." He paused, stroking his temple with his fingers. "That explains why Brazell's here this week, and why he has been unusually interested in the execution schedule." The man spoke more to himself than to me.

Upon hearing Brazell's name, fear coiled in my stomach. I steadied myself with a reminder that I was soon to be out of his reach forever.

The Territory of Ixia's military had come to power only a gen-eration ago, but the rule had produced strict laws called the Code of Behavior. During peacetime—most of the time, strangely enough for the military—proper conduct didn't allow the taking of a human life. If someone committed murder, the punishment was execution. Self-preservation or an accidental death were not considered acceptable excuses. Once found guilty, the murderer was sent to the Commander's dungeon to await a public hanging.

"I suppose you're going to protest the conviction. Say you were framed or you killed out of self-defense." He leaned back in his chair, waiting with a weary patience.

"No, sir," I whispered, all I could manage from unused vocal cords. "I killed him."

The man in black straightened in his chair, shooting me a hard look. Then he laughed aloud. "This may work out better than I'd planned. Yelena, I'm offering you a choice. You can either be executed, or you can be Commander Ambrose's new food taster. His last taster died recently, and we need to fill the position."

I gaped at him, my heart dancing. He had to be joking. He was probably amusing himself. Great way to get a laugh. Watch hope and joy shine on the prisoner's face, then smash it by sending the accused to the noose.

I played along. "A fool would refuse the job." My voice rasped louder this time.

"Well, it's a lifetime position. The training can be lethal. After all, how can you identify poisons in the Commander's food if you don't know what they taste like?" He tidied the papers in the folder.

"You'll get a room in the castle to sleep, but most of the day you'll be with the Commander. No days off. No husband or children. Some prisoners have chosen execution instead. At least then they know exactly when they're going to die, rather than guessing if it's going to come with the next bite." He clicked his teeth together, a feral grin on his face.

Service to the Commander was better than the dungeon and infinitely better than the noose. Questions raced through my mind: I'm a convicted killer, how can they trust me? What would prevent me from killing the Commander or escaping?

"Who tastes the Commander's food now?" I asked instead, afraid if I asked the other questions he'd realize his mistake and send me to the gallows.

"I do. So I'm anxious to find a replacement. Also the Code of Behavior states that someone whose life is forfeit must be offered the job."

No longer able to sit still, I stood and paced around the room, dragging my chains with me. The maps on the walls showed strategic military positions. Book titles dealt with security and spying techniques. The condition and amount of candles suggested someone who worked late into the night.

I looked back at the man in the adviser's uniform. He had to be Valek, the Commander's personal security chief and leader of the vast intelligence network for the Territory of Ixia.

"What shall I tell the executioner?" Valek asked.

"I am not a fool."

