Monday, February 22, 2010

Review: Poison Study

Poison Study
Written By: Maria V. Synder

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Mira; Original edition (December 1, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0778327116
ISBN-13: 978-0778327110

Vonze: 4.5 out of 5

Book Description:
"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. 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 . ."

This book really made me go, "Wow, now that's a good story!"

I received Poison Study as a gift. Beforehand, I'd never heard of it and I really wasn't expecting much. But I was pleasantly surprised! Poison Study has a great plot, great characters and a little romance thrown in.

I immediately liked the main character, Yelena. She's a strong female lead. She admits that she killed a man and she's not sorry for it. However, she does want to live, so when she's pulled out of the dungeon and offered a job as the royal food taster, she takes it. In return, she agrees to risk dying for the Commander of Ixia and to take deadly Butterfly Dust everyday. In order to survive, she has to report to the Commander's head man, Valek, for the daily antidote.

I also liked Valek's character from the beginning. He was cool, in control and mysterious. There seemed to be underlying sparks between Yelena and Valek from early on. I found myself willing them to fall in love, but at the same time, I was never really sure it was actually going to happen.

Course, if risking your life three meals a day and taking Butterfly Dust wasn't enough, poor Yelena has plenty of other problems. The father of the man she killed isn't too happy that she wasn't executed. So, he's always out to get her. Several of the other servants don't like her, so there's few people she can trust. Magic is outlawed in Ixia and Yelena's magical abilities seem to be growing stronger. Her hope is to escape Ixia, even though it seems impossible.

My only complaint was the surprise about the Commander of Ixia. It seemed out of place in the story. I really didn't understand it's significance. Read it and see what I mean.

Otherwise, I really enjoyed this story! I'd love for it to be made into a movie. Hey, it could happen!

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