Saturday, 27 April 2013
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Honestly, I expected to find Posion Study a bit tacky (I was judging from the cover!), a guilty pleasure kind of read, so I was surprised by how honestly good it was. Yelena is a wonderful heroine and the fantasy elements are seamlessly woven into the plot. Snyder manages to make the reader understand all about Ixia without having to actually tell us too much about it, something that is surprisingly difficult to pull off in fantasy. The theme of political intrigue of course transfers over to real life very easily.
I loved reading about Yelena's training to become a food taster. Snyder goes into a lot of detail about the different types of poisons and the methods that Valek uses to make her become aware of all of them, and I found it completely fascinating. That kind of detail shows how well thought out Snyder's Ixia is. Yelena's character undergoes a decent amount of development and the romance plays a back seat to the plot, both of which also work towards making Poison Study such a good read.
Of course, there were things about the book I didn't enjoy so much. After watching the romance develop so slowly throughout the bulk of the text, I felt like it was resolved too quickly near the end. The theory behind magic was introduced but never explained fully, although I'm hoping this will be developed later on in the trilogy. Some of Yelena's new friends were just that bit too nice to be believable in the atmosphere she was living in.
On the whole, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this title. I'll definitely be picking up the next book in the series.
Score: 4 out of 5
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Mh, I have soft spot when it comes to poisoners in books (I think it started with Robin Hobb's "Assassin's Apprentice"). I'll keep this book in mind for the time I get *that* kind of craving again :)ReplyDelete
I've yet to read any Robin Hobb, but I've heard good things about the books. I've added the one you mention to my wishlist :)Delete
Yay! I'm so glad you liked it! I just automatically add anything that Maria V. Snyder writes to my TBR list :)ReplyDelete
I also loved how smoothly Snyder tells us about the world without doing an information-dump and how much thought went into the food tasting process.
And Valek is just *sigh* :)
I think I might go the same way, the great thing is that she's already written lots of books for me to discover!Delete
I actually like the UK covers better than the US versions ;) I read Poison Study a long time ago, and have continued to collect the author's other books, but haven't cracked any of them open yet. I did enjoy Poison Study quite a bit. It might have been one of the first YA books I read.ReplyDelete
I like the US ones, they look almost like historical fiction, which is a genre I am more comfortable with! I've got Magic Study waiting, hopefully I'll get to it soon.Delete
Sounds like an interesting fantasy tale, I do love my fantasy. I don't think I should be starting anymore series though as I still have 6 books from The Song of Ice and Fire series to be getting on with :-PReplyDelete
Ah, hope you love A Song of Ice and Fire as much as I did. My next 'big' series is going to be Wheel of Time, I read up to book 6 years ago and can't wait to revisit it.Delete
I enjoyed this book but I felt it started a lot stronger than it finished. Like you I thought the whole food taster thing was really inventive and set it apart from the hordes of other fantasy novels. But, I'm not sure I need to go back to the rest of the series. I do that a lot though, even when I like the book. I've nearly given up on starting series since I don't finish them!ReplyDelete
I agree that it was stronger at the beginning. I plan on reading Magic Study, but who knows when I will actually get to it!Delete
I really loved this book as well! I keep looking out for the rest of the series in my local libraries but no luck so far..ReplyDelete
I really enjoyed Poison Study too. I've heard not-great things about the rest of the trilogy so I haven't pursued them, but if you get a hold of Magic Study, it will be interesting to hear your thoughts on it.ReplyDelete