Happy New Year to one and all in Blogland!!! I’d like to start the year off with a strong recommendation for you to make reading Maria Snyder’s Poison Study one of your resolutions this year if you haven’t already read this incredibly well-written Fantasy novel.
I’ve been saving this review for more than two weeks, partly because of the rehearsals and the move at work, and partly because I wanted to do justice by this impressive debut of a trilogy (as it seems at the moment). I mean, I haven’t read a Fantasy novel I really enjoyed so much in a while, besides the Harry Potter series. I like that Ms Snyder does not attempt to ‘dumb down’ her characters too much, and that her two protagonists have that sizzle that engages and is totally believable.
The header on the back cover – Choose: A quick death … OR slow poison – sent my pulse racing, and compelled me to read the synopsis, which goes:
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!
Written in the first person from Yelena’s perspective, Ms Snyder has created with this book, a well-wrought combination of magic, intrigue and romance set in a fantastical new world that draws you in to its secrets and mysteries and will keep you up till late at night to finish it. I know, because that’s what I did. Twice over.
You can really tell when a book meets my approval by the fact that I bother to lose sleep over it. Well, this is one rare find that’s really worth sacrificing a few hours of beauty rest.
What worked for me? For starters, Yelena and Valek didn’t exactly start off as friends, but as their grudging admiration for each other grew, I settled in and just simply enjoyed the tension and sensitivity the author brings into the plot. The story just builds and builds until it burst into a heart thumping confrontation between good and evil.
Then, there’s the excellent fantasy world Ms Snyder fashioned with her formidable story-telling skills and astounding imagination. She had me wishing I was there bearing witness to the times and events. That’s really something! It set me dreaming about a world where magic and chivalry, and the purer love exists.
At the risk of sounding totally like a gushy fangirl, this is definitely a book I won’t regret buying. Ever. Infact, I’m looking forward to the release of her follow-up, Magic Study and the third book, Fire Study (Mar 08).
So, go ahead and add this to you list. Resolve to read this book soon.