Read Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder Online


Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison...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'sChoose: A quick death…Or slow poison...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......

Title : Poison Study
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781921794056
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 361 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Poison Study Reviews

  • Sasha Alsberg
    2019-05-21 17:22

    SO SO SO SO GOOD! Yelena was amazing and had such great character development in the story. The romance took the back seat in the book and instead focused a lot about the conflict at hand. So good and Valek....SWOON!!I just got the second book in the trilogy Magic Study and cannot wait to read it! I'll be talking about Poison Study in my March Wrap Up video!

  • Katerina
    2019-05-31 18:17

    “Poisoned,pursued and living with a psychopath.Not what I would consider the good life.Death has its perks.”Well living with a psychopath Valek is a perk in my humble opinion.The storyYelena is waiting to be executed and she's made peace with that,but then the Commander's right hand (who also happens to be an assassin) approaches her with an offer;she can either be executed as planned or she can become the Commander's new food taster.Yelena naturally picks the latest and she's introduced into a world of politics,schemings and poisons,and she eventually has to face her worst nightmares and find the strength to confront them.“Trusting is hard. Knowing who to trust, even harder.” ThoughtsOne of the reasons I started reading Poison Study (besides the gorgeous cover and the premise) was the assumption that it resembles Throne of Glass,which I adore.And it's true,both of them are about an incarcerated girl who is given a second chance if she endures a dangerous challenge,but that's where the resemblances end.Poison Study is different.Unique.Marvelous.Poisons,magic,deception,spies,secrets,assassins,conspiracies,military action,heinous acts and acts of kindness,great main and secondary characters ,Maria V. Snyder gives you everything.Yelena is an extremely likable MC,from a scared girl depending on others she evolves into a strong woman who embraces her weakness and turns it into courage.And my preciousValek plays an important part in this transformation.“But you’ve slipped under my skin, invaded my blood and seized my heart.”Valek contemplated to kill Yelena twice,he was rude and manipulative and he put his duty above everything else.But yet Yelena found a place in his black heart and held it with a strong grip.Their chemistry was palpable and their love was building slowly and steadily.One of the finest OTPs,ladies and gentlemen!You haven't read Poison Study yet?Santa will get you no present this year.

  •  Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
    2019-06-14 16:58

    I finished this book on Friday, and I took all weekend to decide what I wanted to say in my review. Let me start by saying that Poison Study is written in a very elemental fashion. If you are a reader who likes flowery, descriptive writing, this might throw you for a loop initially. The story is told inelaborately, and there is no hesitation in describing the ugliness of Yelena's situation. When I met Yelena, she was taken out of her prison cell, where she had languished for the better part of a year, and was prepared to meet the executioner. I can't say I've read too many books that started this way. I was hooked right then and there. Instead of seeing Yelena get executed, she is taken to the office of the man who will cause a profound change in her life, Valek. Yelena was offered the opportunity to escape a quick execution. She could undertake the training as a food taster, which was not without risk, and if she survived, she would spend her life risking death on a regular basis. Typically the life of a food taster is very short. But, it's a lot longer than instant death. Yelena thought things through and decided she'd rather take her chances as a food taster.From the beginning, I was interested in Yelena's story. She was a young woman who had ended up in a very dire situation (not all of her making), but was willing to own up to the life she'd taken. She never made excuses for her actions, although the reasons were valid. With the murder she committed, she felt as though her soul had been lost. And yet, some part of her refused to give up. This book brings to mind the aphorism that "Justice is Blind." More and more I wonder if justice really should be blind. Those who enforce the law make their verdicts on cases based on the evidence presented. Yet, they don't always consider the underlying reasons why a person commits a crime. In the eyes of an omniscient diety, this makes perfect sense, because that Supreme Being sees all things. But, humans don't have that all-seeing perception. Is it fair for a woman to be sentenced to death for trying to protect herself and her loved ones, for killing a man who brutally tortured and raped her? According to the strict laws of Ixia, murder outside of war is considered a capital offense. From the moment that Yelena took the life of the son of General Brazell, her life was forfeit. I believe in second chances. I just do. I know that we all fall and fail, and while I think some crimes are extremely heinous, I cannot let go of my belief that everyone deserves the right to make amends. I was happy that Valek gave Yelena the opportunity to live. Yet, Yelena will face more trials with her second chance. And she is put in a position to save the Commander who she serves as food-taster, and to prevent Ixia from falling prey to a conspiracy that involves key members of the government.Poison Study was a very readable, fascinating, enjoyable adventure. I loved seeing Yelena come into her own. It was clear that she'd always been a strong person, and her strength of character and will is what allowed herself to emerge from the fires that had potential to destroy her. Instead, she was honed by those fires and made stronger.I'm not very good at political stuff. I have my own way of looking at things, and it makes my interpretation of political stances, parties, affiliations, and governmental structures very against type. I think it was interesting to see the inner workings of the system that the Commander had set up through Yelena's eyes. In many ways, going from a monarchy to what appeared to be a dictatorship was an improvement. However, there were many restrictions imposed on the people as a result of that same government. Opportunities were open that weren't before. The government was set up to encourage fairness and to discourage waste. The downside was, anytime you have people in a system, it's going to be flawed, because people are flawed. So this system was not perfect. Through Yelena's eyes, I was able to see this all playing out. I started this review by saying that this book was written with a simple use of language. I found that this narrative style was a bit deceptive. You might think this story is basic on first glance, but that's far from the truth. There is a lot going on here. I liked that Ms. Snyder left it up to the reader to interpret the events through her own eyes. I like how she slowly reveals aspects of the characters until the fullest picture comes to mind. That was the best way to write about a character like Valek. When he comes on the scene, he doesn't seem that grand. He seems like a puppet in the political structure of Ixia. But, if I had continued to see him that way, I would have been missing out on a lot. You see, Valek is not the puppet. He's the puppetmaster. He is an extremely intelligent and cunning spymaster, a swordsman without equal, and a deadly assassin. He's so matter-of-fact and without flare, so you don't see him truly unless you look deeper. He holds his allegiance to Commander Ambrose very sacredly, but that doesn't mean he doesn't always agree with the rules that the Commander has instituted. That he cannot see justice done in his own way. Through Yelena's eyes, we see how the perception of Valek expands to show who and what he really is. I fell in love with him as Yelena did.I'm a romantic at heart, and I will always be. I loved the burgeoning relationship between Yelena and Valek. How they slowly worked their way into each others' hearts, through proximity and the fact that they saw something in each other that resulted in an irresistible draw to each other. It's clear from the beginning, through the eyes of others around Yelena and Valek, and through Valek's actions, that he cherishes Yelena. It's a subtle but at the same time, pretty obvious thing. In my opinion, it took a lot of writing skill to convey this to the reader, and Ms. Snyder did an excellent job.Poison Study was a grand adventure in the style of the classic adventure novels. The fight scenes are well-written, and the danger elements are exciting and involving. Being Yelena is a dangerous proposition, because Brazell is determined to see her dead for killing his son, and continually uses underhanded methods to do it. Also because she lives in dangerous times, and in an environment fraught with intrigue. I liked that Valek saved Yelena several times, because it showed the intensity of his regard for her, but I also liked that many other times, Yelena was able to save herself through her intelligence, quick-thinking, and through her developing skills at self-defense. Yelena views herself as a small person in the scheme of things, but she had an important role in preventing a very ugly conspiracy from coming to fruition. She effects change by doing what she feels is right, and because of that, she gains the respect of those who had previously viewed her as a cold-blooded murderess. Her actions don't occur in a vacuum, and they often result in helping/protecting others in various ways. The fantastic elements are subtle but integral. I liked how Yelena's magic was instrinsic to her, a part of her that was dormant, emerging when she needs it. I loved seeing her become a capable and deadly fighter. She hates the idea of killing, but killing is necessary in the dangerous world she lives in. She had to come to realize this, or she couldn't love Valek, a man who kills for a living, and must do it without letting remorse weigh him down.Poison Study was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Like many unexpected favorites, it snuck in there on me. But when I finished this book, I had a big smile on my face.

