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 had awaited a long time for Poison Study, after reading the amazing Touch of Power I was desperate to read more of Snyder's enticing writing. The beginning of Poison Study whipped me straight in and wouldn't let go, sinking its claws into me slowly until I was trapped with no way out. However this story had many of the same aspects of Touch of Power, mainly the characters but I love the personalities Snyder chooses for them so I don't really mind.
Yelena and Valek are like Avry and Kerrick in the way they act towards one another and their personalities. Valek is the cold-hearted assassin who is the second in command to the Commander, a powerful and respectable man. Yelena is a girl who is forced into doing things that are dangerous and slowly we see that she takes onto doing these things out of free will.
Yelena (like Avry) is a survivor, at the beginning of the book she is given a choice of death or to live everyday uncertain if she'll die a horrible and painful death. She is determined and strong, with a past that haunts her in her dreams and in broad daylight. Valek is the cold-hearted, stand-offish guy (like Kerrick) who is excellent with poisons, weapons and anything required to kill someone. The relationship between them starts off cold and then Yelena takes to annoying Valek until they have a steady relationship of banter going on, making the story funny to read.
Snyder's side characters are once again amusing and heart-warming to read about. Ari and Janco are like Belen's brothers, they treat Yelena how Belen and his crew treated Avry. Like two big brothers, Ari and Janco love Yelena and strive to protect her and help her in her adventures.
Falling in love with Snyder's characters was easy, but trying to solve her mysteries proves to be a harder challenge than most books. I think this is the best aspect of Snyder's writing, she can write a mystery that slowly unravels, giving us clues here and there but making the ending still hold an element of surprise. I'd like to say once again that I love her choice of personality for her characters, I'm a sucker for a cold-hearted man who falls in love with a strong, determined girl over a period of time (not so fond of five minute romances). Also her writing style is always funny and easy to read, keeping your attention with all the small side plots and little gifts that help you form a correct picture of what type of people the character's are.
I would definitely recommend this book to those who read Touch of Power and loved it. Full of action, mysteries and humour this book was amazing and heartbreaking to read. Also if you think assassin's are the sexist thing alive (I definitely, absolutely think so), then you'll definitely love this book.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars