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Poison Study (Study, #1)
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Poison Study > Valek

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Heather (heatherjoy) What is your take on Valek? Did you like him from the beginning? Did you find his profession as an assasin reprehensible? Or did you think he redeemed himself by the end of the story? Or do you still not understand his appeal?

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) I grew to like him a lot as more of his character was revealed, and I didn't guess ahead of time (the way I often do) that there was so much more to him than the reader is originally told. I enjoyed learning about him as I read through the book.

Natalie (natkors) He was definitiely an enigma for me. I couldn't decide if I liked or trusted him at the beginning of the novel. As Yelena got to know him more, so did I. By the end of the novel, I was completely a Valek fan and that continued with the other 2 books in the series. I am anxiously awaiting the next one to see what happens to them both next!

Heather (heatherjoy) Jillian, I agree, I think the story probably would have been even more interesting had it been from his POV. I am almost always drawn to enigmatic characters.

As for his job as an assasin, I often found myself classifiying it as just a job, and then would instantly become a little ashamed. He killed innocent children simply because they possesed magic. Even after reading the rest of the series, I'm still on the fence about him.

Paige I started out viewing Valek as one of the bad guys in the story. It wasn't until the festival that i began to change my mind.
As for his job as an assassin i was conflicted. It was obvious that people from the previous monarchy needed to be killed and in that he was good but when it comes to killing innocent children that happen to have magic i think that's when i start to like it less
(BTW Maria wrote an online short story from Valek's POV that happens between the first and secnd books. Just google assassin's study and it should come up. There is also one called power study from Ari and Janco's POV)

Heather (heatherjoy) Thanks Paige, I have actually read both of those. :)

I agree with your points as well. I had a hard time overlooking the fact that he murdered innocent children simply because they were other and the Commander has a complex.

Paige That was the hardest thing for me to accept. I mean it shows his loyalty to the Commander is more than to Yelena. Even at the end of the first book when the Commander writes an execution for Yelena; while Valek doesn't take it if the Commander asked him to he would kill her even if he would've killed himself right after

Heather (heatherjoy) That bothered me as well. Nothing makes you feel all warm and fuzzy like knowing that your boyfriend is willing to partake in a little murder/suicide.

message 9: by K. M. R. (new)

K. M. R. (moisoha) | 9 comments I actually kind of liked it. Kill me for it, but it made me think of him as the most loyal guy on the planet. Of course, I would hate to be his girlfriend but...

message 10: by Kate (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kate | 45 comments I actually liked him from the start. Even though he was an assasin, he wasn't ruthless. He didn't kill for sport, or because he could. He did it to preserve the Commander, and what he believed in.

At first it bothered me that he was willing to kill Yelena first and then kill himself. But then as I thought about it, at least he would kill her quickly and painlessly. If he left it to someone else, they might make her suffer.

Whitney (whitneychakara) | 127 comments It would be intresting to me if the commander was also in love with valek and the real reason the commander wanted to kill Yelena is because of jelousy lol. My imagination runs wild.

Heather (heatherjoy) Actually Chakara, that's not a half bad idea :)

message 13: by K. M. R. (new)

K. M. R. (moisoha) | 9 comments It creeps me out.

Whitney (whitneychakara) | 127 comments LMAO maybe i will make it into a fanfiction LOL

Alicia (aliciaftw) Am I the only one who liked Valek in beginning but then grew to dislike him? By the end I was hoping him and Yelena would be completely over once she left. In the end when the Commander ordered Yelena to be killed and Valek's reply was, "Fine, but I'm done after I kill the woman I just slept with" I lost most of my respect for him. Duty should only go so far.

message 16: by Lisa (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lisa Scott (lisascott) | 2 comments I kind of like it that Valek is a mess. Sure, I wouldn't want to be the one dating him, but I think his issues make him terribly interesting. And what does it say about Yelena that she falls in love with him despite his past actions? And that she doesn't send him packing after the, "well, yes, I'd kill you, but I'd feel VERY bad about it" incident?

message 17: by Alicia (last edited Mar 05, 2010 09:05PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Alicia (aliciaftw) "And what does it say about Yelena that she falls in love with him"

Masochist apparently. Or something.

I see what you and Jillian mean though. The fact that she's okay with it does say a lot about her personality. I guess I just can't wrap my head around the idea of a person loving a guy who'd kill her.

message 18: by Alethea (last edited Mar 07, 2010 12:53AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Alethea A (frootjoos) | 46 comments I think Valek is really sneaky--so while Maria might tell us that he did kill innocent children, can we really trust that? We have at least 1 example of him helping people out--the farmer who accidentally killed his son with his plow--in a manner which the Commander would probably not have approved. And some magical folk do make it across the border. Maybe he lets them?

message 19: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
I have to think about the sex scene... in the scene before they were in muck and then they have sex. I could only think of how dirty and stinky they were! HAHAH!

