On the eve of her execution for murder, Yelena Zaltana is offered an incredible reprieve - on the condition that she becomes the food taster for the military leader of Ixia, Commander Ambrose.
Avoiding poison is the least of her troubles, however ... General Brazell, father of the man she killed, has vowed bloody revenge; she's beginning to have feelings for her captor, Valek; and someone is plotting the downfall of the current regime.
In a desperate race against time, Yelena must learn to control the growing magical talent withinn her and master the demons of her past. The Commander's life, the future of Ixia and all those she loves depend on it.
I love this book. I really really do.
At first, I was reluctant to start it, because one of the main genre’s on Goodreads was ‘romance’, and y’all know how much I don’t like a book that revolves around romance. But when I read Poison Study, I found that there was hardly any romance at all, just some very good friendships and perhaps a tiny bit of romance near the end. (Note: I ship it).
That is what made me love this book so much. Okay, of course, I love this book because it was very well written, and because I just like the story a lot, but I just found the lack of romance very good, because the majority of the Young Adult books nowadays seem to always revolve around romance, love-triangles, instant love, etc.
Poison Study is about Yelena Zaltana (whose name, I suppose, is pronounced just like Helena (hee-lee-nah)). Instead of being executed for her crimes, she becomes the Commander’s new food taster, which means she risks getting poisoned (and killed) every single day. She is being trained by Valek (whose name reminded me of Dalek) who is a skilled assassin and the Commander’s personal security chief. Of course, Yelena is a convicted murderer, so no one in the castle really wants to talk to her, or be in the same room with her. Luckily that changes later in the book, and she gets some good friends who I all love very much!
We don’t really find out why Yelena killed the person she killed, until somewhere near the end of the book, and I have to say I fully understand why she did it. (Of course, that still doesn’t make it right that she killed that person).
There weren’t really parts that I didn’t like about the book, perhaps only the fact that sometimes the story was a bit slow (mainly just Yelena tasting the Commander’s food, having arguments with Valek and hanging out with her friends Ari and Janco (who are my favourites, honestly), but no ‘real’ action or anything). And sometimes I found the names a bit hard to remember, though in the end I managed perfectly.
I really like Maria V. Snyder’s writing; I had read Inside Out & Outside In before, and though I wasn’t a big fan of those two books (the second one mainly not because I read a Dutch translation which sounded very childish), but I liked the concept and I really wanted to read more of Snyder’s books.
In the end, I loved Poison Study a lot, and I really can’t wait to read the sequel, Magic Study. I wasn’t entirely sure if I should give this book four or five stars, until I remembered that there was not one thing that I actually really disliked about this book, so that is why Poison Study gets five whole Daleks from me.