Table of Contents

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Poison Study 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 567 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Magic Study is the book that you see in the store and you think ...hmmm cool name way better cover art than the rest of my SF/Fantasy collection...I wonder. You pick it up, flip through the pages, don¿t really read any and decide it is probably a gimmick. Then you buy it anyway because the cover is Sooo pretty (and maybe hate yourself a little for being so shallow). You go home, sit on the sofa then read the first page. After than you can't possibly move for the next few hours and finally come up for air with a horrible neck cramp and the utter satisfaction that comes with being in the middle of a great story. You decide that it was your amazing subconscious book-radar that led you to your purchase, not a pretty cover. It has enough of the regular markers of the genre to make it a comfortable read but it is told in such a fresh way with very original twists that make it completely new and enjoyable. Yelena's is a world you will not want to leave. The story continues at full speed through the sequel Magic Study which tells a very new tale but still upholds the quality of the first. The third book Fire Study should prove to continue this tradition upon its release.
Librarian-Next-Door More than 1 year ago
This is still, since I read it last year, one of my favorite stories. I read a review on it and gave it a go, with trepidation. "ANOTHER magic book...well, okay," is what I opened the book thinking. The next few hours went by without my knowledge. I eventually had to apologize to my family for neglecting them, and again, when I was grumpy because I didn't get a wink of sleep that night. When people tell me something is THAT fantastic, I am almost always disappointed, because I build it up as something amazing in my head. So I say this hoping that doesn't happen to you, "Read this book. You'll be better for it. I was not disappointed." If you need to fall in love with an idea, a character, a thought, a rather hot hero, then this series is it. It will inspire you to be more brave and take chances in your own life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Poison Study is the first of the three book Study Series. The life of a woman sentenced to death is hard. But even harder is the life of a woman saved from the hangman's noose. In the land of Ixia where protecting herself from harm landed Yelena in prison. Just when she thought her life was about to end Valek, Ixia's Master Spy/Assassin to the rescue. But like every thing else in life there is a catch. The noose might have been a kinder death. Valek only saved her in order for her to become the Commander's food tester. A job that could be a death sentence itself. If someone tried to kill the Commander by poisoning his food she would be the first to go. Yelena's plan to except the food tasters job and then escape to a better life is soon foiled by Valek. When Yelena is poisoned by a substance known only to Valek, she is forced to stay in order to get the daily antiote, that with out would mean her death. Yelena is soon caught up in the intrigue of palace life. With an enemy around every corner. As life wasn't hard enough Yelena begins to show tell tale signs of being able to use magic. Which in Ixia is a death sentence in itself. She is forced to trust Valek in order to survive. Yelena and Vaelk fall in love. But can there be a happy ever after. A magic using food taster and the spy of Ixia, death could be around the corner for either of them. A climatic set of events unfold that shows to the world that Yelena is able to use magic. The Commander then sentences her to death, and then gives her time to escape. With Irys the forth magician of Sitia she escapes to Sitia to find out about herself, and her life before she was kidnapped fourteen years ago. Can love survive magic and a death sentence. With a standing order of death for Yelena in Ixia and and order of death for Valek in Sitia can their love survive. Check out Magic Study and Fire Study 'coming March 2008' to find out.
BookShelfReviews More than 1 year ago
Poison Study was a book that completely enthralled me in its uniqueness. The premise was absolutely intriguing: the idea of a woman being saved from certain death by execution. The catch? She has to serve as a poison taste-tester for the Commander of her country, a job that puts her life in danger on a daily basis. Furthermore, to prevent her from reneging on her deal, each day she is fed a poison called Butterfly’s Dust, ensuring that she must appear for her antidote in order to live. Like most female protagonists of a fantasy series, Yelena is no ordinary girl. Her resilience and quick thinking on her feet is not the only thing that gets her out of several life-or-death situations; it is also the fact that she is unknowingly one of the last possessors of magic in Ixia, a place which forbids the use of any magical abilities on punishment of death. I really liked this element of the story, especially the fact that the neighboring country to Ixia is a magic-using country, which causes all kinds of problems politically. Another thing I really appreciated about Yelena as a character was that she didn’t stand by and let others do the fighting for her. Once she was freed from prison, she began learning how to defend herself from those who wanted to harm her. She took charge of her situation as best she could and that, combined with her intelligence, ended up saving not only her life on several occasions but also the lives of her countrymen. You know me; I love my strong female characters! Yelena is no exception, and that made this book all the more enjoyable to read. Poison Study was a quick, fun read that kept me eagerly turning the pages. You can read this book in one sitting, and it contains all the elements necessary for a good read: action, romance, a strong heroine, a compelling love interest, and a rich world in which the plot takes place. Snyder has created something quite special here, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
srfeike More than 1 year ago