  • Jo
    2019-06-15 21:26

    "It's a dirty way to fight, but I'm late for lunch."Initial Final Page Thoughts.I think I’m broken… why didn’t I love this one? High Points.The premise. Poisons. The setting. The baddies. The magic. Valek. Close combat. Acrobatics. Fire festivals. Valek without his shirt on. Ari. Janco. Maren. Tree climbing. Chocolate. Delicious food. Kick ass ladies. Secret Valek without his shirt…in a pile of hay. Low Points.The narration. I know Yelena is supposed to be educated but I found it difficult to believe she would casually throw words like “mucilaginous” into conversation… I don’t know. The found the dialogue jarring and inconsistent. One minute we’d be all britches and monarchy and then the next we’d be in “funks”. Yelena… we’re not in AFP waters, not at all. But… well meh… see heroine. Bad haircuts. Come on… there’s only so much my imagination can handle. Black, shoulder length ringlets? A shaved head… except the fringe? NOOOOO. Heroine.Oh Yelena, what am I going to do with you? I’m not sure what it was… because on paper you are brilliant. You have a past and you don’t go on and on about it. You can hold your own in a world run by men. You show restraint by not immediately disrobing when Valek glides into the room. You have a strong stomach. You can do acrobatics. You get your Katniss on while you’re scrambling around in trees.But I just didn’t connect. I’m sorry. I wanted to be best friends and I thought we would be. Maybe it’s just me.And even though I know it didn’t work out between us, I want you to know that I care about your well-being. Which is why I’m suggesting you should go and get yourself checked out because, to my knowledge, girls should not buzz like a bumble bee. Love Interest.Now we’re talking. Valek. Mmmmhmmm. A cheeky haircut and you would be perfect. Strong and silent and artistic… oh and yeah, an assassin. It’s like Ms Snyder read my diary or something. I was tempted to place you in a ‘Hero’ section, Valek, but I stopped myself because at the moment you are still in the love interest zone. I would like to have had more interactions between you and Yelena, because there was definitely more room for swooning. Yeah, you had some moments (flutterbies… aww) but other than that I was kind of underwhelmed.Baddies.I’m pretty sure the baddies in this were sponsored by Hamlet. And would definitely be placed in Slytherin if they attended Hogwarts. They already have the uniform.Theme Tune.I always find it difficult to find songs for historical fiction… because they never seem to fit with the subject matter.EXCEPT THIS ONE.Poison by The Prodigy.What?!If you disagree… imagine it sung by an artist such as Agnes Obel or Laura Marling. If you agree… rave on, my dears, rave on like it’s 1995. As I am doing right now. Sadness Scale.5/10. There were some sections that were extremely harrowing and I loved how Snyder dealt with these with subtlety because it really left a lasting impression, especially concerning Yelena’s past. Sorry for the vagueness… spoilers ‘n’ all. Recommended For.People who love historical/fantasy fiction. People who would quite happily munch chocolate all day… even if there was a risk of dying an agonising death. People who wish Laura Marling would cover every Prodigy song. You can read this review and lots of other stuff on my blog here.

  • Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
    2019-06-12 19:58

    12/29/17 - ON SALE for $1.99: by: Rabid Reads4.5 starsI've been wanting to reread this series for like two years. No lie. It's been 6 or 8 years since the last time I read it, and I remembered really liking it, but not much else. But guess what? NEW BOOK! So yeah, just prior to the release of Shadow Study seemed like an excellent time to get my reread on, and guys . . . it was even better than I remembered it. That. Has. NEVER. Happened.Yelena, a self-confessed murderer is spared from hanging when the Commander of the military-governed nation she lives in needs a new food taster. The last one died of . . . poisoning. Go figure. Valek, the head of the Commander's security offers her the position, and when she accepts Yelena discovers that he will also be responsible for her training, BUT . . . his training methods can best be described as . . . trial by fire. I believe he says something like, "if you can survive this, nothing else will accidentally kill you, and you won't be a waste of my valuable time and effort," just before dosing her with the moste potente poison he has available.Nice guy, that Valek . . . But Yelena is both stronger and smarter than she appears, and she not only survives the poisoning, but thrives under Valek's tutelage. And if that was all there was, well . . . that would be boring.But that's not all. Yelena has secrets. Like the reason why she killed the only son of her benefactor, one of the eight Generals directly under the Commander in rank. A General who is distinctly unhappy about her avoiding the noose. Yelena is also unsurprisingly world-weary. BUT. Despite her best efforts, she's unable to snuff out the fragile flame of hope that burns inside of her. Hope for a better life. Hope for someone to trust. Hope for something as simple, yet, previously, as unattainable as a friend. In Poison Study, you grow with Yelena as she grows, begin to trust as she trusts, feel the bitter disappointment of betrayal when she is betrayed, and barely dare to allow yourself to hope as something more than friendship begins to blossom. Don't ask me with whom, b/c I won't tell you, but it is . . . lovely.She picks up a few allies along the way as well, and a pair of soldiers in particular, Janco and Ari, are simply fantastic. Ari adopts the role of protective older brother, while Janco fills the prankster brother position exceptionally well, and you feel that in your gut too, b/c Yelena is an orphan. And all of this is happening within the unfolding mystery that's detailed quite nicely in the blurb, so I won't rehash it.On the surface, Poison Study probably looks a lot like every other YA fantasy out there, and it admittedly doesn't stray far from the standard and acceptable elements. But Snyder has created a world with characters who make you FEEL what they FEEL, who you want to triumph, and fear for when failure seems imminent. I've never denied being a character-driven reader, and Poison Study is a marvelous example of the kind of book that really, really makes me happy. Highly recommended.

  • Emily May
    2019-06-08 17:26

    Poison Study is easily one of the best young adult books I have read this year. So far, the genre has become increasingly disappointing to me and I was beginning to lose faith in novels marketed at older teens. What I really don't understand, though, is why Snyder decided* to make Poison Study a young adult book. In my opinion, even though it was good, the book could have been even better if she'd allowed for Yelena/Valek smut and instead marketed the book to a more adult audience. It's not even as if the subject matter was child-friendly, torture and rape-loving villains aren't exactly what comes to mind when you're writing for a young audience. It could have been sexier, grittier and just all-round better as an adult novel.As a welcome addition the fantasy genre, I was also surprised at how much I enjoyed the story. Fantasy tends to conjure up unwelcome memories of Tolkien and Pratchett, not to mention the elves, goblins and dwarves that often feature in the genre. Never did it for me, I'm afraid. The only fantasy books that have ever really impressed me are those by J.K. Rowling and Paul Stewart, and they were more focused on characters at least resembling humans for the most part, as was Poison Study.I have to say that I loved Valek as a character and was pleasantly surprised to see how well the romance between him and Yelena worked. It didn't even remotely occur to me at first that he would be the love interest of the novel because he was seemingly selfish, violent and cruel. And also coldly devoid of any redeeming emotion. The way that turned around, through the humour that came out in him as the novel progressed to the multiple times he risked himself to help Yelena (and yet still didn't make her come across as the damsel in distress), was told really well. The rest of the novel aside, he himself is one of the best parts of any book I've read lately.What I didn't much care for was the drawn out plot with the Criollo(?), it seemed to take too long to get around to something that wasn't particularly interesting; but don't get me wrong, plenty of other stuff is going on with Yelena overcoming her past trauma and the blooming attraction between her and Valek so that the story never really drags. This is usually the part where I say "So... I will definitely be reading the next book in the series", but I actually think I'm going to leave Magic Study and Fire Study after acquiring advice from Tatiana's review and, strangely, a small lilac-haired old woman at the library.*EDIT Tatiana has informed me that it wasn't Snyder's idea but her publishers... my apologies, Snyder ;)

  • Julie Kagawa
    2019-05-28 15:07

    I loved this book. I loved the heroine; stubborn, tenacious, determined. I loved the world that Snyder created. I loved loved loved the main love interest, Valek. Dark, stoic assassin? Check. Me swooning throughout the whole book because I have a thing for assassins? Check. (Yeah, I know. I need to have my head examined.)But, the relationship between Yelena and Valek was only part of this wonderful story. The detail put into the poisons was facinating. The entire world was facinating. I literally picked this book up and did not put it down until that evening when I finished it. I'm going to get the next books, Magic Study and Fire Study, as soon as possible. Bravo to Maria Snyder for this wonderful novel.

