Title: Poison Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: The Chronicles of Ixia #1, The Study Series #1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect), 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Assassins, Magic, Medieval fantasy
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
5th sentence, 74th page: My stomach felt as if it contained a live mouse, trying to chew its way out.
How much is your life worth?
In the territory of Ixia control is maintained through the Code of Behaviour forbidding the practice of magic, but danger lurks in mysterious places…
Imprisoned for murder, Yelena Zaltana’s punishment is death, unless she accepts the position of the Commander of Ixia’s food taster… and risks assassination from poison daily.
In a world where magic equals death and freedom is for the lucky few, the battle for Yelena’s life has just begun.
This was one of those random, second hand, impulse buys. I had no idea what to expect. I had never heard of it. And, man, am I glad that I picked this up. It was a great story, but not so grab you by the throat that I forgot about everything else around me. There was a wonderful, strong heroine. An engaging world and storyline. And even a bit of a love story thrown in. I’ve found a new series and author to obsess over!
This is a weirdly medieval dystopian future setting. It’s this great idea of a world in harmony – everyone has a chance, a place and a position. Murder doesn’t occur because there is a strong sense of an eye for an eye (you murder, and you get executed). And there is a strong, independent leader in front. Yet, it’s so obviously flawed. Yelena is on death row for defending herself. She then gets to become a poison taster (someone in the line of assassination) and is thrown into a world of subterfuge. This weird juxtaposition between the great ideals, and the reality of what happens highlights that everything is not always as it seems. And that Yelena might be finding herself in a lot more trouble than she ever could have predicted.
I both liked and disliked the ending of this. Without giving away any spoilers, it is a great lead into the next tale. But I also didn’t like the way that Yelena’s relationships were placed throughout this tale. But, really, it works well because now I can’t wait to read Magic Study and find out how she goes in the next step on her journey of self-discovery.
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