I've heard so much about this book and have had it in my to-read pile forever. What I found out was this was one of those books for me that after you read it, you berate yourself for putting it off for so long. I absolutely loved it! Yelena is an awesome lead. Throughout the entire book she is unassuming and humble, yet she has an inner strength that is matched by few. Through the course of the story she is able to prove to the people who matter, those close to her, her worth as a person and an ally. All of the characters were well developed and easy to fall in love with, or hate if that was the intent. I really look forward to reading more about them. The author's writing style was fabulous. I love the world she created for her story; my only wish is we would have gotten more of it. What we got was an introduction/overview of the different areas but no real explanation. It worked for the story; it is just my personal preference to have more background.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a fresh take on the typical boy meets girl story. I loved it
KylieSmiley More than 1 year ago
i love this story! full of adventure, some romance, death, magic, mystery....just wonderful! its easy to read, smooth, you want to keep turning the page to see whats going to happen next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read through this book rather quickly, however when I moved on to magic and fire study the series tapered off rather quickly. This book was the best of the three, however I do not recommend the series.
TheTexanBella More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing!!!!! When i first saw it at B&B, i was like 'eh, i'll give it a try i guess', but WOW! This book is about a girl named Yelena and how she is origanlly sent to be hanged, because she killed MD-5 General's son, Reyad, but is given a chance to live as being the food taster for the Commander. When she decides to take this opportunity, she is given lessons by Valek, to learn all the different poisons so in any case if the commander's food is poisoned she would know what type of poison it is. But as the story goes along, she gains enemy's that is out to get her, inculding the General. And during this whole time she starts getting feeling's for Valek. This story has many twist that you will never see coming, and you would want to read this story over and over again. Plus seeing the romantic twined of Valek and Yelena come is extremely sweet. Trust me you will love this series!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Poison Study is an entrancing novel by budding author Maria V. Snyder. The fantasy setting and charismatic characters capture the reader as the plot follows the adventures of Yelena, a criminal who barely escapes execution and becomes poison taster for the Commander, ruler of the country of Ixia. The story is a wonderful brew of action, magic, and romance as Yelena struggles to come to terms with her past and the growing attraction to her employer, the notorious assassin Valek. Every reader of young adult fiction and fantasy should read this exciting novel, as well as the sequel, Magic Study. Magic Study is a wonderful follow up to the first book, with its complex plot that keeps you on your toes and hungry for more.
Anonymous 3 months ago
it+was+as+the+best+read+that+I%27ve+had+this+year.+defiently+got+me+out+of+a+slump.+
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's a series I come back to again and again. It never gets old. Very well written with loveable characters.
Danielle.Montgomery on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Poison Study is the first book in the Study series. The story is centered around Yelena, a young woman kidnapped from her homeland and brought to General Brazell's manor to be groomed into a magician in order to lend her powers to a devious plot to make Brazell the Commander of the land of Ixia. Being tortured and experimented on by Brazell and his son, Reynerd, she slits Reynerds throat and is sent to the Commander's dungeons for having killed a person, especially the son of such a prominent General. There she waits as a year pass by, at which point she is brought out in order to voice her last wishes before she's executed. Yelena is brought to Valek, the Commander's most trusted adviser and chief assassin, where she is offered the job of becoming the Commander's food taster in place of being executed. Through political intrigue and assassination attempts, Yelena must find the power to stop Brazell and figure out just who can be trusted. What I liked: I very much enjoyed plot line of the story and I think it was a novel idea to have the book centered around a food taster (as I've never read a book about food tasters before). I also thought Snyder did a beautiful job of keeping Yelena in character, with her need for knowledge and her strong conviction to help not only herself, but others around her through gathering information or training with Janco, Ari, and Valek and sharing her skills with them. Yelena is a good, strong female heroine. I very much approve *thumbs up* What I didn't like: I would have liked Valek and Yelena to have had a couple more flirtatious or romantic scenes before they(I assume, since it wasn't actively described) slept together. But overall, a very nice book, one that I can see being made into a movie and being read again and again.
MooqieLove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I bought this book on a whim in my junior (or senior) year oh high school (4-5 years ago) and this book has been my favorite read since. I have read this book at least 20 times and it does not get old. It is not so deep that I discover new things with every read, but the story is so magical in itself that I cannot get tired of it or the characters.Yelena is a headstrong young girl that finds she has enormous power within her, but she must control it before it kills her (one way or another). Valek is the smart, agile, deathly dark soul that you can't help but love in spite or how much you know you shouldn't. Ari and Jacob are the best friends you wish you had or those goofy brothers that you can never get to leave you alone. Every character has been fully developed and get tied into the story beautifully. Every character serves a purpose, which I have found is not always the case. When I learned this was a series, I was disappointed/saddened because I was afraid that if I kept on reading, I would not treasure Poison Study as much. I have read the others and while I enjoy them in their own way, I don't find them as compelling or enjoyable. Poison Study comes with me wherever I go.