  • Letitia
    2019-06-15 16:09

    I am torn on reviewing this book. On one hand it had the potential to be the best fantasy novel I have ever read. The world was intriguing, the characters endearing, the plot fascinating. Beyond that, the author managed to explore fascinating themes of mortality, right of choice, overcoming psychological demons, and tests of loyalty. I kept willing the writing to be better than it was. I would really love to see this author mature and develop her skill into something really worthwhile, because her story is definitely unique. Unfortunately her writing is elementary and ofttimes very awkward.

  • ✨ k i t k a t
    2019-06-14 18:18

    i had no expectations going into this book at all, i had read some books by Snyder in the past and although they were good at the time, now i can barely remember anything about them, so while i was looking forward to this book i didn’t have high expectations for it to be a memorable read but it turns out this is a hidden gem in my collection as this was a really fun fantasy read for me. i do feel like a bit behind in the times since i swear everyone has read this series but i’m always late to the party!!! 😊i was suspicious of everyone and their role in this story, apart from valeck, i loved him from the start, i was incredibly suspicious of the commander but the twist that surrounds him was amazing and i didn’t see coming, as far as leaders go in fantasy stories he is for sure an interesting one.“Everyone makes choices in life. Some bad, some good. It's called living, and if you want to bow out, then go right ahead. But don't do it halfway. Don't linger in whiner's limbo.” valek and yelena are by far my favourite characters in the entire book, i love that valek isn’t your usual typical interest, for one i always imagine him in his late 20’s / early 30’s so i presume there is an age gap between them – but the two of them are well matched for me.yelena is an amazing main character, she’s independent, stubborn but she has a level head and i actually wish we had more characters like her in fantasy. the one downside to her was i thought she missed a lot of obvious things, like there were things that i has guessed that yelena had just ignored, turned out i was right at the end!!“But you've slipped under my skin, invaded my blood and seized my heart.” janco and ari are two other people who i loved, i like their friendship with yelena and how much they truly care for her even though at the start a lot of people didn’t like her because of what she had done to end up being the taste tester for the commander.this wasn’t the quickest paced books, but it was one of those books that regardless of how many times i put it down, when i did eventually pick it up i was engrossed into the story and enjoying it much as last time and i’m excited to get the rest of the books in the series.

  • maggie
    2019-05-20 15:58

    ❝Poisoned, pursued and living with a psychopath. Not what I would consider the good life. Death has its perks.❞Having Throne of Glass vibes since reading page 1 up to page 18, I knew I would enjoy this book quite a lot. Even though this was written long before ToG, I knew it would be a little similar since the beginning it started off like in ToG. Yelena was in chains and she was taken to the General, where she was also made an offer as to being the food taster for the Commander of Ixia or being killed. Make a choice.Yelena was a different heroine than others that I've read about. She started off weak and like a stumble person, but she faced her challenges and tried to not get in the way of other peoples lives, taking care of her business and trying to make sure she needs to accomplish what she needs to finish. She turned out to be someone not knowing how to be a poison taster into becoming a badass woman, still learning from her mistakes and being trained and actually accepting them. She was being trained as a food taster but also training in general as in physical. She was someone who didn't just want to be able to defend herself from not dying by tasting something but at least also from not dying by being killed or stabbed by someone. She wanted to know physical training and wanted to learn how to fight. Somehow, she kept both trainings balanced and was able to keep her mind on both.Janco and Ari are definitely friendship goals! I wish I had friends like them. They were respectful, caring, positive and were able to teach Yelena the basics of fighting and how to handle it. They showed sighs of respect since the beginning and didn't show any kind of hatred towards Yelena even though she embarrassed them a little. They were shown to care about themselves but also about Yelena and were there to help her in any way that she needed it!As to one of our favorites, Valek! Everyone is literally in love with Valek. He's a man in his 30's that is completely loyal to the Commander and never fails to disappoint him. He sure didn't disappoint me as well! He showed care as well to Yelena and got frustrated at times but gave her patience and had patience with himself as well. He showed Yelena the different kinds of poisons and how to be the taster and how everything's done, only ending up falling in love with her as she did with him. He was honestly in the perfect age and perfect rank to become the captain of the guard or the most trusted man by the Commander, being an adult and knowing what he is doing. The different thing about this book is how we really find out about Valek, his past and his swoon-worthy appearance towards the end. I was actually glad of that! In most YA novels, we find out about the characters apperance and past in the beginning, not really finding out anything about the present since it's not really taken as an interest anymore. But Valek is different and he expresses his feelings and emotions towards the end; Or I guess more towards the middle, but everything is actually different. It's told in ways it isn't told in other novels! Maria did not disappoint with this one and I'd like to thank her one day for blessing me with Valek.“Yelena, you've driven me crazy. You've caused me considerable trouble and I've contemplated ending your life twice since I've known you." Valek's warm breath in my ear sent a shiver down my spine.“But you’ve slipped under my skin, invaded my blood and seized my heart.”“That sounds more like a poison than a person,” was all I could say. His confession had both shocked and thrilled me.“Exactly,” Valek replied. “You have poisoned me.” As to talking about the plot, everything was honestly written perfectly and beautifully! The beginning, the middle, the ending. Everything made sense and came to and end where it's kind of a cliff hanger but it's not at the same time. I had heard so much about this one and I don't blame my friends for giving out such great and positive reviews about this one, only ending up devouring the next books and talking about their love and feels about it. I'm excited to start Magic Study and then Fire Study, moving on to the Glass Series and then Soulfinders series. I'm excited to see how Valek and Yelena's relationship takes a step forward, I'm excited to find out how Yelena becomes a stronger yet lovable heroine, and I'm excited to see what else Maria has hidden out there in those other books. *Thank you Ashley for recommending me this series!*

  • Navessa
    2019-06-15 19:07

    I was really looking forward to reading this book for a variety of reasons. One of those was that some normally sane/calm reviewers that I both follow and respect went completely fangirl over it. Another is that I needed a break from the paranormal genres I usually read. It started out pretty strong with a main character, Yelena, that I was beginning to really like. She was believable in her role as a soon-to-be-executed prisoner. Bright colors made her squint, she was distracted by open spaces and anything “outside” made her long for freedom. It’s well written too. But…but then I began to notice a lot of inconsistencies with the characters. Valek is supposed to be some sort of all-knowing spymaster yet he can’t see the shady character right beneath his nose? Yelena is basically immobile for a year and yet somehow has the strength and the stamina to be able to swing through the trees like Tarzan for an ENTIRE day? And she wasn’t wearing gloves yet her hands weren’t shredded?For some reason this book just failed to engage me AT ALL. If you read into the plot line it sounds awesome and even though I guess a lot of things happen it didn’t really feel like anything happened. This was me while reading it:You’re being poisoned every morning?The dad of that dude you killed is looking for vengeance?You have to taste “The Commander’s” food every meal and run the risk of being poisoned?Someone tried to kill you?Someone tried to kill you AGAIN?Someone else is threatening your life?Someone else MIGHT be threatening your life?MAGIX???I ended up putting it down when I was a little over half way through. I then completely forgot about it. No really. I had to read my notes on it to be able to type this review because I had very few memories of what I’d actually read. I’m giving it two stars because I feel like this might be a case of me just not being in the right mood/mindset to read this book or fairly rate it. Who knows? I may come back to it later, give it a second try and change my mind. Or I may completely forget about it again. Time will tell. This review can also be found at The Book Eaters.

