Poison Study: A Book Review

Posted March 27, 2015 by Carlisa in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Poison Study: A Book ReviewPoison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Also by this author: Magic Study
Series: Study #1
Published by Mira on March 1, 2007
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Romance, YA
Pages: 416 pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

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...

Since I’ve started book reviewing more and creeping on all of your book reviews, this one came up a bunch and it seemed to be one of those you-have-to-read-this, this-is-a-YA-classic type of book. Paired with its high ratings on Goodreads and its convenient availability at my school’s library, this book jumped to the top of my TBR pile (which incidentally has also increased exponentially since I started reviewing/creeping more).

Anyways, this book. There’s a girl named Yelena. The story opens to her in a dungeon about to be executed…not very good circumstances, I know (and no, I’m not going to tell you why she’s in this position). But right before the end, when you start getting nervous and can hear the faint Jaws music coming in the background, she gets an option. That is not a spoiler…obviously she wasn’t going to be executed in the first chapter of the book. Come on, now. She becomes the Commander’s food taster, testing for all poisons and the like. The story follows Yelena’s adventures through the castle, adventures that include some kissing, some, some killing, and some magic.

I really liked this book. Not going to lie, it was super predictable but I enjoyed it despite that. Normally predictability is my pet peeve, no-no of books. When I can see the end from the beginning, I just get annoyed and am that way for the rest of the book. This book was pretty predictable, but I never got annoyed with it. The storyline was engaging enough that I still loved it. Here’s why:

The story is original. At least to me. I haven’t read anything else too similar and I loved that. Snyder created this new theory of magic that was beautifully done. I don’t want to spoil it for you if you haven’t read it, so I’m not going to tell you anything about that theory. Buuuut I liked it. And just the storyline in general.

The characters were fierce and kicked butt and I loved them all the same. There are actually a lot of characters, now that I think about it. I lot of minor characters, a few major characters, and a lot of in betweeny characters. And their developments were great. Valek and Yelena both grow and change over the course of the book and I found myself rooting for them as it went along.

Those were the two things I liked the most about Poison Study. Aaand my coworker has the sequel so I’m hoping to read that before I go home for the summer in a month!


  • Lola @ Reading by Lamplight

    I love this book, I’m glad you enjoyed it too, even if it is a bit predictable! 😉

    • Me too! I really did enjoy it! Have you read the sequels?