Book Review: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Publication Date: 2009 (UK Cover edition)

Publisher: Mira Books
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 409
Synopsis:On the eve of her execution for murder, Yelena Zaltana is offered an incredible reprieve – on the condition that she becomes the food taster for the military leader of Ixia, Commander Ambrose.
Avoiding poison is the least of her troubles, however … General Brazell, father of the man she killed, has vowed bloody revenge; she’s beginning to have feelings for her captor, Valek; and someone is plotting the downfall of the current regime.
In a desperate race against time, Yelena must learn to control the growing magical talent within her and master the demons of her past. The Commander’s life, the future of Ixia and all those she loves depend on it …


I don’t know why, but a lot of fantasy books have been making me angry. I don’t know if it’s the misfortunes of the main character, or just some weird frustrating emotions. Either way, this book did make me angry, I hated what our main character Yelana had to go through, I hate everyone who hates her.

Whew…I love it when authors provokes those types of feelings

The story is told from first point of view, and I’m actually glad. In most fantasy books, It’s usually third point of view, and I always seem to sometimes feel disconnected with the characters. Being in Yelana’s eyes, was quite interesting. She’s not a witty sarcastic character, but she’s not necessary a boring one either. She meets in the middle of the two characteristics, causing me to have an unexpected growing fondness over  growing.

This was supposed to be an adult book, but the publishers changed it to YA. The problem was that I kind of got that from the story. It almost felt like Yelana was supposed to be older for some reason; she seemed more mature. In the book, I believe she’s about 18 and I feel like she was supposed to be in her 20s(correct me if I’m wrong though).

I REALLY enjoyed the romance between Yelana and Valek. It was weird, since I went into this book completely blind, that he was the love interest, In the beginning, he’s rather crass and a little manipulative. But as the story progresses, he becomes my absolute favorite.

One problem of the book was the plot. The plot, well, I actually didn’t care much for it. I didn’t really care about the mystery of the Crillo and the whole “magic is forbidden” trope was growing old for me. Also, I will admit, not much really happened in the first 200 pages of the book. It wasn’t until Yelana started training with the Power Twins, and Iryse revealing some interesting information about the character.

The ending was also amazing. A lot of twists.

A lot of people tell me to not even bother reading the rest of the series. However, I’m still going to continue on for three reasons. (1) I already bought the whole series in the beautiful UK covers. (2) I want more Yelana and Valek scenes like please. (3) I am a little curious about Yelana’s family history her magic.




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