Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Choose: A quick death or a slow poison...
Yelena has a choice - be executed for murder, or become food taster to the Commander of Ixia. She leaps at the chance for survival, but her relief may be short-lived.
Life in the palace is full of hazards and secrets. Wily and smart, Yelena must learn to identify poisons before they kill her, recognise whom she can trust and how to spy on those she can't. And who is the mysterious Southerner sorceress who can reach into her head?
When Yelena realizes she has extraordinary magical powers of her own, she faces a whole new problem, for using magic in Ixia is punishable by death...

I absolutely loved this book, I couldn’t put it down again. I can’t wait to read the next in the series! Poison Study from 2007 is the first of 3 books about Yelena, the following two both published in 2008.

Overall it’s a typical fantasy genre book with the usual components of love, magic and action, but new spices have been added to the mix in the form of the poisons, intrigue and the job title of a food taster. Also refreshingly new is the world in which the story takes place. Unlike the common kingdom or empire, the land is split up into military districts and controlled by the rather strict Code of Behaviour.

It is well written and keeps the flow going at all times. You really get to understand Yelena’s emotions, reactions and behavior as you slowly discover her dark background and life story. The only flaws are some minor plot holes and inconsistencies, and that Yelena, being a typical female heroine (though a very far cry from a Mary Sure) is sometimes a bit too efficient at everything she tries. Snyder does try to make the point though that only hard work and determination will help a person succeed and I suppose a book about a character who never got anywhere would be a bit depressing to read.

It is not a book for the younger audience as it deals with the grim issues of murder, torture and rape, albeit in small scale.

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2010


  1. I never read this kind of book - I just never know where to start with this genre. Any suggestions for a beginner?

  2. The fantasy genre? Uhm where to start? :) *stares at bookshelves completely at loss*
    David Edding's Belgariad series is good. All Tamora Pierce's books.. George RR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series is in my opinion absolutely amazing. Trudi Canavan and Kate Constable are also two very good authors.
    There is so much great literature out there (and a whole lot of crap too). Since you are fortunate enough to live in the UK and have Waterstones on every corner you can basically just go there to the fantasy section and browse. Read a few pages in books that look good, take advantage of the 3 for 2 offers. I would :p

  3. Thank you :)
    I don't mind fantasy in general but have only ever read lord of the rings & wheel of time (and Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials if that counts). Oh, and I read a few Terry Pratchetts but didn't enjoy them.

    It's good to have some names to start me off - the fantasy section of Waterstone's is truly overwhelming and I feel more naturally at home in the general fiction so don't ever buy fantasy.

  4. My pleasure :) It's definitely an overwhelming selection yes.
    Terry Pratchett never really caught me either, besides Neil Gaiman I'm not too good with the very weird stuff hehe

  5. I am a new follower. I just found you on book blogs. I love the look and feel of your blog and your review is well written and well thought out. Thank you for sharing. If you have time please stop by and visit me at

  6. Thank you very much Wrighton :) and right back at you, following you too now.

  7. Excellent! Can't wait to read it now! :)

  8. I absolutely loved this book too and I'm glad you did! Hope you check out the rest of the series as it's fantastic as well.

  9. Found you on Book Blogs. Loved this one, too. Easily the best of Snyder's work and of the Study series. Gotta love Valek!


Tilføj en kommentar

Lån løs på eReolen