Poison Study (Study, #1)
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Poison Study (Study #1)

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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  61,030 ratings  ·  5,525 reviews
Choose:
A quick death
Or slow poison...


Yelena has a choice – be executed for murder, or become food taster to the Commander of Ixia. She leaps at the chance for survival, but her relief may be short-lived.

Life in the palace is full of hazards and secrets. Wily and smart, Yelena must learn to identify poisons before they kill her, recognise whom she can trust and how to spy o...more
Paperback, 409 pages
Published September 21st 2007 by Mira Books (first published June 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
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...more
Jo
"It's a dirty way to fight, but I'm late for lunch."

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
I think I’m broken… why didn’t I love this one?

High Points.
The 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 shirt…in a pile of hay.

Low Points.
The narration. I know Yelena is supposed to be educated but I found it difficult to b...more
Letitia
I am torn on reviewing this book. On one hand it had the potential to be the best fantasy novel I have ever read. The world was intriguing, the characters endearing, the plot fascinating. Beyond that, the author managed to explore fascinating themes of mortality, right of choice, overcoming psychological demons, and tests of loyalty. I kept willing the writing to be better than it was. I would really love to see this author mature and develop her skill into something really worthwhile, because h...more
Stephen
stunning-1v2

2.5 to 3.0 stars. Let me begin this review by saying that I think I’m becoming much harder to please when it comes to fantasy stories so please keep that in mind. Having read quite a few, the standard fantasy plot elements just don’t produce the same warm and fuzzy feeling that I used to experience when reading these kinds of stories. I must have hit my tolerance threshold for the fantasy “drug” because I find that I am needing greater and greater amounts of awesomeness in order to get that "sp...more
Lyndsey
One of these things does not belong here:



Well, one of these things does not belong in a fantasy novel. Hint - it is small, electronic, and blue!

More on that later. So this is another one of many books...

A story about an orphaned girl, whose been tortured and basically given a rotten hand that's full of all jokers, most likely dealt by some sort of sleight of hand magician or something. Rough life. Blada-blada-blah. After mysteries are introduced and back stories told, she encounters a mysterious...more
Julie Kagawa
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 examined.)

But, 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 literall...more
Emily May


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 Yelena/Valek smut and instead marketed the book to a more adult audience. It's not eve...more
Tamora Pierce
I'm not sure if this is supposed to be adult or teen fantasy, and I don't really care. It's just plain good. Yelena, sentenced to die, is offered the chance to live as the Commander's taster. She could be poisoned at any moment, and if she tries to escape, she could die of the poison given to her at her first meeting with the Commander's chief of intelligence (he gives her the antidote daily). When she accepts, she is pitchforked into a world where she cannot tell who is an ally and who is an en...more
Kat Kennedy
I find it really hard to give a book five stars these days. It really has to earn it and truthfully, Poison Study almost did.

The writing was surprisingly rich and colourful, the characters were great. Yelena was calculating and resourceful which I really liked. Valek was great. At some points he was your stock-standard superhero, protective saviour cliche but his loyalty, dedication and sneakyness really added some more dimensions to that.

The plot... oh, the plot! Okay, in some instances it was...more
Anne Osterlund
Poison Study: my absolute favorite read of the past five years!

Yelena is about to be executed. When Ixia’s number 1 assassin, Valek, makes her an offer. To become the Commander’s food taster and train to recognize poisons. A slightly dangerous vocation. But then, for a young woman haunted by the ghost of the man she killed, a past which no one will believe, and a gift that is considered a crime, well, really . . . what choice does she have?
Tatiana
Dec 16, 2010 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Tatiana by: Felicia, Albie
Shelves: 2009, fantasy
"Poison Study" is a story of Yelena, a murderer, who after a year in a filthy dungeon, is offered an opportunity to choose either a quick execution or a daily fear to be killed by a poison during her duties as a food taster.

