Monday, September 11, 2006

Title: Poison Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Published: 2005, Luna
Category: Fantasy
Rating: 9/10

I'm having such good luck with books right now! This one was a recommendation from Samantha. Here is a link to her very good review.

This is a really good book. I loved it. *sigh* And it's the first in a trilogy! Oh, how I love a good trilogy.

Yelena is a young woman who's been convicted of murder and sentenced with death. As an alternative to the noose, she is offered the job of food taster to the Commander. He is the leader of the military government which is currently in power in this world, and is very wary of being poisoned to death. Even though she knows that the life expectancy of the food taster is very short, Yelena agrees. She is trained in the various types of poisons and how to identify them by a man named Valek, who is the cheif advisor to the Commander.

I was excitedly telling Twin about the plot of this book. I got to this point and looked at her like, isn't that cool? And she says, "So what, that's it? This girl just tastes the guy's food for poison? Here's dinner. Oh, phew, she's still alive. No poison this time." And I realized that it does sound sort of lame if you put it like that. But it's not at all! Yelena's got many enemies to avoid (including the father of the man she killed, who obviously wants to revenge), burgeoning magical abilities that she doesn't understand and can't control, and an escape plan to put into action.

It's very exciting. I couldn't put it down, and when I finished it I went right onto Amazon and pre-ordered the next book in the series, Magic Study, which is out Oct 1. Squeee!

Yelena is a wonderful character--such a survivor. A kick-ass kind of heroine. She has not had an easy life, but she just keeps going, salvaging whatever she can to keep alive. But she's never annoyingly martyr-ish. She is not infallible, but honestly flawed which is very endearing. Lots of very interesting secondary characters too.

***Slightly spoilerish****

And the love story, while subtle, is so sweet. I love romances where the H/H start out as enemies, or in this case maybe not enemies, but they are at least wary of each other. As they get to know each other, they slowly come to respect and trust the other. And it creeps up on them so slowly that they barely recognize it at first. And I have to say that it was refreshing to read a completely PG book. In these days of racier and racier books, it was a nice change of pace. Now that I think about it, aside from a few violent scenes and the talk of rape, it could have been a YA book.

I've been having such good luck with books, I'm afraid to start anything else. This run of excellent books can't go on. The next one's bound to be a rotter.


nath said...

oh man, this book sure sounds good :) Now I'll have to go hunt it down!!! nice review :) and I like your sis' opinion :) She's not a reader right or at least, not romance right? They can always be so sarcastic.

Angela James said...

I loved this book. I have also read the next one, Magic Study, which releases in October. I was afraid it wouldn't live up, but it's different and still extremely satisfying, so don't be afraid to pick it up when it release (I know I'm sometimes hesitant when it comes to a series follow-up of a book that's so darn good)

And I had that same good book feeling after reading this a few weeks ago. Luckily, I had Magic Study to follow it up with. I had also read a book called Pornolygy that was excellent. After those three books back to back, it's been difficult to recapture that awesome book feeling. I'm going to read The Smoke Thief, by Shana Abe, and hope that maybe does it :)

Samantha said...

God I LOVE this book. I do a little fan girl dance in my head whenever I hear it mentioned anywhere. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! And I have Magic Study pre-ordered as well. Shit I'd pre-order Fire Study too if I could.

Rosario said...

I've had this one loaded in my ebookwise for a while now, but your review is going to make me start it soon!

julieree said...

well, you have to admit, the way you described it to me really didn't sound all that compelling. But now it does sound good. You didn't tell me there were "magical abilities" involved. Now that's interesting. Maybe I'll read this one. ;)

ames said...

Good review, it sounds very interesting. I'll have to check it out. :P

Mailyn said...

This book has been on my wish list for a while. I really need to get it asap. Great review!

Jennie said...

Nath--She does read, though she usually sticks to slightly more "high brow" sorts of books. But if I tell her a romance is really good, she'll read it and like it. But she likes to make fun of me (in a nice way, of course!)

Angie-I'm so glad to hear good things about Magic Study! Follow-ups are often disappointing, and middle books of trilogies can be especially dodgy. ;)

Samantha--It's only, what, three weeks till Magic Study is out? YAY!

Rosario--Pull it up on your e-thingie and get crackin! ;p

pookie--I may let you borrow it if you're nice to me. And make me more chocolate chip cookies. Hee hee.

Ames & Mailyn--It's definitely worth a read!

Kristie (J) said...

I read a few reviews for this one a while ago when it was only out in harcover. I noticed it's out in MM now and I picked up a copy of it the other day. Glad to see someone else really likes it too!

CindyS said...

I'm glad I read that 'spoilerish' thing because PG does not make me happy! Dang, the book sounds awesome too. Oh well, I have two other books that are YA and have no sex so until I read those and figure out if I can cope - NO BOOK FOR ME!!


Jennie said...

Kristie-I waited for it in MM too. I just can't justify buying hardcovers by unknown-to-me authors, even if other people are saying good things about them.

Cindy--You're too funny! LOL. Yes, no sex. And I was a bit surprised, because Luna is the Fantasy imprint of Harlequin. And I thought automatically Harlequin=sex, but I guess not.

Dylan said...

Okay that's two rave reviews for this book, i'm totally bumping this up on my TBR list, my nosy behind is totally checking this out...

I see that NR's Key of Valor or Knowledge or something is in your random books from Library Thing, did you like that series?

Jennie said...

The Key trilogy was good, but not all that memorable, imo. I think the Chesapeake Bay, Born In, and the 3-sisters Island trilogies were better.

Marg said...

I have had this on my TBR list for a while now, but I have resisted borrowing it because my library list is out of control again!!

borg-princess said...


I was just looking up reviews for this book to decide whether I should buy it or not- and I came across mentions of a rape scene, but frustratingly, people don't explain more than the fact that it occurs. I was hoping you could mention whether the main character is the one that's raped or note. I know other reviewers have said it's not too graphic, but that's going to be a factor in whether I purchase it.


Jennie said...

Hi borg-princess,


Yes, it is the main character who is raped. It happens before the book starts, so there is not a graphic description of it, but Yelena does think back on it. It's a touchy subject, but I thought it was handled really well.

Hope that helps!