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Monday, December 20, 2010

Poison Study

Maria V. Synder, author of the Study series and various other books.
Title: Poison Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance (kinda)
Publisher: Mira
Publication Date: November 2008
Paperback: 409

Summary: 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....

Book Review:
Poison Study is compelling fantasy story which has a little romance overtone to it. In the beginning Yelena starts out scared and timid. Over time Yelena gains allies, and with that she grows physically and mentally stronger. The romance between Valek and Yelena was well written and a delight. It was fun and refreshing to read something that wasn't cheesy like most of the other books out there. I enjoyed reading how both Yelena and Valek were falling for each other without knowing it. At the beginning Valek views Yelena as a tool, and Yelena is scared of Valek. Since the book was from one perspective it left out how Valek was feeling about Yelena. This kept the reading from really knowing 100% that Valek and Yelena loved each other until the author wanted them to. When a master magician from the south comes and tries to kill Yelena, she finds out that she is a magician, and was kidnapped from the south along with a bunch of other kids. The only thing I wish that the author had done is explaining why magicians are banned from Ixia.  Ixia is supposed to be a socialist community defined by a militaristic rule. Why this was better than the previous monarchy is not well explained, and another disappointment was how quickly the book wrapped up while leaving so many issues outstanding. The romance culmination seemed quite hurried, though a little less rushed than other books that I have read. I would have liked to have seen a bit more slow unwrapping of some of the parts of the books. 

Rating: A-

Notable Quotes:
"Everyone makes choices in life. Some bad, some Good. It's called living, and if you want to bow out, then go right ahead. But don't do it halfway. Don't linger in whiner's limbo." 

"But you’ve slipped under my skin, invaded my blood and seized my heart.”
“That sounds more like a poison than a person,” was all I could say. His confession had
both shocked and thrilled me.
“Exactly,” Valek replied. “You have poisoned me." 

"What have I earned from you, Valek? Loyalty? Respect? Trust?"
You have my attention. But give me what I want, and you can have everything." 

"In fact, he's never taken an interest in a woman before. I was beginning to to suspect he might prefer one of his male sneaks, but now..." She paused dramatically. "Now, we have the lovely, intelligent Yelena to get Valek's cold heart pumping."
"You really should get out of your sewing room more. You need fresh air and a dose of reality," I said knowing better than to believe a word Dilana said, but unable to control the silly little grin on my face.
Her sweet, melodious laughter followed me into the hallway.
"You know I'm right, " she called." 

"Poisoned, pursued and living with a psychopath. Not what I'd consider the good life. Death has its perks." 

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