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 Ur...moreEpic 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.
The Queen of Orcs series has been floating around the fantasy scene for a while. I had plans to read the series for quite a while, then I read Howell'...moreThe Queen of Orcs series has been floating around the fantasy scene for a while. I had plans to read the series for quite a while, then I read Howell's Servant Worth Ten Coppers. The book was wonderful, so I went out and bought all of her books that I could.
After reading King's Property I can finally justify my purchases and breath easy. The plot is a standard fantasy plot, but the writing is refreshing. Speaking of refreshing, the take on Orcs in this book is too cool. These are not the Orcs we're familiar with from Tolkien's work. They have a society and the females have the position of lords of the land, they make all of the decisions.
The lead female is a very strong character. The way Howell wrote her was wonderful. I felt complete frustration and anger with the character as she had to choose the lesser of two evils each time constantly to survive.
Conclusion: This is a must have for any fantasy collection and I look forward to reading the other two books. Howell is obviously a fantasy queen.
Sexual Content: This is a dark book and goes over the rough treatment of women and there lowly state in the scheme of things. No graphic sex scenes(less)