  • Lainey
    2019-06-15 17:05

    Oh wow, like, really. Wow. This was seriously everything I wanted and needed in a fantasy read. I'm just so damn happy that I have the other two books in the trilogy so I don't have to wait with ordering them.This will definitely be one of the my favorite series I've read all year.Poison Study follows a young woman named Yelena, who has been in the Commander's dungeons for almost a year upon killing a man. The day she is set for execution, she is given a choice. She could either go through with her execution or she could be the new food taster for the Commander. Bet you can guess when she chose or else this book would have only been ten pages long.Holy shit, I loved this book. Yelena has quickly become one of my favorite female protagonists because she's badass without Snyder shoving it down your throat that she's badass. A lot about this character is SHOWN to you instead of TOLD to you, which as a reader, I appreciate so much. The book is also told in first perspective, which sometimes I find it easier for me to grow annoyed with the main character because first perspective is so limited, but I LOVED this perspective and I loved Yelena's voice. You really see her growth too from this dungeon rat to this all-around badass who is still learning but can hold her own. There's quite a bit of the whole "training montage" happening in this story. Most of the time in stories, I hate when we go through the stereotypical training sequences and I was nervous at first because not only does Yelena go through poison training, she also goes through fighting training. BUT Snyder never makes you feel like all you're doing it reading about Yelena training. Somehow, she writes a perfect balance between training scenes and summarizing that totally works for the story and HOW DOES SHE DO THAT? I've never read a book with that perfect of a balance. Valek. Ohmygod, Valek. What a hunk of man meat. So while I just recently learned that this series isn't actually YA, but adult, it makes more sense (even though I feel like this series is marketed towards a YA audience) do you know how many times I praised at the fact that Valek wasn't an eighteen year old? Valek is the Commander's head of security, captain of the guard, whatever you want to call that position. He's in his early thirties which completely fits the rank he hold and the skills he has. Too often in YA do I see eighteen or nineteen years old controlling armies or head assassin or captain of the guard and I always think that's unrealistic - even in a fantasy. Valek is stone-cold but he is so well-rounded. We find out so much about him through the observations and snooping. Also. Can we appreciate the fact that the "trope housekeeper" that Valek and the Commander trust the most didn't give Yelena the expositional story on Valek's past? PRAISE. PRAISE. I hate when an author brings in a housekeeper character just to do that.Moving on to the story and the plot. What I liked about the story was how layered it was. There was new things being introduced, history being told to us, and while the summary is extremely straight-forward to a point where you could feel this story could be a standalone, the new aspects including political corruption, magic, and the plethora of other territories, completely introduces the reader into this world that has many stories to tell and more directions Yelena's story could go. Snyder balanced flashbacks really well too. She gave us insight into Yelena's past that put her in the dungeon without overbearing us with too much past scenes. Based off the ending, I can't wait to pick up the second book. I really enjoyed the journey of the first book. I felt like it was paced perfectly, not at all rushed, and the writing was completely effortless. I'm definitely going to recommend this book. Especially if you find yourself having the same reading style as I do.

    2019-05-19 14:04

    4.5 Stars.Full review to come.Ari and Janco are my favorite!! Of course I love Valek and Yalena, but Ari and Janco are my puppies!! I guess I have a thing for adorable/funny twins!! So much love!!!!!It's been more than 7 years since i read this book. Time to finish this series!! I've had these books for a while now, the pages have turned yellowish, and they smell like old books. I love it.First line of the book:"Locked in darkness that surrounded me like a coffin,i had nothing to distract me from my memories." Katie Mcgrath is my Yelena..[image error]

  • Stephen
    2019-05-21 14:10

    2.5 to 3.0 stars. Let me begin this review by saying that I think I’m becoming much harder to please when it comes to fantasy stories so please keep that in mind. Having read quite a few, the standard fantasy plot elements just don’t produce the same warm and fuzzy feeling that I used to experience when reading these kinds of stories. I must have hit my tolerance threshold for the fantasy “drug” because I find that I am needing greater and greater amounts of awesomeness in order to get that "special feeling" I used to get. Part of the issue may be that I have read a number of fantasy books that were "Oh My God, I will never stop loving you" good and they have raised the bar on fantasy books in general. I am now more selective in what I read in the fantasy genre and generally try and seek out books that have truly exceptional characters or unique and memorable world-building or just "off the chart" quality writing and dialogue. These books are more difficult to find but the payoff is worth it. For example, Joe Abercrombie's "First Law Trilogy" or Guy Gavriel kay's The Fionavar Tapestry about that......I was just remembering the first time I read The Lies of Locke Lamora and, uh...I mean....where was I?...Oh, oh, the Poison Study review. Anyway, for those new to fantasy or those that are true fantasy junkies, you may love this as it is certainly a QUALITY book. I had no problems with any of the critical elements (i.e., characters, writing, world-building, magic and plot). I just wasn’t blown away by anything and when I was finished I didn’t feel like I had experienced anything new that I would remember much beyond writing this review.

