SELECT * FROM uv_BookReviewRollup WHERE recordnum = 1327 Poison Study Book One of the Yelena Zaltana Trilogy, by Maria V. Snyder Book Review | SFReader.com

Poison Study  Book One of the Yelena Zaltana Trilogy, by Maria V. Snyder cover image

Poison Study Book One of the Yelena Zaltana Trilogy, by Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Mira
Published: 2008
Review Posted: 5/3/2009
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 10 out of 10

Poison Study Book One of the Yelena Zaltana Trilogy, by Maria V. Snyder

Book Review by SJ Higbee

Have you read this book?

This enjoyable fantasy -- like all of the better quality books in any genre -- possesses all the ingredients that make speculative fiction fans look for more of the same, but also gives a new spin on the premise. So you have your intrepid, but severely victimised heroine; a satisfyingly nasty and dangerous villain and a plethora of awkward and potentially lethal choices confronting your plucky protagonist...

And the difference? Already convicted for murder, Yelena is under the death sentence when the book opens and has a choice -- be executed for murder or become food taster to the Commander of Ixia. She leaps at the chance for survival, but her relief may be short-lived. The Commander's food tasters don't have much life expectancy -- and small wonder. Life in the palace is full of hazards and secrets. Yelena must learn to identify poisons before they kill her, recognise whom she can trust and how to spy on those she can't. And who is the mysterious Southern sorceress who can reach into her head?

I liked the fact that Snyder opted not to give us a blow-by-blow account of Yelena's grim history of coercion, torture and rape -- but started the book at the point when she is offered a way out. Told in first person POV, the story whips along at a suitably cracking pace as Yelena struggles to survive in this hostile environment. Snyder gives us a reasonably rounded protagonist and the supporting cast are well drawn and interesting. Although I found the main male character just a little too much in command of everything going on around him. If he'd floundered a little bit more, there could have been a greater sense of danger during the main crisis point of the plot.

However, this is a relatively picky point in a well-written and slickly crafted story that zips along with plenty of action and character development. When I finished the book, I immediately reached for Magic Study, the second book in the series. And when I finish it tonight, I'm going to dive straight into the third book.

Click here to buy Poison Study Book One of the Yelena Zaltana Trilogy, by Maria V. Snyder on Amazon

Poison Study Book One of the Yelena Zaltana Trilogy, by Maria V. Snyder on Amazon

Poison Study  Book One of the Yelena Zaltana Trilogy, by Maria V. Snyder cover pic
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Comments on Poison Study Book One of the Yelena Zaltana Trilogy, by Maria V. Snyder
Posted by emily on 5/5/2010
These books are amaaazing! i just finished reading poison study last night and it only took me about a week i had such a hard time putting it down. I cant wait to read the other 2 books cause im sure they will be just as good!.
Posted by n on 5/27/2009
i loved this book. i literally could not put it down, even after i finished reading it. the plot kept me on the edge of my seat and i loved that it wasn't a cheesey predictable story. yelena had to learn to stay aliveh herself and refused to give up keep. she didn't only think about herself she had to keep others safe at the same time and carried on fighting throughout all the hardships she suffered. i also loved that there was a love story between yelena and valek. even though they only admitted it at the end when they were both parting ways - valek to stay in ixia and yelena to find her family in sitia. after i read the end i couldn't wait to go and buy the sequel magic study