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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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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great setup, lazy finish
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...
Published on Jan. 6 2006


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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 But I want the next one Now [whining], April 17 2006
This review is from: Poison Study (Hardcover)
A friend told me about this book and loaned it to me. Yum. I can't wait for the next one to come out.
Yelena gets off death row by agreeing to be the food-taster for the Commander of her country. She is given a poison which requires her to recieve a dose of antidote every day or suffer an agonizing death. She has a secret that, if discovererd, would land her another death sentence. Meanwhile, all is not as it seems at the castle and our food-taster is surrounded by enemies. Intrigue, adventure, and a bit of romance ensue.
Yelena is a fabulous character and her voice (as the narrator) feels real. Characters in general are complex with good and bad points and a variety of motivations. The exceptions would be the Bad Guys who are well and truly, deliciously, Evil.
Interestingly, in this book,: 1) a military dictatorship is not necessarily a bad form of government. 2) Chocolate is very, very tasty, but very, very bad for you.
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to a really good author, July 29 2014
By 
L. C. L. "LCL" (Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Poison Study (Hardcover)
This was the first book I ready by Maria V. Snyder and I think she's great. I love the worlds she has created and always look forward to the next book. I like her characters and the pace of the action. Things don't necessarily end the way I expect, which isn't necessarily a bad thing!
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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 Love, Aug. 3 2013
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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
(REAL NAME)   
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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
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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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Poison Study
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (Paperback - Dec 1 2008)
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