I do not normally read fantasy. For me this genre is forever associated with Tolkien and "Lord of the Rings," and I am not really too keen on books about magic, goblins, etc. However this book pleasantly surprised me. It wasn't quite what I expected it to be. You'd think wha...more
Maria Snyder
Sep 16, 2012 Maria Snyder rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Poison Study just came out in Turkish as Zehir Ustasi (Poison Master)! Pretty cool - eh?
Wendy Darling
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angie
I remember seeing Poison Study on the shelves when it first came out, but passed it up several times because of, yes, I admit it, the cover. It was this older mass market paperback cover and not the lovely new trade paperback one. The girl on the old cover looked just a little too haughtily seductive for me. And I knew that Luna was the fantasy division of Harlequin and so I was suspicious it was a romance thinly disguised as fantasy. So when the new trade paperback came out, I went and read a f...more
Felicia
One of my favorite books in a while, made it to the "hardback" "Keeper" shelf in my bookcase!

This book is good for men and women, I really really enjoy it sooo much, the romance is fantastic but not exclusive to lady-enjoyment, so pick it up!
Nic
Some eye candy - Valek http://irresistiblereads.blogspot.com...

Favourite Quote: "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."

Fantasy and me have had our ups and downs. I have only read a handful as it is one of the genres I struggle with. But I had heard good things about Poison Study from everyone and they were right, it is AMAZING.

I love the world Snyder crea...more
Kay
This one was okay and definitely a 3 star book.

The Gist

POISON STUDY is about a girl who, after being sentenced to death, is instead given the opportunity to be the military leader's food taster. Valek, the military leader's chief of security, teaches Yelena to identify poisons by their smell and taste. To ensure her loyalty, Valek poisons Yelena with Butterfly Dust, a poison that will kill her if she is not administered a daily antidote. This entire setup becomes complicated when Yelena starts...more
Ariana


I picked up this book last night.
It was late and I couldn't sleep.
I didn't intend to read it all, but just a bit, just a chapter or two, to clear my mind.

Oh, what a terrible mistake :D

What I didn't know is that you can't read just a bit of it. This book is like glue - you hold it in your hands and you can't put it down.

There is not much I could say right now about it because I'm literally at a loss for words.. but let me tell you this:
- It's addictive, it's beautiful, it's an amazing story...more
Litchick (is stuck in the 19th century)
I was really looking forward to reading this book for a variety of reasons. One of those was that some normally sane/calm reviewers that I both follow and respect went completely fangirl over it. Another is that I needed a break from the paranormal genres I usually read.

It started out pretty strong with a main character, Yelena, that I was beginning to really like. She was believable in her role as a soon-to-be-executed prisoner. Bright colors made her squint, she was distracted by open spaces...more
Kaion
I went into Poison Study fairly enthusiastic about my first book club read: Yelena, a convicted murderer, is spared execution to become the latest food taster for the Commander, the unquestioned leader of Ixia since he led a successful coup on the king years ago. Unfortunately, Poison Study doesn’t appear to have been thought out much further than this.

An important part of any fantasy novel is world-building. Here, Snyder never creates a political environment or cultural specificity that is nec...more
Angee Saxey
Nov 05, 2009 Angee Saxey rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!
Recommended to Angee by: Areese Pepito
Shelves: read-in-2009, own-it
With a strong and gripping beginning, this book completely enveloped me and I could not put it down. I was eager to get back to this book and finish it. I read into the early morning, hungry for the adventure and it's undercurrent of romance. The author created an engrossing story and wrote very well, and my favorite part about this story was that it was clean. Not a lot of cussing unless it was practically necessary (used from angry characters) and no sexual scenes.
UniquelyMoi ... So I Can Shine...
Sep 11, 2010 UniquelyMoi ... So I Can Shine... rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to UniquelyMoi ... So I Can Shine... by: Sabrina

This book was amazing. The writing was beautiful and the story complex. It was easy to read, but not 'dumbed down.'

I loved the story from beginning to end. I was captivated by Yelena's strength, determination and valor and Valek's military might and compassion. What a great book... now easily amongst my favorites.

I couldn't put Poison Study down and now I'm looking forward to Magic Study and Fire Study.


Ash Wednesday
2.5 STARS

Well somebody sneezed.

Not reblurbing because I really don't want to remember this book again.

This was a very strange reading experience for me. It ticks a lot of the things I like in fantasy but at the same time they are the very things that made this such a chore to finish. I've set myself to finish at least half of a book before chucking it to the DNF pile (call it my post-Real resolution) but I read the first 50% of Poison Study in two days. That's an eternity for me, Christmas not...more
Hirondelle
Goodreads ate my review.

