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Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Poison Study (original 2005; edition 2008)

by Maria V. Snyder

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,2092321,732 (4.13)1 / 215
Title:Poison Study
Authors:Maria V. Snyder
Info:Mira (2008), Edition: Original, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:2012, Fantasy, YA, magic, ebook

Work details

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (2005)

  1. 140
    Graceling by Kristin Cashore (espertus)
    espertus: Both stories of strong but vulnerable young women struggling both for survival and to reconcile with their consciences what they've had to do to survive.
  2. 133
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (stephxsu, MyriadBooks)
    stephxsu: Similarly intelligent, courageous, and resourceful heroines struggling against a fully realized world. Excellent stuff!
  3. 60
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    cecilypk: both have strong female leads with budding romance and great plots
  4. 40
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  5. 51
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  6. 30
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  7. 30
    The Magicians' Guild by Trudi Canavan (litaddictedbrit, lottpoet)
    litaddictedbrit: Similarly strong female lead and great magic twists
  8. 41
    Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier (FutureMrsJoshGroban)
  9. 30
    Archangel by Sharon Shinn (crazybatcow)
  10. 30
    The Decoy Princess by Dawn Cook (infiniteletters, CrochetDancer)
  11. 30
    Circle of Magic Quartet by Tamora Pierce (terriko)
  12. 20
    A College of Magics by Caroline Stevermer (infiniteletters)
  13. 20
    Sandry's Book by Tamora Pierce (terriko)
    terriko: Poison study reminded me of the whole Circle of Magic series, and the Circle Opens one.
  14. 20
    Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder (RoxieF)
  15. 21
    A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (mamaie)
    mamaie: I read A Discovery of Witches right after Poison Study; A Discovery of witches is more graphic.
  16. 21
    The Well of Shades by Juliet Marillier (Jen7waters)
    Jen7waters: Valek reminds me of Faolan.
  17. 10
    Angel-Seeker by Sharon Shinn (crazybatcow)
    crazybatcow: Very similar romantic fantasy themes. Mature but not graphic.
  18. 10
    The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (FFortuna)
    FFortuna: Poison Study is more graphic.
  19. 10
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  20. 00
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(see all 23 recommendations)


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English (229)  French (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (233)
Showing 1-5 of 229 (next | show all)
2.5 ( )
  Gorthalon | Dec 7, 2014 |
I can't even tell you how many times I have read this book. There is a strong hero and heroines, wonderful plot, twists and turns, also the promise of something more. I read this one upon hearing the news there will be a 4th book (this is the 1st) and I just couldn't wait to dive back into this realm and characters. This is one of my all time favorite fantasy series. ( )
  mojo09226 | Nov 21, 2014 |
Yelena was convicted of murdering a General’s son and was sentenced to death. As she is walking to her death she is redirected to Valek’s (chief of security) office where she is offered a choice: the noose or becoming the food taster for the Commander. Only the next convict sent to their death after the predecessor has died can become the new food taster as it is a death sentence anyway. Yelena accepts Valek’s offer but she is not only in danger from possible poisons in the Commander’s food but her life is threatened by the grieving General whose son she killed.

When Yelena was convicted no one knew her motive for the murder so everyone believes she is a cold-blooded killer, though Valek rightly begins to suspect otherwise. In this society any unnatural death is murder and therefore the punishment is always execution.

I was intrigued by the political structure in this society. The monarchy was overthrown by the current Commander and a new military structure was put into place. It seems like a very communist society for example, every child at age 12 is assigned a job based on their skills and is entered into training and every person must wear a uniform according to their political and social standing. This is very different to most of the fantasy books I have read.

Yelena was very well written. She is a victim to begin with, she would run away at the first sign of trouble but as she is put in more and more danger she decides to find people to teach her some fighting skills. She becomes more confident and stands up to those that are bullying her.

This is a very easy to read fantasy with plenty of action and adventure as well as a slow burning romance. A brilliant start to the Study series.
( )
  Cynical_Ames | Sep 23, 2014 |
Poison Study
4 Stars

Sentenced to execution for murder, Yelena is granted a reprieve when she is offered a position as the Commander’s food taster. The book chronicles Yelena’s training in identifying poisons, her developing relationship with master assassin and security chief, Valek, and her discovery of a far-reaching conspiracy aimed at undermining the Commander’s rule and subjecting the people of Ixia to a sadistic and manipulative tyrant.

