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Poison Study

(Poison Study #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  159,309 ratings  ·  12,872 reviews
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
Paperback, 409 pages
Published November 18th 2008 by Mira (first published September 27th 2005)
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Emma I know that this is very old but is literally nobody going to talk about the age difference?? It's damn right predatory, illegal, and bordering on ped…moreI know that this is very old but is literally nobody going to talk about the age difference?? It's damn right predatory, illegal, and bordering on pedophillic. I thought that Valek must have been young for his position, and like early twenties, but apparently he's 33 and this just ruined the book for me. It's a good book, but I really can't support a 14 years age difference, especially when one of them is 19.(less)
Leticia Porter So it does have a small bit of romance but it is at the end of the book. You can start to sense it throughout the book if you really look for it. But …moreSo it does have a small bit of romance but it is at the end of the book. You can start to sense it throughout the book if you really look for it. But the romance isn't the main focus of the book and the main character does not rely on her romantic interest during the book. It sort of sits in the back seat and she is not dependent on it(less)

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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  159,309 ratings  ·  12,872 reviews

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Sasha Alsberg
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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 Valek....SWOON!!
I 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!
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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 s
 Danielle The Book Huntress
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
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"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 t
Emily May
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, 2011, fantasy

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
“Trusting is hard. Knowing who to trust, even harder.”

2.5 stars

It's not that I didn't like the book, it was quite 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 bit.

In 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 bo
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 unique or spectacular stands out for me to note, but this has all of the components that i am well-acquai
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
12/29/17 - ON SALE for $1.99:


Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

4.5 stars

I'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. Happened.

Yelena, a self-confes
✨ Helena ✨
In my personal opinion...this 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 ...more
Julie Kagawa
Jun 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2017, ya
What do you ask for usually in a young-adult fantasy book?

Relatable and actually smart heroine? ✔✔✔✔✔
A sexy witty love interest who is ALSO an assassin (that's a plus!)? ✔✔✔✔✔✔✔
World building? ✔✔✔✔
An enjoyable story? ✔✔✔✔✔
A good plot—one that doesn’t stray too far off topic and does progress throughout the story? ✔✔✔✔✔
More actions less romance? ✔✔✔✔✔
A well-written book? ✔✔✔✔✔

I can go on all day. It's been a long while since I loved a book this much, from page one till the end.


Maria V. Snyder
Mar 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Re-read this for a book discussion with my Soulfinders reading group on Facebook! I was pleasantly surprised by how well written it is. It was my first attempt to write a novel. It took me 3 years and I learned a lot while writing it. There's some rookie mistakes, but not too embarrassing overall. The groups going to do Magic Study next. ...more
Tamora Pierce
Apr 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
the highest of 3 stars! i really enjoyed this a lot!

Trigger and content warnings for rape in the past, attempted rape, mentioning of sexual assault, captivity, torture, violence, kidnapping, thoughts of suicide, and the misgendering of a trans character.

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Okay, so this is what THRONE OF GLASS wants to be when it snuggles up in bed at night in its little pink unicorn pajamas. POISON STUDY is a dark romantic fantasy novel with a strong but vulnerable heroine who has overcome incredible personal tragedy and has abilities she cannot quite understand, and a brooding hero who looks great in uniform and is as handsome as he is deadly. As if that in and of itself weren't recipe for total and comp
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This was just as good the second time!
Charlotte Kersten
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark
I feel like this is one of those books that a lot of people have heard of but haven't really read.
Maybe that's just me trying to make myself feel better about not reading it before lol.

This book was weird-in a good way. It's very dark and if you know me, you know I love dark books so there's that BUT the love interest? I don't know, man. At first Valek is described as a man man so in my mind he was automatically above 40 (I am very well aware of the fact that that is not the age criteria for a

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
Whitney Atkinson
3.5 stars

This book isn't a low-ish rating because it had bad things occurring, but I feel like it started out at a 3 stars at a baseline rating and just didn't do much to make it any higher of a rating. I listened to this on audio, which is different because I typically get lost when I listen to fantasy on audio, but the cast of characters in this was actually pretty easy to keep clear, the magic system was comprehensible, and the plot and subplots were paced great. However, this didn't satisfy
4.5 Stars.
Full review to come.

Ari and Janco are my favorite!! Of course I love Valek and Yalena, but Ari and Janco are my puppies!! I guess I have a thing for adorable/funny twins!! So much love!!!!!

It's been more than 7 years since i read this book. Time to finish this series!! I've had these books for a while now, the pages have turned yellowish, and they smell like old books. I love it.
First line of the book:

"Locked in darkness that surrounded me like a coffin,
i had nothing to distract m
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Oh wow, like, really. Wow. This was seriously everything I wanted and needed in a fantasy read. I'm just so damn happy that I have the other two books in the trilogy so I don't have to wait with ordering them.This will definitely be one of the my favorite series I've read all year.

Poison Study follows a young woman named Yelena, who has been in the Commander's dungeons for almost a year upon killing a man. The day she is set for execution, she is given a choice. She could either go through with
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Magic, danger, plot twists, slow-burn romance... so so good!! 4.5*, I wish the characters were a little more fleshed out, but I loved this story overall.
Simona B
"Poisoned, pursued and living with a psychopath. Not what I would consider the good life. Death has its perks."

This is to hard to rate. The originality deserves a full four, but the the issues I had with the writining make it impossible for me to grant it. 3.75 because I enjoyed it a lot? But rounded down to three because it would have taken so little for it to be better, and that leaves a bitter, bitter taste in my mouth.

The story had me hooked practically immediately. I knew I would be swept
Mika Auguste
4.5 stars THIS WAS SO GOOD. I can see that so many young adult novels out today were definitely inspired by this book. *cough Sarah J Maas* But even though this book originally came out in the early 2000’s it aged incredibly. This is also 100% a new adult fantasy which the girlies just aren’t doing anymore smh...

I honestly didn’t think i was going to rate this book anything higher than a 3 star rating when i initially started it, but to say this book definitely exceeded my expectations would be
Wendy Darling
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Maria V. Snyder
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Poison Study just came out in Turkish as Zehir Ustasi (Poison Master)! Pretty cool - eh?
Oct 16, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I want to know who this couple that everyone love is.
Very excited.
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When Maria V. Snyder was younger, she aspired to be a storm chaser in the American Midwest so she attended Pennsylvania State University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology. Much to her chagrin, forecasting the weather wasn’t in her skill set so she spent a number of years as an environmental meteorologist, which is not exciting...at all. Bored at work and needing a creative out ...more

Other books in the series

Poison Study (6 books)
  • Magic Study (Study, #2)
  • Fire Study (Study, #3)
  • Shadow Study (Soulfinders #1; Study, #4)
  • Night Study (Soulfinders #2; Study #5)
  • Dawn Study (Soulfinders, #3; Study, #6)

Articles featuring this book

Whether it’s magic schools, dystopias, paranormal love stories, or contemporary explorations of important real-life issues, young adult books...
255 likes · 174 comments
“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.”
“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.” 799 likes
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