  • Nicole
    2019-06-17 22:14

    What do you ask for usually in a young-adult fantasy book?➳ Relatable and actually smart heroine? ✔✔✔✔✔➳ A sexy witty love interest who is ALSO an assassin (that's a plus!)? ✔✔✔✔✔✔✔➳ World building? ✔✔✔✔➳ An enjoyable story? ✔✔✔✔✔➳ A good plot—one that doesn’t stray too far off topic and does progress throughout the story? ✔✔✔✔✔➳ More actions less romance? ✔✔✔✔✔➳ A well-written book? ✔✔✔✔✔I can go on all day. It's been a long while since I loved a book this much, from page one till the end. Yelena was sentenced to death because she has killed someone. She's been in the dungeon for a year now, waiting for execution. But when she's offered a chance to live, she didn't think twice about it and accepted even though she knew the risks. She has to be the Commander's food taster and thus study all kinds of poison with Valek (my heart).Yet she didn't just kill someone, but one of the generals son who took her under his wing when she was a little. Sounds harsh? Not when the father and the son hide behind manners -in front of the Commander, at least. Therefore he wants his revenge. Yelena is the caught in the midst of a subtle mayhem of politics, spies, assassins, conspiracies, secrets, treacheries, and magic where she tries her best to survive. I didn't start Poison Study expecting to be flabbergasted. I was expecting something good but nothing mindblowing. And now all I can think of, why the heck didn't I read this book sooner. I cherished every word of it. Yet, this way no young-adult. Yelena is 19 yo and Valek around 33, it's illogical for this to be shelved as YA. I read that Maria V Snyder didn't write this book as a young-adult but the publishers chose to. While it didn't have any sex scenes, this book included rape and other sexual assaults and form of sadistic violence that we don't find in this genre. I wish this book was written as an adult fantasy only, we would have more smut scenes. I craved those. Let's start with Yelena, she is far from being your usual young-adult heroine, smart, wise and strong, she tried her best to survive all the hardships. She started to train, to learn useful abilities, and so much more so she can be able to be independent. Her character development was obvious, even if I liked her from the beginning and found it easy to relate to her, she fascinated toward the end. One of the best thing about her, that we didn't hear endless praise of her beauty, she was pretty but unlike other heroines nowadays, not everyone she meets in amazed by her appearance. She also isn't white! Snyder did a decent job in mixing color skins -not that people's outside looks really mattered. I don't think I loved any character because of that in this book because honestly, I don't remember what the secondary characters looked like and it's not the author's fault because she did describe them when Yelena first saw them. And it stopped there. Sometimes authors relentlessly remind us of their characters looks to cover the lack of depth in their personality. Valek. Now Valek is my new book boyfriend. And no, I don't share. Undoubtedly, he was my favorite character in the book. I just love mysterious men and on top of that he's an assassin! Sexiness overload! I fell in love with him with Yelena, slowly at first then all at once. He was kind in his own way, sweet, caring, brave, loving, loyal, daring, smart, and so much more! At first glance, you may think that he's only a tool who execute the Commander's orders but when you look in the depth of the book, you see that he's the mastermind. While he's loyal to death, he isn't blind. Both, Valek and Yelena know that the law, the Code of Behavior, has its flaws (we'll get to this later). He tries to find loopholes in his own way. He's just wonderful! Even though he prefer to avoid unnecessary deaths, he will do whatever he can to achieve his goal without remorse. Unlike Yelena, who feels terribly guilty after killing someone, even if she had no other choice. Valek and Yelena are now one of my favorite OTPs. Ever. I ship them so hard! Yes, he is 14 years older than her but I didn't find it wrong. I didn't mind the age difference yet I usually, do. Yelena wasn't childish, she was mature and old beyond her years. They understood each other and fought for their love, even before they admitted their feelings for themselves. They just make the perfect couple together. I loved the slow romance and the tension building.Many would say the story was slow at first. While nothing major was happening in the beginning, I still couldn't put the book down. That should tell you enough. The writing style was compelling and I couldn't get enough of our characters. And I'm not only speaking about Yelena and Valek but also about secondary characters, especially Janco and Ari. I adored those two. Admired their loyalty and faith in our girl. They did their best to improve her self-defense skills. While the Commander wasn't my favorite part of the story, we can't deny his leadership skills. The law is binding and even him, the one who promulgated it, isn't above the Code of Behavior. That doesn't mean this law was fair. It's illogical to execute a person who killed another even without meaning to. I really admired Snyder for making a law to her own world, being a law student and all, it's something I don't see often even if it wasn't anywhere near complex enough. However, I think she wanted us to see that even laws can be wrong. Even the Commander who defeated the tyrant king and made a new country, is also a dictator. The fact that he is a good ruler (with a bad Code) doesn't affect that truth, not even known to the people. I always like to have some politics in my fiction books, it's one of the reasons why I love A Song of Ice and fire that much, and even though this book nothing that heavy, it was appreciated. We also didn't have a complex world building but this book is so fun if you're looking for a light fantasy. I mean sure it gets dark sometimes but other than the imagined world and the magic touch, we don't have many fantasy elements, just to clarify this book.***Minor spoilers ahead***When you rate a book, the highest you can give is 5 stars on GR. And to express your endless love and admiration for it, you add it to your favorites. Those, at least to me, are as flawless as possible. I debated adding this book to my favorites or not but I didn't because I did have some issues with it. I was soo in love with it when I finished it but when you start analyzing the book and your cynical part terminates the fangirl, you try to be more objective. I don't think anyone can be objective while reviewing a book except for some basic stuff because it's a matter of taste. I did my best, though. I'm not going to dwell much on the negatives but I want to say that it felt rushed toward the end. The book could have done better with 30 or so pages because everything was happening so fast. Especially the romance.(view spoiler)[Suddently they confessed their love and I was like, sorry? That quickly? We didn't even have enough loving Valek thoughts in her mind (hide spoiler)]. If these two things were handled in a better way, this book would have easily made it to my favorites shelf. I also wanted more smut! Can't believe I'm admitting this but I did. It's NOT something bad just a wish because i loved them together a lot. But nothing major is better than cringy ones (no I don't mean another author and you probably know who). I recommend this book to everyone, especially Throne of Glass and Uprooted fans. Before I read some reviews of this book, I thought I was the only one who saw similarities with Throne of Glass but I was not. I think Sarah J. Maas was inspired by Poison Study, both girls were in dungeons sentenced to death and had the opportunity to work for the ruler. But while ToG failed to deliver likable characters, especially heroines, Snyder created a lovable one. I also feel like I should mention that this book was written in 2005. 2005, okay? Before all this YA? hype. And for Uprooted fans, one of my all-time favorite books, I just know that like it even though they don't have many similarities aside from the awesome characters. Now the hard part is continuing this series. This book was so good that it's hard for the sequel to match it but after reading many negative reviews even from the fans of the first book, I can't help but feel hesitant to continue it. I will, of course, read the next two books and soon but I'm expecting something bad so *fingers crossed*. This book can be read as a stand-alone, as in the story develops and the main issue at the time is resolved, we don't have a cliffhanger but of course, the story didn't end here. PS: Don't read this book if you have finals or you're so busy. I did. And I read in one sitting. One more page became one more chapter until I was finally done. And I didn't want to finish it. And I didn't study that day although the exam was two days later. Bad Nicole. Bad.

  • Lyndsey
    2019-05-23 15:13

    One of these things does not belong here:Well, one of these things does not belong in a fantasy novel. Hint - it is small, electronic, and blue!More on that later. So this is another one of many books...A story about an orphaned girl, whose been tortured and basically given a rotten hand that's full of all jokers, most likely dealt by some sort of sleight of hand magician or something. Rough life. Blada-blada-blah. After mysteries are introduced and back stories told, she encounters a mysterious character who reveals she is "special" and, imagine that, has a unique power.So as much as I hate to admit that this a FORMULA novel, I don't mind admitting that I LOVED it.So yeah, it's AWE-some!The reason these durn formulas exist is because they work. We like to read about special people, because we all like to hope that we are special too. The reality is that, while everyone is unique, we aren't all special. We don't all have superpowers or magical inclinations. Damn! It sucks. But we have to deal with it. What we don't have to do is read about it. Because let's face it, it dull to read about boring people. So I prefer not too.Yelena and Valek are anything but dull. I'm was very impressed with Yelena. She nev-er plays the damsel in distress card, expects anyone to rescue her or even to just help her. She takes responsibility for her past and future actions, accepting punishment when she has to and planning ahead when she begins to have options.When Valek enters the story, it isn't blatantly-hit-you-over-the-head-obvious that he will end up being a love interest. The relationship develops slowly. It simmers. He isn't the perfect boyfriend, over-achiever type. Yet he isn't the unpredictable and unreliable bad boy. He's mysterious and inscrutable. Makes you wonder what he's hiding with that quiet confidence. In other words: mmmmmm yea-ah!The technology and culture can be confusing. There is talk of a 10 tiered wedding cake, switchblades, and even a TRAMPOLINE. But they use candles and covered wagons? Like a mish mash of culture. Can you even make a trampoline without modern equipment? Then again, they do have magic.I realize this is just nit picking. However, unrelated metaphors or descriptions bother me because it takes you out of the story, out of the fantasy realm, and brings you back to Earth. And Earth is all well and good when I'm here. But when I'm reading, I prefer the blissful ignorance of the fantasy world.The main reason I brought this is up is because I was happily reading along, despite the 10 tiered wedding cake and switchblade references bothering me; I stuck with it until the trampoline. I was so confused about whether or not they would actually be able to MAKE a trampoline with their level of technology, that I felt compelled to stop reading and look up the history of the trampoline, which by our standard wasn't actually invented and named until 1936, after the onset of automobiles and electricity. Regardless, I think a more accurate description for the culture would have been a trapeze tight net, if the passage was even necessary at all.It disturbed me so much I actually had a dream about it. The characters in the book all had modern equipment like lightbulbs and cars but they completely ignored all of it and went about their business. Sorry about the long gripe but I have OCD when it comes to literature.I don't like anything in my books that isn't supposed to be there, including names written inside the cover, book plates, highlighting, and trampolines in fantasy novels!Imagine if Samwise and Frodo had stumbled upon a trampoline on their journey!? Uh, no. It's funny to picture but it just doesn't work in the context of the book.Why not just give Frodo a gold medallion, some extra bling, and put him on a professional basketball team? Well, what do you know?Anyway, there are already too many factors measuring into my reader's ADD. I get pulled away easily enough as it is, and I shouldn't need to worry about whether or not they should have trampolines. It was a completely unnecessary and distracting fiasco. But there is still a bright side: I feel like I learned something new.Despite my gripes, I loved it. The characters really got into my head. It is actually unusual for me to dream about characters from a book. Usually, my mind is inventing it's own bizarre hogwash, so the dream is actually a compliment to the author and her character development.Maria's prose is concise and creative. Apart from the aforementioned, her descriptions and metaphors are usually spot on and beautifully constructed. The characters are fully developed, each with backstories, subplots and their own unique quirks.There's Janco, a military man who trains Yelena. He also rhymes while fighting - and I mean it. Anybody wanna peanut? And then there's Ari, Janco's best bud who also helps with the training. I really loved the scenes with these two. They're a breath of fresh air. There's also Rand, the gourmet chef addicted to gambling. I felt for first. There's Reyad, resident jerk, whose apparent weakness is (view spoiler)[the phrase "Be gone". Really? That's it? Also, I saw the antidote mystery coming, but not the one involving the Commander. Never would have guessed! (hide spoiler)]I'm excited for the sequels and will probably be going to get Magic Study very soon! I really hope all her books are as good, because they all look so damn interesting. Definitely will keep reading them. And I apologize for both my OCD and ADD. Great combo, huh? Fortunately, they both seem to apply mostly to reading and not necessarily all aspects of my life. *mischievous grin*And now, I can't get the image of Frodo and Samwise bouncing on a trampoline out of my head!!!! Aaaaaaaah! Oh, the humanity! Or rather, hobbitmanity!?! ROFL.My review for the second book: Magic StudyMy review for the third book: Fire Study["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Simona Bartolotta
    2019-06-17 22:03