It should be noted that despite its classification as Young Adult by numerous readers, Poison Study contains adult themes and situations including death, rape, torture, and sex although none of these is described in graphic or vivid detail.

The book has all the right elements: Intrigue and danger, loyalty and betrayal, romance and magic. The world building is detailed and compelling, and the characterization is engaging with a strong and resourceful heroine and an intense and stoic hero.

Nevertheless, the writing style is somewhat simplistic and erratic at times, and the plot is quite predictable. Moreover, there are one or two facets that I found problematic but other readers might not such as the flowery descriptions of Valek and Yelena’s sexual encounters and the inclusion of a ghost, which is completely unnecessary and irrelevant both to the plot and Yelena’s characterization.

All in all, this is a fast-paced and entertaining read and I look forward to reading more about Yelena in the next book. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Aug 20, 2014 |
"There is more than one way to poison a person’s heart, and it doesn’t even require a meal.”

Poison Study was a refreshing read. The plot was entirely unique and obviously original! This book has some slow moments but it is okay. It was action-packed and full of surprising twists!

“I peered deeper and found my soul. A little tattered and with some holes, but there all the same. It had always been there, I realized with shock.”

Yelena. Now that's what you call a fierce heroine! I admire her determination. After I discovered how she was in the past, wow. She didn't come out unharmed. In fact, ghosts from her past haunted her. Literally. But coming out of that experience and still willing to stand and prove herself? Just amazing. She is "delicate in appearance, but with a strength unnoticed at first glance" as Valek says.

Valek. Dude, how awesome is Valek? Pretty awesome! I grinned like an idiot everytime he calls Yelena "love". It was adorable! Valek values loyalty and he's very compassionate, too. Yup, another book boyfriend.

“Yelena, you've driven me crazy. You've caused me considerable trouble and I've contemplated ending your life twice since I've known you...but you slipped under my skin, invaded my blood and seized my heart.”

I LOVE Ari and Janco! They were really like Yelena's older brothers. I like how Yelena earned their loyalty. They were very protective of her! The other characters are great, too! They amused the hell out of me.

So yeah. Looking forward to "Magic Study" even though everyone seems to find the rest of this series disappointing. ( )
  margaraawr | Aug 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 229 (next | show all)
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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Maria V. Snyderprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Snyder, Maria V.main authorall editionsconfirmed
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Ze zaten vrolijk met je te praten terwijl ze je vergif toedienden. - Kathy Brandt, een goede vriendin die de strijd verloor, ondanks chemotherapie
To my husband, Rodney, for all the support he has given, is giving and will give. I'm spoiled rotten.

In loving memory of Frances Snyder, Jeanette and Joseph Scirrotto.

"They would talk to you and make jokes while they were feeding you poison."--Kathy Brandt on chemotherapy; a good friend who lost the battle
First words
Locked in darkness that surrounded me like a coffin, I had nothing to distract me from my memories.
"But you’ve slipped under my skin, invaded my blood and seized my heart.” “That sounds more like a poison than a person,” was all I could say. His confession had both shocked and thrilled me. “Exactly,” Valek replied. “You have poisoned me."
"What have I earned from you, Valek? Loyalty? Respect? Trust?" "You have my attention. But give me what I want, and you can have everything."
"Yelena, you've driven me crazy. You've caused me considerable trouble and I've contemplated ending your life twice since I've known you...but you slipped under my skin, invaded my blood and seized my heart."
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered a 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 dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and she develops magical powers she can't control. Her life’s at stake again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear!
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0778327116, Paperback)

Locked in a coffin-like darkness, there is nothing to distract me from my memories of killing Reyad. He deserved to die—but according to the law, so do I. Here in Ixia, the punishment for murder is death. And now I wait for the hangman's noose.

But the same law that condemns me may also save me. Ixia's food taster—chosen to ensure that the Commander's food is not poisoned—has died. And by law, the next prisoner who is scheduled to be executed—me—must be offered the position.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:15 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Yelena, about to be executed, is offered the job of food taster to the Commander of Ixia, but politics and magic keep threatening her life.

(summary from another edition)

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