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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
This novel starts out with a prisoner and a choice. Yelena Zaltana has been convicted of murder. She has murdered General Brazell's son and he hasn't forgiven her. So she is to be executed, that is, until, Valek, the chief of security, offers her a way out. She can become the Commander of Ixia's food taster and live in fear of death with every bite. This idea appeals to...
Published on Dec 30 2007 by Reader Rabbit

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Light Reading
From the first page, it is evident that this isn't Tamora Pierce, Patricia C. Wrede, Mercedes Lackey, Sherwood Smith, or even Trudi Canavan calibre of writing. That being said, fans of the aforementioned authors will enjoy this novel for what it is: a piece of light fiction.

Poison Study does well in the plot department. I don't think I've ever read a book in...
Published on Jan. 28 2007 by Bronwyn


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, Dec 30 2007
This novel starts out with a prisoner and a choice. Yelena Zaltana has been convicted of murder. She has murdered General Brazell's son and he hasn't forgiven her. So she is to be executed, that is, until, Valek, the chief of security, offers her a way out. She can become the Commander of Ixia's food taster and live in fear of death with every bite. This idea appeals to Yelena and so she escapes death. But death may seem welcome in the weeks that follow. Weeks that involve dodging the unforgiving General's men and surviving potentially lethal poisons....

The premise of this novel is excellent and the tidbits about food tasting are extremely interesting. They were, in fact, one of my favourite parts of the novel. Maria Snyder's writing is hooking. As soon as I finished Poison Study I immediately started reading Magic Study. I can't wait until Fire Study comes out in March.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love, Aug. 3 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Poison Study (Paperback)
It's a book that i couldn't put down. I love the book series, can't wait to get the last book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Grabs you in, June 21 2013
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B. Arthurs-jones (Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Poison Study (Paperback)
This is the first in a series of books that will grab your interest and suck you into the magical world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book!, Nov. 24 2007
By 
This was one of those books where as you are reading along you think to yourself 'why the hell did I wait so long to read this!?'. I can't think of any words right now to describe how good I thought this book was. I enjoyed it the whole way through and wanted to read it all in one go. Damn shame I have to work!

Not really my typical 'paranormal' reading this is more fantasy and the setting reminded me slighty of the 'Dhampir' series. Poison Study starts off simple enough and then the story unravels itself and grows into something addictive. The main characters are easy to understand and likable making this story even better.

I can't wait to read the next part 'Magic Study' and I am sure I will be buying 'Fire Study' when that comes out next year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Light Reading, Jan. 28 2007
By 
Bronwyn "bronwynmaye" (North Vancouver, BC, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
From the first page, it is evident that this isn't Tamora Pierce, Patricia C. Wrede, Mercedes Lackey, Sherwood Smith, or even Trudi Canavan calibre of writing. That being said, fans of the aforementioned authors will enjoy this novel for what it is: a piece of light fiction.

Poison Study does well in the plot department. I don't think I've ever read a book in which a food taster is the protagonist and an authoritarian leader is a sympathetic character.

On the other hand, I felt Poison Study fell flat when it came to the romantic relationship between the two main characters. There is undeniable chemistry and a veil of mystery (a la Court Duel by Sherwood Smith) but any romantic scenes are described in such abstract terms that you're not sure if the characters kissed, let alone did anything more interesting!

I look forward to reading the sequel, Magic Study, with the hopes that the auhtor's style will have matured in her sophomore effort.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreaming of Books Review, Feb. 20 2011
This review is from: Poison Study (Paperback)
(May Contain Spoilers)

I have wanted to start this series for the longest time. I've seen Poison Study pop up on blogs with always a lot of praise which naturally got me interested in reading it. Once I read the first chapter, I was hooked.

The story is about Yelena who is next in line to be executed for murder but she is offered a reprieve by becoming the Commander of Ixia's food taster. Knowing that life as a food taster is dangerous; when Yelena is offered the opportunity; she jumps at the chance to live. Yelena has had a horrific past which led to the murder she committed. Yet through it all she's strong, intelligent and brave.

At the beginning, I really didn't think anything romantic would develop between Valek and Yelena. He seemed like he would be the protector/father figure for Yelena. As I kept reading, I could sense that there was something more between the two that was just under the surface. Ari and Janco were great secondary characters too. They're both honest guys that see that Yelena is a good person and really look after her.

