Book Rant: Poison Study

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Greetings!

BOOK RATING: 9.5/10

Another less well known novel, Poison Study written by Maria V. Snyder is the first book in a fantasy trilogy. I read this because I heard about it in a YouTube video, I’ve mentioned this girl before, polandbananasBOOKS, check her out. I haven’t read the other two yet, hopefully I will get to them soon! Now right to it! As it says right on the cover:

“Choose: A quick death…or a slow poison”

Our main character is a 19 year old girl named Yelena (how awesome is that name?) and she is about to be executed for murder. However she is offered a choice to not only escape the noose but also live in the lap of luxury. Here’s the catch though, she’ll be a food tester. A test dummy to ensure the safety of the Commander. So Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, Valek, knows he can’t have a confessed killer walking around the palace without a few fail safes. He feeds her Butterfly’s Dust and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she survive the poison’s affects. This book takes place in a country called Ixia and it ruled in a military fashion. All laws are also absolute. If you break one, nothing you say in your defence (even if it’s true) will change your sentence. Magic has been outlawed and if it’s discovered that you can practice magic you are killed, no questions asked.  If you haven’t read it go do so! It a great book, I read it in a day, couldn’t put it down! There will be spoilers after this point so if you don’t want to be spoiled, toddles!

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Amazing book!!! From the first page I couldn’t put it down. The way it written is so simple and blunt it’s fantastic. Wonderful, wonderful characters! I don’t know about anyone else but characters, for me, are make it or break it in any novel. From the very first chapter I had a great first impression of Yelena. She is a young woman who had ended up in a very bad and terrifying situation, but was willing to own up to the life she’d taken. She never made excuses for her actions, although her reasons were valid. So I loved her character right from the start and my opinion of her only increased throughout the book. When she was playing the fugitive I was laughing at all the soldiers because she’s just so awesome throughout that entire thing and then she just starts walking down the road and lets them catch her. And Janco full on football tackles her even though she’s just walking along super chill like, it was hilarious. Janco and Ari, can I have them as best friends? Can that just happen?  They’re this perfect mix between protective older brothers, and funny best friends, and sweet, adorable puppies.  I’m not sure if they’re actually related but in my mind they looked like twins so I’m sticking with that. The training sessions I really liked and I really like how they agreed to teach a murder (hey, that’s what she is. She didn’t deny it.) how to fight right away with barely a moment’s hesitation just shows what excellent judges of character they are. The best of the training sessions I thought was when Janco was teaching Yelena how to pick locks and she come back to her room and Valek is all jealous. On that subject: Valek! Valek is a badass. I love his character so much because he’s an amazing killer ninja, but that’s not all he is. There’s so much to him like his sculptures and he has a sweet and funny side. When I first read this book I thought he was in his mid-40s or something then about halfway through when the romance thing came up (awe! It’s so cute and awkward! I didn’t really think he loved her back and then he does! Sorry, teenage girl moment) I realized he was actually probably in his late 20s maybe early 30s or something. Another hilarious moment in this book when Yelena is really drunk and she starts hitting on Valek. At first it was just sweet and funny (I feel like I’m using that word to much but that’s what it was!) that conversation they had about the flawless world was just perfectly ridiculous drunk person rambling but then she’s just full on trying to undress him. Woah there girl! I did feel bad for her though when he told her to get some sleep. Yelena and Valek’s relationship is very push-pull the entire way through the story which is way more interesting to read then all lovey dovey all the time.

One the flip side though this book also had a lot of serious, really intense stuff. And as I said earlier it was written very bluntly about what Yelena had gone through and what she continued to go through. Her situation is actually very horrific throughout the entire book and she never gets a break from it. At the beginning being kidnapped the Brazell’s lab rat, Reyad raping and whipping her then Brazell’s men, Nix, Rand’s betrayal,  the witch Irys, Reyad ghost , Mogkan and various people who try and kill her all while doing a potentially lethal job. About Reyad’s ghost I wasn’t really sure if that was in her guilt ridden imagination like the tell-tale heart or can she actually see ghosts or he was haunting her or something?

Butterfly’s Dust! Sorry guys I’m jumping all over the place this isn’t really coherent! So many thoughts all at once! Anyway, I didn’t see it coming that Butterfly’s Dust wasn’t real but looking back I probably should have. There was just so much else going on in this book I kind of just accepted that it was real quite easily. When Valek told her I was torn between wanting to slap him and wanting to hug him. The being happy with him won out because I was just so happy she wasn’t going to die.

What I really like about this book is the non-stop action but it’s not like a lot of these fantasy-action novels that are just ridiculously over the top. Oh, there was peace one day, then I went a single handily slayed the might man-eating bear, then I climbed a mountain range to get to a feast, the next morning we were at war, by the next night I had killed 500 men and their leader using magic, then I went and fought a dragon next afternoon and saved the princess and now I am king and oh by the way someone is trying to assassinate me. If there really was a kingdom like this with magicians, I could see stuff like this happening.

Last thing I want to talk about before I wrap this up (It’s getting long again! Oops! So much to say so little time!) is the Commander. He/she was a really interesting, unique character. Pretty much a dictator – I don’t want to say war lord but I guess he/she is. Both dictator and war lord have such negative connotations and Ixia is clearly not perfect, but for normal people it doesn’t seem too horrid. – Anyway, he/she became a leader by overthrowing a monarchy and the Commander seems like a very realistic person and very logical. But what confused me a great deal, as you might be able to tell, is the gender of the Commander. Is he really a woman pretending to be a man? Or is he really a man but think he’s a woman (woman trapped in a man’s body kind of deal) or does he have a bit of a split personality disorder? Or a man trapped in a woman’s body? Or is he a man that just has a bit of a feminine side that comes out in his dreams? Or maybe there’s so weird magic going on? I don’t know! Thoughts?

Ok that it for me on the book! I loved it! I’m going to get the Pandemonium book chat out for you all next week. I’m still really new at this blogging this so I’m trying to get in a system. I am going to try having a book review every weekend and obviously just random stuff during the week so we’ll see how that goes! The “What am I reading” thing on the side I will do my best to keep more or less current but I’m one of those people who has multiple books on at once and sadly I can only show one book at a time on that. It’s a tragedy for sure. If you have a book you want me to review or just think I’ll like let me know, I’m always looking for new stuff.

Kisses! Bye people!

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11 Comments

  1. Pingback: Review: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder | Witchmag's Boekenplank

  2. I agree that it is a great book/ series, the whole gender of the commander is explained later so do not fear. If you like this series you will probably like The Healing Wars by Janice Hardy. Also an amazing series, a little more over the top action but still a great story.

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