Title: Posion Study
Author: Maria V Snyder
Length: 361 pgs
Summary: Yelena has murdered a man. And the punishment for death, for any unnatural death, even accidental, is execution. Luckily, the Commander’s food-taster has just died, and Yelena, being the next up for execution, is offered the job by the Commander’s right-hand man, Valek. As her tasting and smelling skills improve, Yelena’s survival instinct (a droning sound emitting from her mouth) turns out to be a sort of raw magic. And in a land where magic is outlawed, punishable by death, Yelena finds herself facing death from all angles.
pg 104 – “You remind me of a pretty bird, willing to sit on the windowsill as long as nobody comes too close, but prepared to fly away if somebody does.”
Why should you read this book?
It’s an entertaining read. I was most intrigued by Valek, who surprises Yelena with the facets of his personality, and therefore the reader. The political intrigue wasn’t the most groundbreaking, but then, the story was more a fantasy coming-of-age than anything else, so I can forgive that. I liked it enough to look for the next book, Magic Study, but I have to admit that Yelena’s horrible past just didn’t really come across with fervency. But once again, that may not have been the point.