Wednesday, October 23, 2013
I've been hearing so many good things about this series, and it's been on my list for so long, that I finally decided to take the plunge. It's always a bit of a risk to have high expectations, particularly when it's a fantasy novel, since I tend to have higher standards for fantasy. I suppose that's because it's my favorite genre; I've read so much and have become pickier over the years.
This one opens with an interesting premise. Yelena is a young woman who is about to be executed for murder (in her world there are no extenuating circumstances - and we don't really know why she did what she did; that is gradually revealed throughout the course of the novel). She is given a chance to live. She can become food taster to the Commander (someone who is wanted dead by a host of people), or she can continue on her way to the gallows. She chooses life - a life that is measured out by the constant threat of death by poison - and becomes aware of a growing power inside her that she doesn't fully understand.
I really enjoyed this one. Great storytelling, a strong heroine to root for, political intrigue, a romantic interest, a world that is complex and compelling - what's not to like? It was one of those stories that creates a powerful atmosphere and characters that are a believable part of that world. My library shelves this in the adult collection, but I think that it would be just as appealing to teen readers. I look forward to reading the further books in this trilogy.
Books in the Study series:
1. Poison Study
2. Magic Study
3. Fire Study
Poison Study (#1 in the Study series) by Maria V. Snyder (Luna, 2005)