YABookieMonster on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I owe a lot to Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder! I read it about two and a half years ago; during that time I was a crazy (and I mean crazy) Twilight fan. Yeah, I was reading, but the only thing that I was reading was the Twilight series, over and over and over. It was the only thing that I read, at least until my friend persuaded me to take a break from Twilight for a bit to read this really awesome book that she had just finished. That book was Poison Study, and boy, am I glad that I read it because it really got me into reading! After I read it, I kept on asking my friend to recommend more books for me to read, and now look at where I am (I'm the one giving her book recommendations now!), I'm book crazy!Anyway, that's enough of my little backstory about Poison Study, now onto the mini-review part! Poison Study is an amazing fantasy series! The story is so unique and it really sucks you in! When I first read it, I could not put it down. I read it in a day, which before I really got into reading, was a big accomplishment! Honestly, this book is so gripping and will have you captivated the whole way through!This book has an amazing cast of characters. The protagonist, Yelena, is kick-ass. She is so strong even though she's been through so much! She is fierce and can take care of herself, yet she also has a vulnerability. The love interest, Valek, is kind of amazing! He's an assassin (which is freaking cool), yet such a sweetheart. He is quite guarded about his feelings for a good part of the book, but he eventually lets his walls down. This book is riddled with so many other interesting characters, I really love it!All in all, Poison Study is amazing. I've read countless books since reading this one, yet it still remains one of my favourites! It's one of those books that I think you could read multiple times without getting bored of it, and recently I've been really wanting to read it again! If you haven't read it, do so! It's fabulous!
fuzzydeadthing on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Though this book wont be winning any awards (I don't think), I nevertheless found it very entertaining. The main character is a likable heroine, with ingenuity and aptitude at her fingertips. Her story is sad, her future seems bleak, but it hasn't quite broken her spirit. The other characters in the mix will keep yu guessing, with few exceptions. I did take issue with a few plot points: The notion of a poison yu only take once, which requires an antidote every day for the rest of yr life is a little ridiculous. The romance could have been done better, and choosing a dung heap for one of the major scenes is seriously questionable. But overall, M. Snyder has a successful story here, one I would recommend to other readers of YA. I look forward to reading the other books in this series as well.
Awesomeness1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Yelena has a choice. She can either taste the Commander's food for poison before each meal, or be executed for her crime of killing a general's son. Thus, she chooses to the food taster. But things aren't so simple as the Commander's chief of security, Yalek, has poisoned her, and only by showing up for her daily antidote will she live. Adding to her complications, Yelena begins to develop magical powers and rebels try to control Ixia. I read this book mostly because of all the buzz around it. When I started it, I was like "okay, nothing special", but then when I went to go eat dinner, I found that I didn't want to put the book down. As I read more and more of the novel, it sunk its hooks in deeper and deeper. I loved it. It was a refreshingly original fantasy with good characters and a solid plot. It remained absorbing without resorting to gimmicks. Yelena was a good heroine. She wasn't whiny and had her own mind. I also liked how the book wasn't revolved around romance. It was there, but subtly. Just because I have so little to say about the book, shows how much I liked it. Usually I have a list of complaints. Anyway, I'm anxiously waiting to read the sequel!
book_worm127 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm not really sure whether this book is classified as Adult or Young Adult, but either way it's really good. I was instantly drawn into the strange world that Yelena lives in, and wasn't bored in it for a second. Yelena is a very likable protagonist and I had no trouble connecting with her. The story wove seamlessly and the action was never forced. It was exciting and romantic and completely took me away from reality. It had all of the parts of an excellent fantasy.Yet, there were just a few things that kept it from reaching its full potential. One was the sometimes lack of description. I dont' think that I properly pictured Valek (one of the main characters) until halfway through the book, when I looked back on the first chapter and saw the description of his hair that I had overlooked the first time. It was also around the halfway point that we were given and estimate of his age. Before that he could have been anywhere from 20 to 50. The other thing was the lack of setting description. I suppose that she did a good job describing a room the first time Yelena was in it, but after that there was virtually none. These small things made it hard to picture what was happening and, in the case of Valek, to correctly guess character relationships.
