Review: Posion Study by Maria. V. Snyder

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The first proper book I picked out of my little jar was Maria V. Snyder's, Posion Study. I picked this book up last year while in The Works and was looking for a good deal! Without hearing any hype about this book before picking it up I am quite surprised with how I ended up feeling after reading it.  
Warning does contain minor spoilers!

"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..." 

Truthfully, I am quite torn with how I've felt after reading this novel. The novel had many positives including the plot and the depth of information the reader is given by Snyder. However, I also felt that the novel lost it's greatness with certain areas such as characters.

Within the plot of the story you are given a lot of knowledge about Yelena's past and how she ended up in the position for being executed for murder. Once her future is decided to be the new food taster you are then given in depth knowledge on how she is trained as the new taster. While reading through the first half of the book you see a drastic development of Yelena as the story evolves you discover she is more than a shy and timid young teenage girl but a strong women who has been damaged by life. 

Snyder also used flash backs and the use of magic to give the reader an in depth idea of how things are going on. My favourite section of the novel was when Yelena was learning how to combine both her magic and her strength together. Throughout these chapters Yelena starts being able to handle her magical skills properly and using them to her advantage.

My main problem with the characters no matter how much I loved them was the fact that I felt some areas of the development of the characters changed drastically and felt too pushed. The main relationship I feel this happens with is Yelena and Valek- the commanders chief of security. The reason being for this is that at first I feel their relationship is quite unnatural and it is only near the end of the novel where you have found out more about Valek that you can understand the relationship properly. Don't get me wrong, I love and I regard myself as a Yelena and Valek shipper but I feel the way the romantic relationship between them starts wasn't the right way and could have been written better. 

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anybody who enjoys reading fantasy. I am looking forward to picking up the next book in the series- Magic Study. Although I am quite worried about reading it due to the fact that I have heard and read some negative things about it. 

If you have read this particular novel let me know what you thought of it yourself!

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