26 May 2011

Book Review: Poison Study by Maria V Snyder

Poison Study by Maria V Snyder
Release Date: September 21st, 2007 (UK)
Publisher: MIRA
Rating: 10 out of 10
Recommended? YES!!!!
Buy the Book: Amazon US

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… - Goodreads Page
Oh. My. God. I’ve read Maria V Snyder’s other series, Inside Out, so I knew her writing and storytelling skills were great, but this was just incredible! Why has no one forced me to pick this up before? *glares* I loved it! So, as you can probably tell, this review is going to be full of gush. And swooning over Valek. Just a warning ;)

Our main protagonist Yelena is about to be executed for killing a General’s son, when she is taken to meet a man who offers her the choice to become the Commander’s poison tester. Yelena, not wanting to die quite yet, accepts, and from there we see her go through her training, tests and getting into lots of trouble.

The characters were, for me, the main draw of this book. There’s Yelena, who is a strong protagonist and looks out for herself really well. Then there’s Valek, the Commander, Janco, Ari, Rand, Brazell and more who are all incredibly well developed characters with more sides than a tetracontagon. I don’t know how Snyder does it, but she always makes me fall in love with (almost) every single character in her stories. Sheer brilliance, ‘tis.

Move over Dimitri Belikov, and create a space on that 1st place podium you’re currently standing on, for *drum roll* Valek! Oh my goodness. *swoons* How is it possible to hate a character so much in the beginning, only to love him at the end? Okay, I’ll be honest, I saw what Snyder was doing, and I never hated Valek. Yeah, I may have been a bit weary of him and scared, but I could never hate him. He’s badass. He’s incredibly intelligent, he’s a badass fighter, he’s good looking, he’s the Commander’s second in command... I could do this all day. I love him.

Need I say more? I think you get the gist from all of this gushing. This book was fantastic, and has soared to the top spot of my list of favourites. I’ve read the second book as well, which is also brilliant. I highly recommend buying this RIGHT. NOW. and if you have  it sitting on your bookshelf waiting to be read, then what are you waiting for? Bring this to the top of your TBR piles, because this is TOP PRIORITY. *breathes* Yeah, read it ;)  


  1. This one definitely gets a two thumbs up from me too!

  2. Ahh this series is so awesome! It's underrated for sure. And zomg Valek <33 heck even Ari and Janco get a <3

  3. I love Valek =D and this novel was GREAT! so is the rest of the series!! and the glass series that is a spin off :) Maria ROCKS!

  4. OMG I have a huge smile after reading your review!
    I'm ashamed to admit I'm one of those who own Poison Study and haven't read it yet. *holds up hand* But I'll read it soon I promise! :)

    I loved your review! You made me excited about this book Thank you! Now it's definitely higher on TBR-soon list!

  5. I always see this book, consider it for a while and then end up getting something else. I think after reading this review i will get it next time.

    Amy (new follower)


  6. I love that you all love Valek xD Thank you for your comments! *GRIN*

    Jess - I'm nervous about starting the spin off (how often to Yelena and Valek turn up in the spin off series?) because I'm going to miss the old characters so much.

    Frosy - I'm glad! You're making me smile with your comment. Let me know when you do pick it up (which had better be soon ;)) because I would love to know what you think :D

    Amy - Please do :D I'm glad my review had an impact! It's what I aim for. Thank you for following :)

  7. Yelena and Valek do make appearances in the Glass series. But I am still holding out hope for another Study book someday :)

  8. Yes!! I looooooved this book so much! The characters did it for me too. The plot was great, but the characters grabbed my heart and were the main reason I love it so much. I am totally with you on Valek. Sooo swoon-worthy!

  9. Saw this in Borders today but was torn on whether or not I should get it! Didn't know if I'd like it but judging from your very positive review I will LOL. Going back next week ;)

  10. LR - They do? Excellent! I know I'm going to miss them when I finished the Study series though.

    Small - I must say, you have excellent taste in male characters! Haha. I'm glad you're with me on this, I now know I'm not crazy and gushing over nothing!

    Lisa - What do you mean, you didn't pick it up? Blasphemy! Haha. Ah, I think you're going to love it xD


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