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Poison Study (Poison Study #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  116,066 Ratings  ·  10,148 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 March 1st 2007 by Mira (first published October 1st 2005)
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Popular Answered Questions
Kate I saw an interview with Maria V. Snyder, and she said that in poison study Yelena is 19 and Valek is 33.
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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Rating details
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Sasha Alsberg
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
“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 introd
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
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
Recommended to Jo by: Catie
"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
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more
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-confessed m
Emily May
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy, 2011

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
Julie Kagawa
Jun 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
i had no expectations going into this book at all, i had read some books by Snyder in the past and although they were good at the time, now i can barely remember anything about them, so while i was looking forward to this book i didn’t have high expectations for it to be a memorable read but it turns out this is a hidden gem in my collection as this was a really fun fantasy read for me. i do feel like a bit behind in the times since i swear everyone has read this series but i’m always late to th
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
❝Poisoned, pursued and living with a psychopath. Not what I would consider the good life. Death has its perks.❞

Having Throne of Glass vibes since reading page 1 up to page 18, I knew I would enjoy this book quite a lot. Even though this was written long before ToG, I knew it would be a little similar since the beginning it started off like in ToG. Yelena was in chains and she was taken to the General, where she was also made an offer as to being the food taster for the Commander of Ixia or bei
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf, fantasy-fun
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
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
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: love-hate
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 me

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
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy, 2017, to-continue
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.


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
Simona Bartolotta
"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
Cait • A Page with a View
The castle, politics, dark mysterious guy, strong female MC, and way it unfolds as a sort of mystery were all seriously awesome. I did really enjoy this book, but think I was just expecting a bit more from the end.

The basic plot is Yelena killed her sadistic abuser but is saved from execution by accepting a position as the Commander's food taster. She's given some poison everyday and then has to check back for the antidote in order to deter her from escaping. Yelena gets thrown into a world of p
Tamora Pierce
Apr 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Wendy Darling
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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?
Kells Next Read
"You've slipped under my skin, invaded my blood and seized my heart. You have poisoned me"~ Valek
 photo that was wicked gif_zpswbamfkec.gif

When I sit and read a book in one sitting it gives weight to the Awesomeness of the read. This jewel was brilliant from the very first line. I'm so glad I decided to give it a read. I can't wait to move unto book two. I loved every blinking thing about it. The storyline, The heroine, the side characters, Valek and lastly, but by no means least, Valek ; )) The storyline was fantastic, the characters
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was so addicting.

My favorite thing about Poison Study was Valek. He reminded me of Sherlock! He was so intelligent, and loved to challenge himself even under bad circumstances. (probably even more so then) I loved Yelena as a main character! If she wanted something, she worked for it hardcore, I admired that so much. I loved when she would build up enough confidence to stand up for herself. Those were some of my favorite moments.

The friendship between Yelena, Ari, and Janco was fantastic.
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Full review (finally! its been two weeks+ but better late than never right?)

Plot : 19-year-old Yelena, who was to be executed for the murder of a General's son, was given another option, to serve as a food-poison taster for the commander. She agrees to it and with the help of Valek, the commander's personal security chief and a renowned assassin, she learns how to detect poisons in food.

World : The society is a dystopian one where the Royals were dethroned (killed) for their corrupt and unfa
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4000-books
I am pretty late to this party as this was my first Maria V. Snyder book and I liked it very much. It is one of those books which is very hard to put down. I kept thinking "Just one more chapter, just one more" until suddenly I had finished. And even then I did not want to put it down. Fortunately the next book is lined up ready.........
I enjoyed everything about this book. Yelena is a genuinely strong female main character. One who can actually defeat a baddy without a man coming in at the end
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing

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

I only need two words for this: HELL and YESSSSS!
All hail Maria V. Snyder!
I never thought I'd ever find another book quite as good as the first one in the Throne of Glass series, but this one comes damn close! Yelena reminds me of Celaena (definitely in a good way!) and by that I mean that they're both badass and quite sassy females, who know how to take care of themselves and seem to surround themselves with equally awes
Dec 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: magic, romance

Have you ever heard of books with charisma? Which ones make your list? I'll tell you now, this one's made mine.

Orphaned. Tortured. Poisoned. Cursed with magic.

Yelena is a convicted murderer who is condemned to an acquaintance with the noose. On the day of her execution, she gets an offer from Valek that allows her to keep her life. One thing you need to know about Yelena is though she's broken, bruised and battered, with a haunted past
Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
Rating ~4.5

Loved it!

“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.”

It's been quite a little while since I've read a good old YA Fantasy, and honestly, I could be happier that this was the book I came back to.

The story, as mentioned in the synopsis, follow Yelena, a young woman on death row, awaiting her execution. But her life is changed forever when she is off
Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it

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 whiners limbo.

Really, really enjoyed this one! I'm still swooning over Valek here...

"What have I earned from you, Valek? Loyalty? Respect? Trust?"
"You have my attention. But give me what I want, and you can have everything."

This fantasy story follows headstrong Yelena who is rotting in a dungeon awaiting execution for th
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A Million More Pages: BOTM 2018 - Poison Study - Starts 5th May 60 66 12 hours, 45 min ago  
Who's Your Author?: May BOM: Poison Study 3 8 May 07, 2018 09:09PM  
Forgotten YA Gems: Poison Study Spoilerific Discussion 1 20 Apr 04, 2018 08:57AM  
All About Fantasy!: Poison Study 1 4 Apr 04, 2018 12:13AM  
Ah! Maria V. Snyder might do another Yelena/Valek series! :) 29 305 Feb 08, 2018 06:12AM  
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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

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)
“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.” 783 likes
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