Now that I've read Poison Study I see what all the fuss is about. I've already order the second and third books and hope the rest of the series will be just as great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, Dec 4 2005
This review is from: Poison Study (Hardcover)
This book is stunning! It captures your interest right from the first page and then keeps it throughout the book making you read on and on. I couldn't put it down. A definite must read for fantasy lovers!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great setup, lazy finish, Jan. 6 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Poison Study (Hardcover)
I really wanted to like this book. I bought it based on the starred review from Publishers Weekly, and the other customer review here. I was pulled right in with the intriguing setup and riveted for the first half of the book. I had to suspend disbelief at many times to accomodate the needs of the plot, but the build up with the poison training (much the focus in the first third of the book) doesn't chase the story as one might expect from the title of the novel, so the ending feels like a bait and switch.
Midway through, I was starting to feel the ennui of deus ex machina devices to get the heroine out of tight situations. Always the same rescue, and never due to her own cleverness or judgment. By the time she starts to take care of her own business, the story has turned from fantasy political intrigue into hokey romance adventure. In fact, when the heroine picks up a weapon is when the intrigue takes a back seat.
The character Valek is too perfect; the Bad Guys are too maniacally evil. Political intrigue doesn't require Good vs. Evil. In fact, it works far better when the opponents are lighter shade of grey vs. darker shade of grey (something of which George R.R. Martin, mentioned in the PW review, understands).
One problem might be the first-person pov which gets us too close and gives too biased a story.
Snyder is a fine writer, technically, but she hasn't been able to escape a story arc found in most Adventure Romance novels. George R.R. Martin this is certainly not.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing fantasy novel!, Oct. 14 2011
By 
Tynga's Reviews (Quebec,Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Poison Study (Paperback)
Yelena never had it easy. She grew up in an orphanage and ended-up locked in the Commander's dungeon after she killed the son of the man who took her in at age 6. Under the Commander's rule, murder (premeditated or accidental) is punishable by death. On the day she was to meet with the noose, she was offered another option. She could taste the Commander's food and risk death by poisoning any day, or meet her fate right away. Hoping for escape, she chose to become the food taster, but after escaping multiple murder attempts, she realizes poisoning might be the least of her worries.

I've had the Study series books on my bookshelves since 2009 and I can't believe it took me so long the read them. I've read the entire series and the spin-off series (the Glass series) in about two weeks and they were all so good I couldn't pause to write my reviews.

Right after reading the first page of Poison Study I was hooked and knew I was in for an epic ride. Set in a medieval setting with a government led by military, Poison Study is engrossing, heart-thumbing and dangerous. All the elements for an exceptional book, including a love interest (!), were present and I couldn't find an aspect I didn't like. While reading, I was reminded of the atmosphere present in Graceling by Kristin Cashore (another book I'm nuts for) and I was in Heaven!

The plot is intricate and surprising. All the event are flowing even though they don't seem related at first. Maria kept just the good amount of intrigue knitted with an expert dose of answers, to keep you on your toes and have you craving for more.

The characters are also a big part of the appeal. Yelena is stunning. She grows from unsteady girl to a strong woman in front of our eyes and it's a delight to witness. It wouldn't have been possible without the help of a couple of friends though. Valek works as an assassin for the Commander and he is Yelena's immediate superior. He's a sneaky bastard made of awesome and I love him to pieces! Ari and Janco, two soldiers in the Commander's army will also befriend with Yelena and they bicker all the time like an old married couple. They always put a spark of hope and humor in certain-death situation, making the tension bearable.

The conclusion was surprising and exciting, and as you can guess, I was extremely glad to have the second book awaiting for me, which I picked up right away! And I can tell you, after reading the trilogy, that even though all the books were great, Poison Study was my favorite. Mostly because the action is in Ixia vs Sitia.

My Verdict:

Poison Study is a work of genius by Maria V Snyder. Everything from the plot, the pace, the characters, is perfectly set-up for this novel to be unforgettable. If you love fantasy books, this is one of the best you'll be able to find!
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2.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to like it, July 29 2011
This review is from: Poison Study (Paperback)
Poison study had a unique setup, like some other reviewers have mentioned I've never read a novel with a food taster and the protagonist. At first her hurtles as through the training were very interesting but it started to go down hill own she stared to become some master killer in a few short months of training. The political intrigue took a back seat to maniacal magicians and insane Generals without any real purpose.
The romance though between the two main characters is probably what kills me. Its unrealistic and kind of forced, her falling in love with this man she has absolutely no reason to like in the least and she never seems to give any indication that she does until near the end. And again as another reviewer so eloquently put it you can't tell if they're doing anything more intimate than kissing because the writing is so abstract.
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Poison Study
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (Paperback - Dec 1 2008)
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