Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Poison Study, by Maria V. Snyder

June’s diary posted over at Teen Seen yesterday, so head on over there if you want to check it out!

I’ve decided to change up my blog posts a little bit. Usually I’m scrambling for “fodder,” except on Thursdays, when I usually have four or more books to review. I don’t feel like I’ve been giving them the reviews they deserve, since I’m trying to condense it so my post doesn’t end up a novella.

So, for the most part, I’ll be doing a book review a day from here on out. You’ll still have June’s diary here on Tuesday, I’ll give you a little something from my life if I haven’t had a boring week on Wednesday, and Friday I’ll try to give you a little funny.
Without further ado:

Poison Study, by Maria V. Snyder: I mulled this book over for quite a while before I actually broke down and bought it. The cover blurb didn’t grab me, and it just seemed like yet another cookie-cutter heroine fantasy.

Boy, was I wrong.

In the kingdom of Ixia, murder, even if it’s in self-defense, is punishable by death. Which is why Yelena, a teenaged orphan, has languished for nearly a year in a dank dungeon in the city’s capitol. But Yelena gets an unexpected chance at life, when the Commander’s poison-taster dies.

By law, the poison-taster must be someone already marked for death. Yelena agrees, despite the fact that the position offers no chance at freedom; you’re the poison-taster until you die, and to avoid escape attempts, Yelena is herself poisoned, and will die unless she ingests the daily antidote.

Yelena undergoes the rigorous—and dangerous—poison identification training, and soon goes to work as the Commander’s taster. But in addition to standing between the Commander and his enemies, Yelena herself is targeted by several determined groups who would love nothing more than to see her dead.

This was one of those books that sucks you in from the get-go. Snyder hits the ground running, painting Yelena as both tragic and unbreakable. I love how Yelena doesn’t wait to be rescued; when she knows she’s incapable of dealing with a threat, she seeks out the resources to make her stronger.

I’m currently reading the next book in the series, Magic Study, so you’ll be seeing that review on Thursday. Stay tuned!

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