    "Poisoned, pursued and living with a psychopath. Not what I would consider the good life. Death has its perks."This is to hard to rate. The originality deserves a full four, but the the issues I had with the writining make it impossible for me to grant it. 3.75 because I enjoyed it a lot? But rounded down to three because it would have taken so little for it to be better, and that leaves a bitter, bitter taste in my mouth.•The story had me hooked practically immediately. I knew I would be swept up in it the moment I realized it was about this girl who had to train as a food taster. I don't know what I expected, exactly; probably something a bit different from this, even though I could not pinpoint how, but nonetheless I enjoyed it immensely. The plot, while a little naive and predictable at times, never fail in holding the reader's attentions.•I have a special symapthy for our main character, Yelena. She is no assassin, no fighter, no feisty creature and she has no problems accepting it, and it's so tremendously refreshing that I loved her from the start. During the story, she learns to fight and to stand up for herself, but she never leaves behind her aura of innocence, so to say, of tranquillity, and this, paired with a couple of interesting things she finds out about some peculiar abilities of hers, leads me to think her true talents lie in something different, for once, from her fists or a sword. Don't get me wrong, kick-ass heroines are wonderful (when they are properly fleshed-out as characters), but I love it so much more when a woman proves she can fight just as well even if armed only with her mind (for further information, see The Winner's Curse).•The other characters may not be particularly rounded nor deep, but they do their job and prove pleasant companions throughout the book. Valek is fabulous,(view spoiler)[ even though he could work a little better on that declaration because, honestly, I found it a bit lame; anyway, he won me over when he didn't refuse to kill Yelena when ordered to: finally a man of honour. I'm not so sadistic as to want him to commit murder-suicide, naturally, but it would have been so tragic. (hide spoiler)]. Ari and Janco are adorable, (view spoiler)[and I ship them (hide spoiler)]. I (kind of?) liked the Commander's backstory, but I think it lacked development. A story that important can't be dismissed with a couple of lines here and there. I wanted to know what exactly had happened and way, and I very much hope we will receive further clarification in the following installments.•Now, what really, really bothered me and the reason why I'm not rating the book four stars: the writing. It is not horrible or bad or unpleasant in the very real sense of the word, but it is extremely flat, unemotional (which, depending on the case, can be a remarkable perk, but here it is not), monotone, which negatively reflected on the characters' personalities an attitudes. They seem to be incapable of distinguishing between events needing strong reactions and mundane actions, because their response is always dull, somehow, as if coated or encased in ice, as if set in advance to "act as usual" instead of "act accordingly". I don't know how to explain myself better than this. I know this particular flaw is to blame on the writing because this isn't the first time I encounter it in a book, and every single time it annoys me and spoils my enjoyment like few other things can. ➽I can't get over this last point simply because stories are nothing without emotion, to me, so the issue is very subjective and personal. For this reason, it is more than possible, and maybe even likely, that for many of you it won't be that much of a problem; in that case, feel free to consider I rated the book four stars and dive into it, because it's definitely, definitely worth a try. Strongly recommended.

  • Cait • A Page with a View
    2019-06-17 22:09

    The castle, politics, dark mysterious guy, strong female MC, and way it unfolds as a sort of mystery were all seriously awesome. I did really enjoy this book, but think I was just expecting a bit more from the end.The basic plot is Yelena killed her sadistic abuser but is saved from execution by accepting a position as the Commander's food taster. She's given some poison everyday and then has to check back for the antidote in order to deter her from escaping. Yelena gets thrown into a world of politics & spying while she trains in self-defense and tries to figure out exactly what's going on with mysterious events involving... some kind of knockoff chocolate factory? (This is not as Willy Wonka as it sounds).The pacing was great and it's pretty quick read, but I honestly would've liked it to have been a lot longer! This was a really cool world but the story felt like it just barely touched the surface of every plot point.Valek (the guy who trains Yelena in poison tasting) was easily my favorite part! He had kind of a Darkling quality and I totally wanted to skim the book just looking for his name. I appreciated what seemed like a slow-burn romance, but then thought everything it built up to really failed to deliver. I wanted to see the romance develop. The main reason I took a star off was because the book struggled to find the right tone at times as it wavered between a gritty, more mature story and a lighter/younger YA book. I think this story would've worked better as an adult book since there was a pretty intense & traumatic backstory for Yelena (rape trigger warning btw) and the villain was doing creative horrible things that could've grown into a really great darker tone. But then that didn't really mix well with the other relationships that were somewhat juvenile at times. Is it horrible that I kept picturing:Some of the friendships were really solid, though -- I LOVED Ari and Janco so much! This really did remind me of Throne of Glass at times with the writing and how some bits were really complex and creative, while others felt more simplistic with the potential to be more. BUT but but (I know I complained a lot, sorry) this book really is a fun read overall! I just liked it so much that I'm disappointed it wasn't something I could connect with even more. So all of the complaints are a good sign in this case!

  • Tamora Pierce
    2019-05-24 21:17

    I'm not sure if this is supposed to be adult or teen fantasy, and I don't really care. It's just plain good. Yelena, sentenced to die, is offered the chance to live as the Commander's taster. She could be poisoned at any moment, and if she tries to escape, she could die of the poison given to her at her first meeting with the Commander's chief of intelligence (he gives her the antidote daily). When she accepts, she is pitchforked into a world where she cannot tell who is an ally and who is an enemy, where she trains daily to gain the skills that will help her to survive her personal enemies, and where she must peel back her own layers to learn who she is, and what she is capable of.Now I see why so many of my reading friends were recommending this book to me. It was good enough that I plowed through it in two days (okay, I had to break for sleep and company), and now I want to get my hands on the next books. Yelena and her master are great characters, as are the warriors who befriend Yelena, and the vengeful ghost of the sadistic young aristocrat who she killed.

  • Kat Kennedy
    2019-05-23 18:10

    I find it really hard to give a book five stars these days. It really has to earn it and truthfully, Poison Study almost did.The writing was surprisingly rich and colourful, the characters were great. Yelena was calculating and resourceful which I really liked. Valek was great. At some points he was your stock-standard superhero, protective saviour cliche but his loyalty, dedication and sneakyness really added some more dimensions to that.The plot... oh, the plot! Okay, in some instances it was really, really great. Except the big reveal was painfully, painfully obvious. I don't want to spend umpteen chapters screaming at the characters about what the beans are and how they're connected to everything. If it's that flipping obvious then, as an author, you need to be just a little more sneaky. Other than that is was a really enjoyable read and I'll definitely be picking up the next one in the series.

