Poison Study Hardcover – Oct 1 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Shivers, obsession, sleepless nights—these are the results not of one of the milder poisons that novice food-taster Yelena must learn during her harrowing job training but of newcomer Snyder's riveting fantasy that unites the intelligent political focus of George R.R. Martin with a subtle yet potent romance. Through a stroke of luck, Yelena escapes execution in exchange for tasting the food of the Commander, ruler of Ixia. Though confined to a dank prison cell and doomed to a painful death, Yelena slowly blooms again, caught up in castle politics. But some people are too impatient to wait for poison to finish off Yelena. With the help of Valek, her steely-nerved, cool-eyed boss and the Commander's head of security, she soon discovers that she has a starring role to play in Ixia's future—a role that could lead to her being put to death as a budding magician even if she hits each cue perfectly. The first in a series, this is one of those rare books that will keep readers dreaming long after they've read it.
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"This is one of those rare books that will keep readers dreaming long after they've read it."
-Publishers Weekly on Poison Study, starred review
"Snyder delivers another excellent adventure."
-Publishers Weekly on Fire Study
"Snyder's clear, straightforward, yet beautifully descriptive style is refreshing, while the story itself is completely engrossing."
-RT Book Reviews on Magic Study
"Snyder deftly weaves information about glassblowing into her tale of magic and murder."
-Library Journal on Storm Glass
"A compelling new fantasy series."
-SFX magazine on Sea Glass
"Snyder's storytelling skills continue to build an involving story line with an engaging and resourceful heroine."
-Library Journal on Spy Glass
"Filled with Snyder's trademark sarcastic humor, fast-paced action and creepy villainy, Touch of Power is a spellbinding romantic adventure that will leave readers salivating for the next book in the series."
"The action in this book is non-stop, with many twists and turns to keep the reader guessing about what's in store on the next page."
-Examiner.com on Scent of Magic
"Snyder draws us in with her excellent, efficient storytelling, amusing dialogue and distinctive characters, all set within a well-crafted plot. A delight of a read!"
-RT Book Reviews on Taste of Darkness --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Review at a Glance: An enjoyable opening to a fantasy series, though the characters were somewhat difficult to connect to, and the world would benefit from more detail.
Review: I enjoyed this one, though I was hoping to like it more. I like the premise a lot- Yelena is offered a choice- to be executed for murder (all killings are considered punishable be death, no matter what the reason), or to become food taster for the leader of Ixia, and likely eventually die by poison.
I found Yelena fairly likable, though I did not completely connect to her. Perhaps part of it was that she felt very multi-talented without being multifaceted? She felt generally quite straightforward as a character, though I could see that she was meant to have depth, that depth just didn't feel completely real to me. This aside, she's a very enduring person, she's had a lot of horrible things happen to her in the past, and she pushes on despite that. She's fairly intelligent and curious, and slow to trust because of her past, and forms bonds to other people slowly.
As a result, she takes some time finding her place in the palace, but she does make friends. One complaint I did have was that her relationship with her love interest, Valek, moves very quickly from friendship. It seemed strange, given the abuse in her past, for Yelena to be comfortable moving that quickly into an intimate relationship. It just seemed sudden, it might have done with more build-up, more time for the relationship to evolve.
The world was one that lacked a history, as there was a recent uprising, replacing the nobility with a military leader. The new leadership bans magic, endangering Yelena further, as power begins to awaken in her.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Started out slowish, weird flashbacks..but i love Yelena and Valek.. they are so cute and i'm so excited to read the second book and learn more about her magical powers ! w00t !Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Simply enchanting. Poison Study was a captivating read starting from the get-go with interesting storytelling, setting the scene very well and informing the reader about the past... Read morePublished 12 months ago by TheNotSoPublicLibrary
Amazing, witty and a great plot line! I'll be eagerly waiting for morePublished 14 months ago by peterpan2
A readable tale with engaging characters and a plausible plot. A very pleasant distraction in fact...Published 16 months ago by Tom McGreevy
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. Read morePublished 24 months ago by L. C. L.
It's a book that i couldn't put down. I love the book series, can't wait to get the last bookPublished on Aug. 3 2013 by Michelle
This is the first in a series of books that will grab your interest and suck you into the magical world.Published on June 21 2013 by Clinkdrew
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. Read morePublished on July 29 2011 by Max Holiday