Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Poison Study by Maria V. Synder
This book has been recommended to me by many people. I wondered if it would live up to my expectations and what do you know? It totally did.
Yelena is "rescued" from execution when she is given the opportunity to be the food taster for the Commander. Which of course, means, that if someone attempts to poison the Commander, she's poisoned first. She decides the trade off is worth it and enters life in the castle. She works under Valek, the second in command, who teaches her the skills she needs to detect poisons.
Life in the castle isn't as simple as just that. Her escape from execution didn't please a few key people - and Yelena has to be constantly on guard. As she makes friends, learns to defend herself and finds skills she never knew she could control, she becomes privy to much of the political intrigue in the country.
Poison Study's plot is intricate and action packed. We get magic, a society with exacting rules and punishments, murders, power hungry fiends and, don't you worry, love. My sister, who read this before me, promised it would be a good book for my young adult romance challenge. It took a fair amount of reading before romance entered the scene, but when it did, it was gratifying. I enjoyed trying to figure out which man would be a good fit for her as the other action was happening. Yelena is a force to be reckoned with and this book grabbed me and wouldn't let me go until I finished it.