  • Wendy Darling
    2019-05-28 22:07

    This review is for all three books, since I think most people will check Book 1 to see if they should begin a series.This series has a really fascinating set-up, and I liked a number of the characters, including Valek and Janco and Ari. It took me a long time to get through the first book, however, and I probably would not have kept going if I hadn't purchased all three books as a Kindle bundle.I found the language difficult to get used to, since it veered between a rather mannered, old-fashioned style (no doubt to make it seem as if it might have taken place in a different time/place) and very young, very modern teen-speak. I had a hard time remembering that Yelena was supposed to be 18 since some circumstances and things make her seem very adult (her job, her boyfriend, etc) while others made her seem like a 13-year-old (the language, many of her decisions, etc). As the books went on, the action and plotting became less believable and pretty scattered, and I felt less and less engaged by what was going on.The biggest flaw, however, was the way the books were written. While there's decent sentence structure and such, there are often long, unbroken blocks of text where things are explained or described at great length. Most importantly, there is a weird emotional distance in the way the author writes and you never really feel attached to Yelena or empathize with what's going on. There is a lot of telling rather than showing, and many significant events (reuniting with a mother and father you haven't seen in 14 years, for example) aren't written with the kind of impact you would expect. Many things are just plain illogical, too--I mean, if you hadn't so much as kissed a boy or looked into his eyes longingly even once, would you really just reach around and undo his pants in a time/setting like this? Many of these set-ups just don't ring true.Even things that start out sort of cute (Yelena talks to her horse) become ridiculous by the third book. What began as the projection of simple thoughts and images and communication spun into the horse providing her with an idea for bribing another character with honey, the horse taking revenge on someone on Yelena's behalf, etc. Waaay over the top.I really wanted to like this series, but in the end, it just didn't do it for me.

  • Kells Next Read
    2019-06-08 19:19

    "You've slipped under my skin, invaded my blood and seized my heart. You have poisoned me"~ ValekWhen I sit and read a book in one sitting it gives weight to the Awesomeness of the read. This jewel was brilliant from the very first line. I'm so glad I decided to give it a read. I can't wait to move unto book two. I loved every blinking thing about it. The storyline, The heroine, the side characters, Valek and lastly, but by no means least, Valek ; )) The storyline was fantastic, the characters had depth, whilst being engaging, memorable and lovable all at once. My only regret was not reading this book sooner. This was me literally whilst reading this bookThe plot twist and discoveries along the way had me like:This is a must read, I guaranteed that you will: 10 Valek is Bae Stars

  • Maria V. Snyder
    2019-06-07 15:24

    Poison Study just came out in Turkish as Zehir Ustasi (Poison Master)! Pretty cool - eh?

  • grace
    2019-06-06 22:20

    This was so addicting. My favorite thing about Poison Study was Valek. He reminded me of Sherlock! He was so intelligent, and loved to challenge himself even under bad circumstances. (probably even more so then) I loved Yelena as a main character! If she wanted something, she worked for it hardcore, I admired that so much. I loved when she would build up enough confidence to stand up for herself. Those were some of my favorite moments. The friendship between Yelena, Ari, and Janco was fantastic. Female and male platonic friendships is something I rarely see in books, so it was quite refreshing.Now, I did think this book lacked world building. Also, the romance was very slow burning (which I adore), but then was just like, BAM. I was a little bit thrown off by that. Nevertheless, I am so excited to be picking up the sequel!!

  • Phrynne
    2019-06-06 16:11

    I am pretty late to this party as this was my first Maria V. Snyder book and I liked it very much. It is one of those books which is very hard to put down. I kept thinking "Just one more chapter, just one more" until suddenly I had finished. And even then I did not want to put it down. Fortunately the next book is lined up ready.........I enjoyed everything about this book. Yelena is a genuinely strong female main character. One who can actually defeat a baddy without a man coming in at the end to save her. In fact she can manage more than one when she gets going! Best of all she is only in love with one man, not two. That is very important to me these days in YA books!I liked the world building, the magic system, the characters, the pacing of the book. I liked everything:) An excellent book.

  • Anja
    2019-06-10 19:22

    *5 POISONOUS STARS*“Trusting is hard. Knowing who to trust, even harder.”I only need two words for this: HELL and YESSSSS!All hail Maria V. Snyder!I never thought I'd ever find another book quite as good as the first one in the Throne of Glass series, but this one comes damn close! Yelena reminds me of Celaena (definitely in a good way!) and by that I mean that they're both badass and quite sassy females, who know how to take care of themselves and seem to surround themselves with equally awesome friends. Suspension-wise, this was also top notch! And let's not forget about the swoon-worthy Valek!Full review coming soon!

  • Anne
    2019-05-23 19:15

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I'M GOING TO GET THE SECOND BOOK!!!!Have you ever heard of books with charisma? Which ones make your list? I'll tell you now, this one's made mine.Orphaned. Tortured. Poisoned. Cursed with magic. Yelena is a convicted murderer who is condemned to an acquaintance with the noose. On the day of her execution, she gets an offer from Valekthat allows her to keep her life. One thing you need to know about Yelena is though she's broken, bruised and battered,with a haunted past and a bleak future, she actually wants to live.So she takes his offer. She becomes thefood taster of the Commander. And the trappings of the deal? She has to become a poison house, carrying a poison which only Valek has an antidote to, an antidote which she's obliged to take every morning to stay alive. Now as far as quality goes, that really isn't much of a life, but it's all about guaranteeing her submission and death of hope of ever escaping. In the end, death still hangs about Yelena, threatening her labored existence, there are just too many ways to die; by an assassination attempt on the commander, by the poisons she's forced to test taste as part of her training as a food taster by Valek, and by the poison that resides inside her. Enter our heroine into a world of scheming and politics, and the story is underway...WHY THIS BOOK CAUGHT MY EYE1. LOVE FOOD. 2. LOVE POISONOUS BOOKSIf I have to be thorough and honest about my feelings about this book, I need to separate my reactions into before and after.▶ BEFORE Narrative style: First person narrative. I was very happy about that.The beginning of this book felt quite funny to me, like the first pages from my book were missing and I missed an introductory period. I couldn't shake the feeling of being thrown into the story;It just felt fragmented. Of course I could never a expect a full download of history and facts in the first pages, but Yelena's entrance came off as abrupt to me and the progression in the first portion of the book was marked by a stillness of plot and a fairly weird pacing too. But I wasn't discouraged in the least because I had a promise of assassinsand poisonsto look forward to. If there represents the starting pages, and here, the concluding ones, I really think that the distance between the two could've been shortened.For a significant part of the middle portion of the book, nothing happened. The entrance of the secondary characters; Ari, Janco, Irys, and Maren really marked a turning point in the story for me. There was just this change in dynamic, and I really began to have fun with the characters and story as a whole.UGH. DON'T EVEN ASK ME ABOUT ROMANCE I swear I almost hurt myself wishing for a collision of hearts. LikeI had a hard time connecting with Yelena at first. Her voice wasn't reaching me. The only way I know how to put it is, she lacked in presence. She had more internal conversations with herself than external ones with others initially, so it was hard to grasp anything from her, aside from the battered character I met in the first pages. When the revelation was made about her magical abilities the satisfaction was suboptimal because even her, the bearer of the power seemed unmoved and uninterested about it. I couldn't wait for her to fly..or even humor me and crawl.IN SUMMARY: WHILE THIS BOOK WAS TAKING IT'S SWEET TIME I WAS IN THE BACKSEAT YELLING ▶ AFTERIf you don't believe in repentanceandredemption,read this and be put to shame. Yelena got a voice! A big bad one. I finally acknowledged that, yes, Vakel was a man and not a log of wood. I DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW IT HAPPENED!!! ▶ Amazing plot twist▶ Amazing magic and magicians ▶ Amazing action scenes ▶ Real, though late romance.AND THE ENDING WAS JUST HEAVEN IN SUMMARY: O' BLESSED CONCLUDING PAGES I COME TO SWEAR FEALTY TO YOU.

