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Choose A uick death or slow poisonAbout 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 IxiaAnd 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 poisonAs 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


10 thoughts on “Poison Study

  1. says:

    SO SO SO SO GOOD Yelena was amazing and had such great character development in the story The romance took the back seat in the book and instead focused a lot about the conflict at hand So good and ValekSWOONI just got the second book in the trilogy Magic Study and cannot wait to read it I'll be talking about Poison Study in my March Wrap Up video


  2. says:

    “Poisoned pursued and living with a psychopath Not what I would consider the good life Death has its perks” Well living with a psychopath Valek is a perk in my humble opinion The story Yelena is waiting to be executed and she's made peace with that but then the Commander's right hand who also happens to be an assassin approaches her with an offer; she can either be executed as planned or she can become the Commander's new food taster Yelena naturally picks the latest and she's introduced into a world of politics schemings and poisons and she eventually has to face her worst nightmares and find the strength to confront them “Trusting is hard Knowing who to trust even harder” Thoughts One of the reasons I started reading Poison Study besides the gorgeous cover and the premise was the assumption that it resembles Throne of Glass which I adore And it's true both of them are about an incarcerated girl who is given a second chance if she endures a dangerous challenge but that's where the resemblances end Poison Study is different Uniue MarvelousPoisons magic deception spies secrets assassins conspiracies military action heinous acts and acts of kindness great main and secondary characters Maria V Snyder gives you everything Yelena is an extremely likable MC from a scared girl depending on others she evolves into a strong woman who embraces her weakness and turns it into courage And my precious Valek plays an important part in this transformation “But you’ve slipped under my skin invaded my blood and seized my heart” Valek contemplated to kill Yelena twice he was rude and manipulative and he put his duty above everything else But yet Yelena found a place in his black heart and held it with a strong grip Their chemistry was palpable and their love was building slowly and steadily One of the finest OTPs ladies and gentlemenYou haven't read Poison Study yet? Santa will get you no present this year


  3. says:

    I finished this book on Friday and I took all weekend to decide what I wanted to say in my review Let me start by saying that Poison Study is written in a very elemental fashion If you are a reader who likes flowery descriptive writing this might throw you for a loop initially The story is told inelaborately and there is no hesitation in describing the ugliness of Yelena's situation When I met Yelena she was taken out of her prison cell where she had languished for the better part of a year and was prepared to meet the executioner I can't say I've read too many books that started this way I was hooked right then and there Instead of seeing Yelena get executed she is taken to the office of the man who will cause a profound change in her life Valek Yelena was offered the opportunity to escape a uick execution She could undertake the training as a food taster which was not without risk and if she survived she would spend her life risking death on a regular basis Typically the life of a food taster is very short But it's a lot longer than instant death Yelena thought things through and decided she'd rather take her chances as a food tasterFrom the beginning I was interested in Yelena's story She was a young woman who had ended up in a very dire situation not all of her making but was willing to own up to the life she'd taken She never made excuses for her actions although the reasons were valid With the murder she committed she felt as though her soul had been lost And yet some part of her refused to give up This book brings to mind the aphorism that Justice is Blind More and I wonder if justice really should be blind Those who enforce the law make their verdicts on cases based on the evidence presented Yet they don't always consider the underlying reasons why a person commits a crime In the eyes of an omniscient diety this makes perfect sense because that Supreme Being sees all things But humans don't have that all seeing perception Is it fair for a woman to be sentenced to death for trying to protect herself and her loved ones for killing a man who brutally tortured and raped her? According to the strict laws of Ixia murder outside of war is considered a capital offense From the moment that Yelena took the life of the son of General Brazell her life was forfeit I believe in second chances I just do I know that we all fall and fail and while I think some crimes are extremely heinous I cannot let go of my belief that everyone deserves the right to make amends I was happy that Valek gave Yelena the opportunity to live Yet Yelena will face trials with her second chance And she is put in a position to save the Commander who she serves as food taster and to prevent Ixia from falling prey to a conspiracy that involves key members of the governmentPoison Study was a very readable fascinating enjoyable adventure I loved seeing Yelena come into her own It was clear that she'd always been a strong person and her strength of character and will is what allowed herself to emerge from the fires that had potential to destroy her Instead she was honed by those fires and made stronger I'm not very good at political stuff I have my own way of looking at things and it makes my interpretation of political stances parties affiliations and governmental structures very against type I think it was interesting to see the inner workings of the system that the Commander had set up through Yelena's eyes In many ways going from a monarchy to what appeared to be a dictatorship was an improvement However there were many restrictions imposed on the people as a result of that same government Opportunities were open that weren't before The government was set up to encourage fairness and to discourage waste The downside was anytime you have people in a system it's going to be flawed because people are flawed So this system was not perfect Through Yelena's eyes I was able to see this all playing out I started this review by saying that this book was written with a simple use of language I found that this narrative style was a bit deceptive You might think this story is basic on first glance but that's far from the truth There is a lot going on here I liked that Ms Snyder left it up to the reader to interpret the events through her own eyes I like how she slowly reveals aspects of the characters until the fullest picture comes to mind That was the best way to write about a character like Valek When he comes on the scene he doesn't seem that grand He seems like a puppet in the political structure of Ixia But if I had continued to see him that way I would have been missing out on a lot You see Valek is not the puppet He's the puppetmaster He is an extremely intelligent and cunning spymaster a swordsman without eual and a deadly assassin He's so matter of fact and without flare so you don't see him truly unless you look deeper He holds his allegiance to Commander Ambrose very sacredly but that doesn't mean he doesn't always agree with the rules that the Commander has instituted That he cannot see justice done in his own way Through Yelena's eyes we see how the perception of Valek expands to show who and what he really is I fell in love with him as Yelena didI'm a romantic at heart and I will always be I loved the burgeoning relationship between Yelena and Valek How they slowly worked their way into each others' hearts through proximity and the fact that they saw something in each other that resulted in an irresistible draw to each other It's clear from the beginning through the eyes of others around Yelena and Valek and through Valek's actions that he cherishes Yelena It's a subtle but at the same time pretty obvious thing In my opinion it took a lot of writing skill to convey this to the reader and Ms Snyder did an excellent jobPoison Study was a grand adventure in the style of the classic adventure novels The fight scenes are well written and the danger elements are exciting and involving Being Yelena is a dangerous proposition because Brazell is determined to see her dead for killing his son and continually uses underhanded methods to do it Also because she lives in dangerous times and in an environment fraught with intrigue I liked that Valek saved Yelena several times because it showed the intensity of his regard for her but I also liked that many other times Yelena was able to save herself through her intelligence uick thinking and through her developing skills at self defense Yelena views herself as a small person in the scheme of things but she had an important role in preventing a very ugly conspiracy from coming to fruition She effects change by doing what she feels is right and because of that she gains the respect of those who had previously viewed her as a cold blooded murderess Her actions don't occur in a vacuum and they often result in helpingprotecting others in various ways The fantastic elements are subtle but integral I liked how Yelena's magic was instrinsic to her a part of her that was dormant emerging when she needs it I loved seeing her become a capable and deadly fighter She hates the idea of killing but killing is necessary in the dangerous world she lives in She had to come to realize this or she couldn't love Valek a man who kills for a living and must do it without letting remorse weigh him downPoison Study was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed Like many unexpected favorites it snuck in there on me But when I finished this book I had a big smile on my face


  4. says:

    It's a dirty way to fight but I'm late for lunch Initial Final Page ThoughtsI think I’m broken why didn’t I love this one? High PointsThe premise Poisons The setting The baddies The magic Valek Close combat Acrobatics Fire festivals Valek without his shirt on Ari Janco Maren Tree climbing Chocolate Delicious food Kick ass ladies Secret Valek without his shirtin a pile of hay Low PointsThe narration I know Yelena is supposed to be educated but I found it difficult to believe she would casually throw words like “mucilaginous” into conversation I don’t know The found the dialogue jarring and inconsistent One minute we’d be all britches and monarchy and then the next we’d be in “funks” Yelena we’re not in AFP waters not at all But well meh see heroine Bad haircuts Come on there’s only so much my imagination can handle Black shoulder length ringlets? A shaved head except the fringe? NOOOOO HeroineOh Yelena what am I going to do with you? I’m not sure what it was because on paper you are brilliant You have a past and you don’t go on and on about it You can hold your own in a world run by men You show restraint by not immediately disrobing when Valek glides into the room You have a strong stomach You can do acrobatics You get your Katniss on while you’re scrambling around in treesBut I just didn’t connect I’m sorry I wanted to be best friends and I thought we would be Maybe it’s just meAnd even though I know it didn’t work out between us I want you to know that I care about your well being Which is why I’m suggesting you should go and get yourself checked out because to my knowledge girls should not buzz like a bumble bee Love InterestNow we’re talking Valek Mmmmhmmm A cheeky haircut and you would be perfect Strong and silent and artistic oh and yeah an assassin It’s like Ms Snyder read my diary or something I was tempted to place you in a ‘Hero’ section Valek but I stopped myself because at the moment you are still in the love interest zone I would like to have had interactions between you and Yelena because there was definitely room for swooning Yeah you had some moments flutterbies aww but other than that I was kind of underwhelmedBaddiesI’m pretty sure the baddies in this were sponsored by Hamlet And would definitely be placed in Slytherin if they attended Hogwarts They already have the uniformTheme TuneI always find it difficult to find songs for historical fiction because they never seem to fit with the subject matterEXCEPT THIS ONEPoison by The ProdigyWhat?If you disagree imagine it sung by an artist such as Agnes Obel or Laura Marling If you agree rave on my dears rave on like it’s 1995 As I am doing right now Sadness Scale510 There were some sections that were extremely harrowing and I loved how Snyder dealt with these with subtlety because it really left a lasting impression especially concerning Yelena’s past Sorry for the vagueness spoilers ‘n’ all Recommended ForPeople who love historicalfantasy fiction People who would uite happily munch chocolate all day even if there was a risk of dying an agonising death People who wish Laura Marling would cover every Prodigy song You can read this review and lots of other stuff on my blog here


