January 19, 2010

Review: Poison Study

Poison Study (Study, Book 1) by Maria V. Snyder

Genre: Epic Fantasy / YA Fantasy 
Edition Reviewed: Paperback
Amazon: Paperback | Kindle 
Goodreads: Poison Study
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...

Epic Fantasy books and I have been on a “break.” Every once in a while I'd read a fantasy title, but would soon flee back to the comforting arms of Urban Fantasy. Poison Study was a great intro back into the wonderful world that is Epic Fantasy.

This is a reread for me, but I had to reread it because the series has finally released other installments. It was a great first novel. Snyder tells readers about Yelena's story, which skips the usual save the world tale that fantasy stories favor. Yelena is introduced to us when she is about to be executed, and is given the option to be the new food taster instead. The story carries on beautifully from there.

It’s intense watching Yelena blossom into a woman, and to see a female heroine with some brains. What I love the most is that the romance is subtle, it grows on you just as it sneaks up on Yelena. This book isn’t just the struggle of Yelena defending her life from her past and the future she deserves, but the struggle of a kingdom trying to become something more for it’s people.

The world building is so wonderful in this series, and the characters will linger in your mind long after. Some characters are exactly as they seem, while the inner depth you get on the King, Valek (Yelana’s poison teacher), and other friends of Yelena is just awe inspiring. They’re characters that would be missed if they don’t appear in future books.

If you’re a Epic Fantasy virgin, or a EF reader who’s burned out, Poison Study is the perfect fit for you. Snyder is a wonderful addition to the endless list of fantasy series out there, and clearly is passing the test of time. There’s a reason this series was bought up from Luna and republished, it’s just that good.

Sexual Content: Some might argue that there’s some homosexual themes, but I think it’s more about “women’s rights.” There is some sex, but it’s clean. Clean enough that I believe it’s no in print for YA.
5/5- Fabulous, a beautiful obsession!

Previous book(s) in series:
Reviewed on BW: Amazon: Goodreads:
Poison Study (1)
Magic Study (2)
Fire Study (3)
Paperback | Kindle
Paperback | Kindle
Paperback | Kindle
Poison Study (1) 
Magic Study (2)
Fire Study (3)

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