I would like to know more of his history. I thought he was an interesting character. Interesting that he killed people because they had magic in him... I felt that part of the story should've been discussed more. After all the killings he really didn't have a reaction when Yelena revealed she had magic abilities.

And when I read he would kill Yelena and then kill himself I did feel if he loved her he would've killed himself and not be able to kill her. Allowing the execution order to go to someone else.

message 20: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
But why would Maria tell us he did that and then he didn't? I doesn't make sense to me for an author to trick us? Wouldn't the author tell us the truth? Unless it is revealed later? I think he is a solider through and through just like our military today only following commands even though they don't necessarily want to kill.

Tatiana (tatiana_g) I liked that Valek was so ambiguous. While he turned out to be much better in the end (saving people condemned to death, helping them escape), he also was responsible for many deaths. I appreciated his loyalty to the Commander, even though Ambrose wasn't a totally admirable figure.

message 22: by Rieh (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rieh Medin (dracosilverwolf) | 8 comments I didn't mind the assassinating part and I didn't mind the sex part. What bothered me the most about Valek was that his charm in the beginning melted and he sort of became a type of tame puppy that can kill. It sounds a little weird that way, but that's how I can see it; it's like he lost a lot of independence when he bonded with Yelena. Don't get me wrong; I like their relationship, but he just lost a lot of what drew me to him in the first place.

And maybe I just like the bad, cold bastards with the hidden softie.

message 23: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (last edited Mar 12, 2010 12:33PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
What do you think about the Butterfly Dust?

Personally I was surprised that it was fake. I really thought it was a poison throughout most of the book. I had no suspicions at all. I did think Yelena should've been more mad with Valek for using it, but I also though Valek should've been more mad at Yelena for hiding magic from him when he despised it so much.

I also liked how Valek was an artist of sorts and made figurines out of stone. I thought this gave him a more soft side other then the killings. I thought it was also symbolic that he gave one of his statues to the commander. Shows they had a closer relationship then we originally thought, especially since there were no other decorations in the castle. I thought it is nice touch how much the butterfly charm meant to Yelena. Surprising how little things can mean so much to a person.

Heather (heatherjoy) I actually had seen the Butterfly Dust thing coming. I don't know why, it just seemed that Valek relied more on mental prowess than physical and that is just the sort of mind game he would play.

Paige They really didn't have a lot of time together post-love so they didn't have time to get angry at each other.

message 26: by Thempper (last edited Mar 13, 2010 03:22PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Thempper Murhder | 3 comments I liked himm from the begining. I knew he would serve a greater purpose in the story later own. Even though he was a assaisin I kind of guessed that he was gentle and kind. I really like his charecter. No doubts or guestions about it. I think he is a badass but not to Yelena.

message 27: by Annalisa (last edited Mar 15, 2010 09:10PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Annalisa (goodreadsannalisa) I really liked Valek from the beginning. I could see that his tough military face was just that and somewhere inside was a kind heart just waiting to be found, but I had a problem with his blind face. Yes he underminded the Commander whenever he could, but to be that loyal to someone you don't agree with didn't settle right with me. I tried not to have a problem with his assassins because it was his job as a military commander to execute orders, thus his mask of no emotion, and I really wanted to like him.

I suspected the Butterfly poison was a ruse from the type they used her as an escape exercise. I seemed just the type of thing Valek would do, pretend he didn't care and he was cruel when he wasn't.

Emily, we are led to believe that those are their ages. We know for sure Yelena is 19, but at one point she guesses that Valek is in his early thirties.

Kayzee | 180 comments I always put myself in their world, and following commander in logical to me like killing those kids ( of course poor kids *tear*) but it was apart of life.

I felt a wee spark as soon as i met him and as the story went on I melted lol I was kind of surprised when he started falling for yelana, well the signs anyway. but very much so love his loyalty, kindness, will to help, and his I had to laugh at his little moment of possessivness in there. Love changes people!!! Valek is my wee spark in this book

Fa_alblooshi | 1 comments I think Valek was the star that shone through out the books, the moment he said his first line i thought this is it, here comes my nxt crush;-) umm he was the reason to make me read the other two books and the only reason i loved "Poison study" bcuz i got to see him after every other scene which was something i missed in the other books.

For Valek is a poisoner, who got under our skin, invaded our blood and stole our hearts and in true words has poisoned us with his CHARM!

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