  5. says:

    “Trusting is hard Knowing who to trust even harder” 25 starsIt's not that I didn't like the book it was uite greatly written and the story was interesting yet I couldn't connect to the characters at all I just didn't care for them a bitIn my opinion the story had only one peak and it was around the end which I enjoyed but other than that it was bland and uneventful or filled with minor events“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”I would definitely recommend the book to other fantasy lovers however I doubt that I will continue with the other books


  6. says:

    this is not the most original story out there but i still liked it i think thats why we as readers develop tastes and preferences so we can visit new stories with familiar themes and tropes and still be entertained by them the characters are likeable the world building is decent the storyline is easy to follow and fun to discover and the writing has a nice flow to it again nothing uniue or spectacular stands out for me to note but this has all of the components that i am well acuainted with and love in a story overall i did really enjoy this especially since my track record with reading early 2000s YA fantasy isnt the best this was a fun surprise and i definitely intend to continue the series at some point in the near future ↠ 35 stars


  7. says:

    Poison Study is easily one of the best young adult books I have read this year So far the genre has become increasingly disappointing to me and I was beginning to lose faith in novels marketed at older teens What I really don't understand though is why Snyder decided to make Poison Study a young adult book In my opinion even though it was good the book could have been even better if she'd allowed for YelenaValek smut and instead marketed the book to a adult audience It's not even as if the subject matter was child friendly torture and rape loving villains aren't exactly what comes to mind when you're writing for a young audience It could have been sexier grittier and just all round better as an adult novelAs a welcome addition the fantasy genre I was also surprised at how much I enjoyed the story Fantasy tends to conjure up unwelcome memories of Tolkien and Pratchett not to mention the elves goblins and dwarves that often feature in the genre Never did it for me I'm afraid The only fantasy books that have ever really impressed me are those by JK Rowling and Paul Stewart and they were focused on characters at least resembling humans for the most part as was Poison StudyI have to say that I loved Valek as a character and was pleasantly surprised to see how well the romance between him and Yelena worked It didn't even remotely occur to me at first that he would be the love interest of the novel because he was seemingly selfish violent and cruel And also coldly devoid of any redeeming emotion The way that turned around through the humour that came out in him as the novel progressed to the multiple times he risked himself to help Yelena and yet still didn't make her come across as the damsel in distress was told really well The rest of the novel aside he himself is one of the best parts of any book I've read latelyWhat I didn't much care for was the drawn out plot with the Criollo? it seemed to take too long to get around to something that wasn't particularly interesting; but don't get me wrong plenty of other stuff is going on with Yelena overcoming her past trauma and the blooming attraction between her and Valek so that the story never really drags This is usually the part where I say So I will definitely be reading the next book in the series but I actually think I'm going to leave Magic Study and Fire Study after acuiring advice from Tatiana's review and strangely a small lilac haired old woman at the libraryEDIT Tatiana has informed me that it wasn't Snyder's idea but her publishers my apologies Snyder ;


  8. says:

    122917 ON SALE for 199 by Rabid Reads45 starsI've been wanting to reread this series for like two years No lie It's been 6 or 8 years since the last time I read it and I remembered really liking it but not much else But guess what? NEW BOOK So yeah just prior to the release of Shadow Study seemed like an excellent time to get my reread on and guys it was even better than I remembered it That Has NEVER HappenedYelena a self confessed murderer is spared from hanging when the Commander of the military governed nation she lives in needs a new food taster The last one died of poisoning Go figure Valek the head of the Commander's security offers her the position and when she accepts Yelena discovers that he will also be responsible for her training BUT his training methods can best be described as trial by fire I believe he says something like if you can survive this nothing else will accidentally kill you and you won't be a waste of my valuable time and effort just before dosing her with the moste potente poison he has availableNice guy that Valek But Yelena is both stronger and smarter than she appears and she not only survives the poisoning but thrives under Valek's tutelage And if that was all there was well that would be boringBut that's not all Yelena has secrets Like the reason why she killed the only son of her benefactor one of the eight Generals directly under the Commander in rank A General who is distinctly unhappy about her avoiding the noose Yelena is also unsurprisingly world weary BUT Despite her best efforts she's unable to snuff out the fragile flame of hope that burns inside of her Hope for a better life Hope for someone to trust Hope for something as simple yet previously as unattainable as a friend In Poison Study you grow with Yelena as she grows begin to trust as she trusts feel the bitter disappointment of betrayal when she is betrayed and barely dare to allow yourself to hope as something than friendship begins to blossom Don't ask me with whom bc I won't tell you but it is lovelyShe picks up a few allies along the way as well and a pair of soldiers in particular Janco and Ari are simply fantastic Ari adopts the role of protective older brother while Janco fills the prankster brother position exceptionally well and you feel that in your gut too bc Yelena is an orphan And all of this is happening within the unfolding mystery that's detailed uite nicely in the blurb so I won't rehash itOn the surface Poison Study probably looks a lot like every other YA fantasy out there and it admittedly doesn't stray far from the standard and acceptable elements But Snyder has created a world with characters who make you FEEL what they FEEL who you want to triumph and fear for when failure seems imminent I've never denied being a character driven reader and Poison Study is a marvelous example of the kind of book that really really makes me happy Highly recommended


  9. says:

    I loved this book I loved the heroine; stubborn tenacious determined I loved the world that Snyder created I loved loved loved the main love interest Valek Dark stoic assassin? Check Me swooning throughout the whole book because I have a thing for assassins? Check Yeah I know I need to have my head examinedBut the relationship between Yelena and Valek was only part of this wonderful story The detail put into the poisons was facinating The entire world was facinating I literally picked this book up and did not put it down until that evening when I finished it I'm going to get the next books Magic Study and Fire Study as soon as possible Bravo to Maria Snyder for this wonderful novel


  10. says:

    In my personal opinionthis is what Throne of Glass published seven years after this should have been Poison Study is easily one of the best written and underrated high fantasy young adult series that I’ve come across and I’m so happy that I FINALLY gave this a go as it’s been collecting dust on my TBR for YEARS After a while YA high fantasy tends to become oversaturated with similar storylines but this was SO ORIGINAL and I LOVED IT I also enjoyed how character driven this novel was rather than emphasising the fantasy aspects although magic is very much prevalentYelena was a clever and determined young woman who was given the chance to escape execution in exchange for taking up the position as the Commander’s food taster a potentially lethal occupation She consistently fought over and over again for her own survival never allowing herself to wallow in self pity She took accountability for her actions even admitting to the crime of murder and never attempted to conjure up excuses in order to escape the noose When there were numerous attempts on her life she went out of her way to learn how to best defend herself from hand to hand combat to knives When there were instances where she needed to get past locked doors she endeavoured to learn how to pick locks for herself She was SO ambitious and resourceful She never waited for any knight in shining armour to come and save her She did the saving for herself ; Honestly though I’d like to know how she wasn’t suffering from PTSD considering her tragic past We definitely need to see characters like her in YA literature who make make decisions based upon their brains rather than their hearts Talk about a fierce 19 year old D Valek was also a pleasant surprise Initially I was uite indifferent to him because he treated Yelena uite cruelly and poorly since he saw her as nothing than a murderer However as the plot progressed I really came to like him He is a deadly assassin what a hypocrite haha and the Commander’s loyal right hand man Although I will admit that the revelation that he was Yelena’s love interest definitely took me by surprise so you do not need to worry about instalove I loved seeing how he fell in love with Yelena’s loyalty and inner strength I think that they make a lovely pair yet they are also different enough to balance each other out I can’t wait to see their romance develop over the course of the future books in this series Therefore I will recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys books about fantasy worlds magic systems court politics soldiers assassins beautiful writing and strong character development If you haven’t gotten to this series which seems to have been forgotten among the depths of YA high fantasy you should definitely give this a go as soon as you can