1.5 stars actually, if only goodreads would allow it.

15 of my GR friends have this listed and read, which is an amazing number - it gets beaten by some other, much more famous books, but this is much less known and I was so in awe of how many of them have read this that I had to try it for myself. Sadly it was a big disappointment. I admit I quit 3/4s of the way in. I would have read the whole thing, but our national health system went (as usual, at least in my experienc...more
FlibBityFLooB
I absolutely *LOVED* this book. It reminded me in tone and character development of a hybrid of two of my favorite book series -- The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

It was so good to have an exciting dystopian fantasy style setting again. I love that type of backdrop, and the heroine had quite a crazy setup from the opening chapter to the end of the book. Happily, there were lots of enigmatic characters throughout the story. I love complex characters...more
Priscilla
Initial thoughts:

1. Loved ALL the characters. A great strong female protagonist, a protective mentor, loyal friends, and dangerous, mysterious enemies.
2. A dark read. Yelena's past is slowly revealed and why she ended up on death row.
3. Very well paced. The story spans over several months, and we see the realistic growth of our main characters and the relationships that form between them.
4. Really compact and interesting setting. Great backstory to this world.
5. Interesting fantasy elements. I c...more
Quinn
Poison Study wasn't quite what I was expecting. The context I had always assumed when this book was recommended was that of an adult romantic fantasy, and I don't think that's what this is.

The writing style spoke of a young adult novel. That's not a bad thing - I really enjoyed the prose. It was strong and unassuming, providing no distraction from the story being told. And the story itself is very interesting.

But what makes Poison Study make the leap from good to great, is the protagonist Yelena...more
Kristi (The Story Siren)
Yelena has been convicted of murdering General Brazell’s only son Reyad and she awaits her execution by hanging. With only hours left until her death Yelena is offered a stop to her execution, but only if she agrees to become the food taster for Commander Ambrose. Thinking that escape may be possible, she agrees.

It would seem that being a food taster would be an improvement to Yelena’s former life locked in a dark, dreary, rat infested dungeon but there are different ways to be held captive. She...more
Allison (The Allure of Books)
This book is amazing. I give two types of books 5 stars. The first type is one where the book feels personal, like I relate to the characters and the story just touches me somehow. The second is one where I want to run down the street, naked if necessary, to get everyone's attention to immediately go out and buy the book because the story is just so awesome.

This is the second. Yelena is an amazing character, and I was drawn to her from the very beginning. I think she was handled very well, she h...more
Amelia
Nov 15, 2009 Amelia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: fantasy lovers, spy lovers, romance lovers
When I first got this book, I wasn't too thrilled. I started reading it but the writing style distracted me. Maria V. Snyder uses shorter sentences than I'm used to. Not horribly short but I'm used to, say, J.K. Rowling's good sized sentences. HOWEVER! There is some allure to this book that I can't explain. I kept reading it and finished it within a day. When I finished, I thought to myself, "This series is well on its way to becoming a favorite of mine."

It's just simply amazing; this idea. It'...more
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Who are your three favorite characters??? 30 108 Apr 14, 2014 11:41AM  
Young Adult Book ...: Rand (spoilers) 11 141 Mar 26, 2014 01:21AM  
Young Adult Book ...: Yelena and Valek (spoilers) 41 574 Dec 28, 2013 12:39PM  
What did you think? 1 32 Nov 19, 2013 09:58AM  
Shut Up & Read: Poison Study (Study #1) by Maria V Snyder -> Start Date: 23rd September 2013 66 31 Oct 19, 2013 11:06AM  
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Meteorologist turned novelist, Maria's been writing fantasy and science fiction since she was bored at work and needed something creative to do. A dozen novels and numerous short stories later, Maria's learned a thing or three about writing. She’s been on the New York Times bestseller list, won a half-dozen awards, and has earned her MA degree in Writing from Seton Hill University where she's been...more
More about Maria V. Snyder...
Magic Study (Study, #2) Fire Study (Study, #3) Touch of Power (Healer, #1) Inside Out (Insider, #1) Storm Glass (Glass, #1)

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“Yelena, you've driven me crazy. You've caused me considerable trouble and I've contemplated ending your life twice since I've known you." Valek's warm breath in my ear sent a shiver down my spine.

"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.”
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“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.” 578 likes
More quotes…