kaionvin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I went into Poison Study fairly enthusiastic about my first book club read: Yelena, a convicted murderer, is spared execution to become the latest food taster for the Commander, the unquestioned leader of Ixia since he led a successful coup on the king years ago. Unfortunately, Poison Study doesn¿t appear to have been thought out much further than this. An important part of any fantasy novel is world-building. Here, Snyder never creates a political environment or cultural specificity that is necessary to pique the intrigue. It¿s a big problem when a fantasy book only remembers to clumsily exposition its magic system at the midpoint! As excitement instead, the story is punctuated with obnoxious action cliff-hangers every few pages that serve only to show apparently Yelena¿s fighting aptitude, and then quickly dispatched with no accompanying raise in stakes. This lack of ambition permeates even the novel¿s heroine, who tediously goes through the motions of several well-worn cliché plots. (Secret noble heritage! Captor romance! Untrained has great untapped magical potential!)There¿s simply no concept here. Poison Study¿s neither a book about poisons nor food, nor the struggle of individual rights in a rule-bound society. It doesn¿t even succeed as a salacious romance novel or a fantastical escape.See here, I watched some damn cool wuxia adaptations as a kid. And now some of those had poison stories. Poisons that liquefied your insides, poisons that paralyzed, poisons that kept you eternally young. Aphrodisiac poisons. Poisons by ingestion, by dart, by palm, by weasel. Poisonous frogs, scorpions, snakes. Poisons that could only be cured by the flowers of a plant that only bloomed on the side of the cliff during the full moon. There are some cool stories that can be told by about poisons. I wish Snyder knew any of them.
paganpaul on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It took a while to get into the book, but once the scene was set and the puppets were in place, I had to read it as fast as I could (without losing the details, and there are many). The book is wonderfully written, the characters are carefully outlined, and the plot is great.The way that the story, and the main characters, develop is well crafted. I love the book. In fact so much that I had to go on reading Magic Study directly after, the second book in this trilogy.
samantha.1020 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary from Goodreads:"Choose....A quick death....Or slow poison....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."My Thoughts:Loved it! This is one of those books that instantly pulls you in and I was caught up in Yelena's world and the difficulties she faced from the very beginning. Yelena was a very interesting character to read about. She is facing death every single day and she doesn't crumble. Instead she tries to figure out ways in which to escape and make a better life for herself. The reader is only given pieces at a time of Yelena's life prior to being jailed which kept my curiousity throughout the book. I wanted to know what had happened and how it related to everything that Yelena was now experiencing. The book itself was easy to read, captivating, and when I finished I instantly wanted more. By far my favorite parts of this book were the characters and the world building. I was transported while reading this book into Yelena's world and the life that she was living which made it a great read for me! I can't seem to say enough good things about this book so I'll end it with this being one of those books that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.Final Thoughts: Maria V. Snyder has created a world that I couldn't get enough of- I'm super excited to continue on with this trilogy and see how Yelena continues to face the difficulties that lay before her.
averitasm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this series ,I have read all three and if you are going to get these get all three because you won't want to wait to read the next series, I like Yelena and I wish there were more books I read all 900 plus pages in one weekend. You will enjoy this , and I can't wait to get the glass series too.
les121 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This fantasy novel is enthralling. Full of mystery, action, and suspense, it¿s highly entertaining from beginning to end. The one flaw in this book is the characters. Though lovable, they aren¿t fully fleshed out. The main character, Yelena, has suffered through so much abuse it¿s ridiculous. She is saved from being a Mary Sue only by the obstacles she must overcome - learning to stand up for herself, trust others, and banish the ghosts of her past. The supporting characters such as Ari and Janco are great, but two-dimentional, and even the villains seem more like stereotypical, cartoon bad guys than real people. Nevertheless, the thrilling political intrigue, the discovery of magic, and a wonderful romantic subplot make up for the sub-par characterization. I will definitely pick up the second book in the Study trilogy.
vampiregirl76 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Yelena is a young women about to be executed for murder. On the day of her execution she is given a chose. Die or become the Commander's food taster. Well, Yelena is no fool....Poison Study is one of the books that I had on my shelf for a long time. I wish I would have picked it up soon, cause it's an amazing read. I loved it right away. Your sucked into Yelena's world from the very first page. By the last page your wishing it wouldn't end. If your into fantasy, this is the book for you. You'll definitely like it. It's got adventure, intrigue and even a little bit of romance.
brandileigh2003 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I admit, it took me a bit to get into this book, but once I did, it blew me away. This is one of the books that helped to cure my PABD (post-amazing book depression) followed by the phenomenon that is Twilight. If you aren't a fan of Twilight, don't stop reading here, because I am not going to compare it and they are really not similar. This book is just amazing. The world is beautifully set up, the characters are well written, and Synder has a refreshing take on magic.It is a fast paced book, and we little by little learn more about Yelena and why she is in prison to begin with. She makes some awesome friends, and there is romance-- it takes a bit to get there, but that is okay!I definitely recommend this book and will reread when my TBR pile isn't so daunting.