Title: Poison Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Study #1
Release Date: September 21st, 2007
Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.
As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear…
I've been hearing about this series for a couple of years, but I always ended up buying some other book. Finally, I decided to pick it up and I'm so glad I did.
We have Yelena, who's been in the Commander's castle dungeon, waiting to be executed for murder. When Valek, the Commander's right hand, gives Yelena the opportunity to be the food taster, she decides that anything is better than dead. After that, everything seems to go wrong for her. The general of the MD-5 territory wants to kill her for killing his son, the chief maid despises her, she's tricked by Valek and strange things keep happening around her.
Yelena is a very strong character, even though she doesn't think so. She adapts quickly to her new enviroment, makes unexpected friends and tries to learn how to defend herself
Then there's Valek. He's the chief of security, the right hand of the Commander of Ixia and the person he trusts the most. The thing I liked the most about Valek is his loyalty. At some point, Yelena gains his trust, and together they make an incredible team.
Then there's the other characters: Ari & Janco who are Yelena's friends and teach her how to fight; the Commander who's powerful, sure of himself & ruthless; Irys, a magician from Sitia & Rand and the rest of the household staff, who are a distrustful bunch.
The world Snyder created is fascinating, with 2 territories, Ixia, where everyone has to be dressed with especific colors, works, had to ask for permision to move or get married, and among other things, if you have magic, you are instantly executed. Then there's Sitia, where the magicians live.
This is an amazing book and once you start reading it, you won't be able to stop. It has the perfect pace, a very interesting plot and you connect with the main character, Yelena, instantly. The only thing I regret is not having bought the other 2 books of the series at the same time as this one.
Valek sat down behind his desk, opening my folder once more. Picking up his quill, he talked to me while writing. "You just had your first lesson in food tasting. Your drink was laced with a poison called Butterfly's Dust. Mine wasn't. The only way to detect Butterfly's Dust in liquid is to gargle it. That rotten-orange flavor you tasted was the poison."
I rose, my head spinning. "Is it lethal?"
"A big enough dose will kill you in two days. The symptoms don't arrive until the second day, but by then it's too late."
"Did I have a lethal dose?" I held my breath.
"Of course. Anything less and you wouldn't have tasted the poison."
Magic Study - Study Series #2