Saturday, March 3, 2012
Review: Poison Study
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.
And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.
As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear…
Review: Wow guys...just wow. I don't even know what to say about this book. It's amazing. It's beautiful. It's pure genius. I finished this book a week ago and spent the better part of today trying to put how I felt about this book into words. First things first, I'll just tell you what I liked about this story.
One thing I love about this book is the main character, Yelena. She's a young woman who lead a horrible life, to put it lightly, and she wound up murdering someone before the book even started. When she was accused of murder, she didn't make any excuses for it or try to lie about it, even though her reasons were very justified. She accepted the consequences of her actions but at the same time, she never gave up. The book started with Yelena in a prison cell, where she spent the better part of a year waiting to be executed. When she's offered to be the food taster from a man named Valek, she takes the job, even with the possible outcomes of her new job.
I believe I've said this before, but I'm not a huge fan of fantasy. High-fantasy makes my head spin and made up creatures make me giggle because of their silly names. (Keep in mind that this is only my opinion. I'm not saying that fantasy's stupid. I'm just saying that it's not usually my preference.) Poison Study was in no way any kind of high-fantasy novel.
But Poison Study was amazing. The characters were endearing or slimy or awful or amazing, but I felt something about each and every one of them.
And man, guys, the world building. It was fantastic. Yelena didn't see very much outside of the General's house, but the way the places she went were described, her general knowledge, and the culture, just wow. I was stunned. The political struggle between the north and south. I tend to shy away from politics, real life or otherwise, but it was so interesting to watch the aftermath of what used to essentially be a monarchy turn into a dictatorship. The new government was by no means perfect, but it was a whole lot better than the previous monarchy. Women had so many more opportunities.
God, I just loved this book so much. I could probably keep gushing until my face turned purple and I ran out of air (even though I'm typing) but I'm going to stop to prevent myself from giving away any spoilers.
This book has some heavy themes and (past) events in it so I wouldn't suggest you read it if you're in your younger teens (13-ish) or shy away from that kind of stuff.
I've placed holds on every single Maria V. Snyder book in my library.