Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Back cover:

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.

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…

My Thoughts:

I have put off reading this series for a while..like years. It wasn’t until it came back up in my Tumblr newsfeed that I thought, ‘yea, let’s read this.’ I have read Snyder’s other series about Opal and it was fantastic! One of my all time favorite series. So I had very high expectations for Snyder. She delivered!

Yelena is a strong woman. You may not see it at first because she’s been prisoner for a year and been through some horrible stuff in her life. But she is very strong. You like her instantly. When Valek appears, I thought I bet he’s a strong contender for her love interest. But I questioned that because he was always keeping her at arms distance but at the same time, he was always around saving her. He’s a good guy deep down, aside from poisoning her and all that. He’s someone you want on your side and either he’s on your side and always will be or you’re dead. I mean there’s no in between.

Ari and Janco. What characters! I love them. I mean, if Valek wasn’t already the soul mate to Yelena I would definitely choose on these two for her. They are just amazing! Strong, powerful, loyal men who have Yelena’s back. They are definitely swoon-worthy.

I do like the story plot. I mean Yelena has nothing to lose being the food taster for the Commander. I mean at the point in which she became, she didn’t even really have life. She was just wasting away. She was already dead in a sense. As she becomes more herself, you see her soul change. You see her embrace, to an extent, who she is and she sees she is valuable and loved. Yelena is the one who can save the city. In the end, her magic is what makes her leave because the Commander, even though Yelena saved his life, issues a warrant for her death.

The hardest part to stomach in this book is Yelena’s past. It is definitely something that some readers need to be warned about as it could trigger past events. The abuse she undergoes at the hands of some sick bastards is just horrendous. Snyder doesn’t go into a lot of detail but it’s there for the reader to imagine. Which is why some readers should be aware that it is in the book. It’s interesting in how she overcame her abusers because she murdered one- which let me tell you, he deserved and the fiction world is better off. The plot has a lot to do with her past and how it is coming back to haunt her- literally.

4.5 out of 5 stars. Read it. Then read the others in the series.

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