  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    2019-06-03 16:22

    Rating ~4.5 Loved it! “Everyone makes choices in life. Some bad, some good. It's called living, and if you want to bow out, then go right ahead. But don't do it halfway. Don't linger in whiner's limbo.” It's been quite a little while since I've read a good old YA Fantasy, and honestly, I could be happier that this was the book I came back to. The story, as mentioned in the synopsis, follow Yelena, a young woman on death row, awaiting her execution. But her life is changed forever when she is offered the chance to live, at a price. From there, her life only gets more complicated. As she is being hunted by old enemies, new trouble arises, from someone she thought was an enemy, but will soon become one of her greatest allies in a battle to defeat a threat greater than she could have ever imagined.The Characters:Yelena : Our protagonist is a willful, clever, loyal, determined young woman. She continues to fight to live, despite having faced numerous horrors that would have sent weaker minded people in madness. She does not trust easily, but once she does she cares deeply.Valek : A skilled, mysterious, deadly assassin, the Commander's right-hand man who offers Yelena a chance to live by becoming the Commander's food taster. Valek is also smart, a skilled fighter, and well versed in the language of poisons. He also values loyalty above all else. His trust is hard to gain, and likely a lot easier to lose.Ari and Janco (I grouped them together because they almost never appear without the other): Two highly skilled trackers, with very different personalities. Ari is a calm and collective person, a more strategic fighter.Janco is fierier, more mischevious, more brute strength. However, together, they are the perfect team. Relationships:Yelena + Valek“Yelena, you've driven me crazy. You've caused me considerable trouble and I've contemplated ending your life twice since I've known you.” Valek's warm breath in my ear sent a shiver down my spine.“But you’ve slipped under my skin, invaded my blood and seized my heart.”“That sounds more like a poison than a person,” was all I could say. His confession had both shocked and thrilled me.“Exactly,” Valek replied. “You have poisoned me.”Yelena + Ari and Janco : After a rather amusing game, in which the soldiers were sent to track/hunt Yelena, Yelena quickly befriends the pair, and they essentially become two of her closest friends in the castle, her protectors. I honestly loved the trio's friendship so much. Though at one point I was starting to think Ari might have feelings for Yelena, thankfully it appears Ari's over-protectiveness stems more from a brotherly love (at least at this point). Janco, on the other hand, was almost always the jokester, but he had his own little sentimental notions as well.“Sieges weathered, fight together, friends forever.” *More detailed review to Come*

  • Jaclyn
    2019-05-25 17:58

    *4.5*Everyone makes choices in life. Some bad, some good. It's called living, and if you want to bow out, then go right ahead. But don't do it halfway. Don't linger in whiners limbo.Really, really enjoyed this one! I'm still swooning over Valek here... "What have I earned from you, Valek? Loyalty? Respect? Trust?""You have my attention. But give me what I want, and you can have everything." This fantasy story follows headstrong Yelena who is rotting in a dungeon awaiting execution for the crime of murdering someone when one day her entire life gets turned around. She is taken out of her dungeon and instead of being executed, she is offered to become the Commander food taster. A highly dangerous job where she can die at any moment from the hand of whoever plans to assassinate the Commander. Obviously she agrees, and trains and learns all these different poisons from a super handsome assassin named Valek. There's magic, political intrigue, romance, and heart stopping action.Trusting is hard. Knowing who to trust, even harder. I absolutely loved Yelena. She was so badass and I loved her development throughout the book! She becomes to strong and so powerful and I loved watching her become this kickass warrior after everything she went through. She's funny, witty, and doesn't take crap from anyone. It was so fun to read! I loved watching her meet everyone in the castle and learn to defend herself and then open up her heart to Valek. Poisoned, pursued, and living with a psychopath. Not what I would consider the good life. Death has it's perks. I LOVED Valek! I love his slow burning relationship with Yelena but also how loyal he was to his cause. He was so LOYAL! He's one of those people that once you earn his trust, he will stand by you to the death. He's THAT passionate. He's also extremely badass and ridiculously gorgeous. Did I mention GORGEOUS? Like seriously this guys mirrors models in my mind and I'm still drooling. And he's so SMART. He reminded me a little bit of Dimitri from Vampire Academy with how badass he is, with the shoulder length hair and total warrior atmosphere he gives off. I was squealing at all of us his scenes with Yelena! I SHIP them so hard! The banter. The declarations! Them learning how to open their hearts to one another and start to trust and admire the other. There was no INSTA which I seriously appreciated! It was a slow burn but the right amount of intense slow burn to keep you reading more and more. "Yelena, you've driven me crazy. You've caused me considering trouble and I've contemplated ending your life twice since I've known you." Valeks warm breath in my ear sent a shiver down my spine. "But you've slipped under my skin, invaded my blood and seized my heart.""That sounds more like a poison than a person," was all I could say. His confession had both shocked and thrilled me."Exactly," Valek replied. "You have poisoned me." *clutches pillow*SHIPThe other aspect I really enjoyed was the magic involved. Their was a ton of actions and so many of the chapters ended in cliffhangers but I loved watching magic slowly edge it's way into the series. Then when the bomb shell hits, its awesome! I really liked the politics involved too. This world is fantasy but has a military vibe to it. Super cool and interesting! I really liked that mix and the characters in this world were wonderful. I really liked Yelenas friendship with Ari and Janco! I loved how protective they were of her! Sieges weathered, fight together, friends forever. The only issue I had was I felt that certain scenes were a little rushed. I would have liked to see all those scenes we overlooked! I get how it was particularly necessary but I still wanted more! The writing was very straight forwarded. And the ending was kind of rushed too. But overall this is an addicting, different, fun, and fast paced first book in what is sure to be, a great series. I'm excited to get to Magic Study! And read more of Valek and Yelena because OTP. Definitely recommend if you are looking for something unique, easy to understand, and extremely addicting. "An execution order hasn't kept us apart before. There are ways to get around it. We will be together.""Is that an order?""No a promise."

  • Caitlin
    2019-05-27 16:02

    "What would you do," I asked him, "if suddenly the world was perfect and you had no one to spy on?""I'd be bored," Valek said with amusement.I've had a pretty poor reading month - it seems to be a large quantity of books but there hasn't been many quality books that I've read recently. I was so excited to read this after hearing so much love for it on Bookstagram and after I saw the new covers of this series, how could I resist? I'm so happy I read this and it definitely made me fall back in love with reading again in a time where I was struggling to find any good books. I did want this to be a 5 star read but there was something missing for it to be a full 5 stars. I'm probably leaving this at a 4.5 (dammit Goodreads it's 2017, where are my half star options?!).In Poison Study we follow Yelena who's on death row after killing a man who kept her basically as a prisoner. Instead of being executed, Yelena ends up being offered the opportunity to work as the poison taster for the Commander. Obviously she takes the offer and ends up being trained by Valek, who is basically the second in charge. I actually loved the premise of this story and the plot itself executed what I expected really well. My favourite scene was definitely when Yelena plays fugitive and has to fake run away from the castle. (view spoiler)[Okay so it was pretty obvious that there so no real poison and that Valek had made it up. Even Yelena's backstory was a bit obvious but that's only because I've read so many similar backstories - maybe in 2007 when this was written it wasn't as popular and stereotypical. (hide spoiler)] I honestly don't know what I wanted extra to make it a 5 star but this was definitely still an amazing first book in a series and I absolutely cannot wait to read more.Let's just quickly talk about Ari and Janco because omfg I loved them. Maybe it was from all the A Court of Wings and Ruin talk lately but they were definitely giving me Cassian and Azriel vibes. They were so sweet and they wanted to protect Yelena even though she was a known criminal. The way they instantly accepted her as a friend and insisted on training her to defend herself, despite the risks, was honestly so heartwarming and I loved every minute of it. "But you've slipped under my skin, invaded my blood and seized my heart.""That sounds more like a poison than a person," was all I could say. "Exactly," Valek replied. "You have poisoned me."Valek and Yelena omg I love them. I cannot wait to see more of them! I mean I'm still low key concerned about the age gap because I mean I'm 19 and I couldn't imagine being with a 33 year old but I guess you do you. I mean I'll ship it either way so I don't even care anymore. Something I actually really loved was a transgender representation in here. I won't tell you who it is because spoilers but I've never seen a trans rep in a book before and it was actually a pleasant surprise. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>