Phanee's Reviews > Poison Study

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
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Apr 03, 11

bookshelves: owned, read-in-2011
Read from March 26 to 27, 2011 — I own a copy

This book tells the story of Yelena, a young woman who was a prisoner because she killed a man. After several months in prison, she is given a choice: either die in a quick way or become the Commander's food taster, which means checking his food and drink for poison (which can obviously lead to death). Yelena, who wants to live, leaps at the chance and become the new food taster, learning carefully whatever there is to be known about poisons and the ways of testing for each and every one of them.

Obviously, there wouldn't be much of a story to tell if that were the only thing that happened. I'm not going to say anything else, though, just in case I throw in a spoiler for anyone who has not read this book.

Suffice to say, I loved this book!!! Sooooo much! I started reading it on a Saturday night and finished it on Sunday, something which is very rare for me to do. I can finish a book in 3-4 days (or sometimes a week), but it's not very often that I finish it all in 1-2 days. The last time this happened was with the last Harry Potter book. Anyway, I'm going off topic here.

I found the book was very well written. It just made me not want to put it down! I woke up in the morning (having read about 50 pages the night before), sat on the settee and just read and read and read... I loved the main character, Yelena, as well as Valek and the Commander, and I think that the author did a great job of describing them.

Another thing I liked about this book was that the ruling was not done by a king or queen, but by a military commander. In novels which include magic, I am accustomed to seeing the story set somewhere where there is a reigning monarch. I think the fact that she chose a military 'government' was a good way to set it apart from other novels with similar themes.

I have to say one more thing. When I finished the book, I immediately looked up Maria V. Snyder's website and saw that Poison Study was her debut novel! I honestly don't think I would have guessed! She writes very well! I look forward to reading the next two novels in the series, as well as her other books! (I just ordered them yesterday! Hope they come soon!!!)
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