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Poison Study | [Maria V. Snyder]

Poison Study

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

Don't miss Magic Study, the sequel to Poison Study.

©2005 Maria V. Snyder
All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. This edition is published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A. All characters in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

What the Critics Say

"Riveting fantasy that unites the intelligent political focus of George R.R. Martin with a subtle yet potent romance....The first in a series, this is one of those rare books that will keep readers dreaming long after they've read it." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    A WinnipegScotland 12-03-05
    A WinnipegScotland 12-03-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantasy, with a touch of romance."

    I have to admit, I had some hesitation selecting this book as it was published by Harlequin (a publisher of which I am a little leery, as I expect to get something sugary-sweet and cookie-cutter). But after reading this book, I need to do some reassessment! This book was full of interesting characters, and the story was engaging and enjoyable.

    What I am not so sure of, is if this novel was really supposed to be filed under "Romance"?

    Sure, there is a romance, eventually, but it doesn't play a huge part of the book. Political intrigue, magic, and nefarious plots all play much larger roles in this story than romance. Overall, this book would be better classified as "Fantasy".

    So if you are looking for hard-core romance, then this will be a disappointment. But if you are looking for an engaging story, with some fabulous characters (including a heroine who was no wilting wall-flower!), then this is definitely recommended.

    23 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Clinton, UT, United States 07-22-08
    Cheryl Clinton, UT, United States 07-22-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    "Not my usual type of fiction..."

    Not my usual type of fiction and was pleasantly surprised how good this book was. I bought this book when it went on one of those weekend only sales because it was cheap and had high reviews. I really don't listen to fantasy type novels, and wow, I will definitely read this author again. In fact after I finished this book, I bought the next two, Magic Study and Fire Study, which were each as good as the first one. Wow, is all I have to say, this was one book I will recomend to everyone!

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Staaj Ballwin, MO, United States 01-01-12
    Staaj Ballwin, MO, United States 01-01-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    262
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    32
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    "One of my favorites"

    Let me begin by telling you that is one of my all time favorite fantasy novels. Right from the beginning, I was hooked and still am. I enjoyed this book so much that I’ve read it multiple times. I even own the audio book so I can listen to it over and over while doing other things. I’ve shared this book with all the women in my family, who include a teenager, a couple of twenty somethings, and a couple of moms. They all loved it and went on to read the entire series. Needless to say, I love this book and I think you will too.

    Imprisoned for murder, tortured, and scheduled to be executed, Yelena is presented with the option to be the Commander’s poison tester. She accepts the position and is given a second chance at live, at least for now. Under the tutelage of the Commander’s adviser, Valek, Yelena studies poisons, among other things (wink), and gradually earns respect from Valek and the Commander. Even with their respect, she still has many enemies and her live is frequently in limbo. While fighting for her survival, she discovers strange abilities, adding a whole new layer of complexity to Yelena’s life.

    Yelena is a smart, strong, and easy to relate to heroine and quite honestly a character of her caliber is hard to find these days. Although cheesy sounding, Valek is an intelligent, awesome, bad ass assassin while at the same time tender and kind. I loved every scene with him.

    Snyder weaves an intriguing world that left me wanting more. It’s fun, addicting, and there’s love, what more can you ask for. Yelena’s story carries on in Snyder’s next two books, Magic Study and Fire Study.

    Read the first chapter on Maria V. Snyder’s website and become an obsessed fan like me. For more Poison Study fun, check out Snyder’s Assassin’s Study, which is a short story from Valek’s perspective and is set in between Poison Study and Magic Study. Read Assassin’s Study here.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Edison Chicago, IL USA 11-18-05
    Christine Edison Chicago, IL USA 11-18-05

    cedison

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great descriptions!"

    My husband recommended this title to me, and he was right, it's a great story. The descriptions Yelena had for the food she was tasting and her insights into those around her were fascinating. I was sorry to see this book end -- the world it was set in was fun to explore.
    (One caution: although this is part of the Harlequin Luna line, the romance is definitely a subplot rather than the main focus of the story. Also, there are some scenes of graphic violence.)

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Elburn, IL, USA 05-11-08
    Beth Elburn, IL, USA 05-11-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    3
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    "Fantastic read/listen"

    Love, Love, Love this series. This was the first book I purchased from Audible. I am hooked. I usually read, but this has changed my perfered method of reading. The characters are all likeable and well developed. The world created by Snyder is interesting and I found myself wrapped up in it. I listened to the next 2 books soon after this one. I was sorry when it ended but was satisfied with it. I am hoping for more books in this series. If you go to the author's web site she has posted additional short stories about the supporting characters. The narrator did a good job and changed the characters voices well.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Flannery Brighton, MA, USA 01-11-09
    Flannery Brighton, MA, USA 01-11-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    46
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    "Beginning of a great series"

    One of my biggest pet peeves about audiobooks is the ability(or lack of ability) of the reader to play different parts(male and female). Many books with lots of characters have an entire cast. This book, and the two that follow, are read by one woman. SHE IS AMAZING.

    I'm currently listening to the third book in the series and I am still wowed by her abilities.

    I enjoyed Poison Study--enough to want to read the second one. Magic Study is even better. There is magic, well-described characters, lots of action(moreso in the second book), and tons of novel ideas. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes a good fantasy story.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Edison, NJ, USA 12-22-05
    Paul Edison, NJ, USA 12-22-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent"

    I normally don't like female readers as much, but this one is pretty awesome. This book flew by so fast and I didn't want it to end. They did a very good job of not exposing too much of the story at a time and kept me guessing throughout. There was also just enough touch of magic that didn't seem unrealistic. I highly recommend.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katheryn Round Rock, TX, USA 01-15-09
    Katheryn Round Rock, TX, USA 01-15-09 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Liked it"

    Liked this story. It was a little slow to start but turned out to be real interesting. I have bought the others inthe sereis to contiue the story. Well developed characters with interesting twists.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne Croydon, N/A, United Kingdom 12-21-05
    Suzanne Croydon, N/A, United Kingdom 12-21-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Sheer Excellence"

    What an enchanting book. I had not heard of this author and therefore was a little apprehensive about purchasing. But my money was far from being wasted. The book takes you on a roller coaster ride of journey at a soft flowing pace. You applaud the main character and hiss at the villains. The suspense of not knowing what‘s a round the corner makes you yearn for the next word. Never being one for magical spells and charms I felt that I was trapped in the spell of this book right to the very end. A great read.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Anaheim, CA, United States 03-23-12
    Amanda Anaheim, CA, United States 03-23-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    99
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    85
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    "Hooked!"

    While it started off a litte slow, the interesting story line kept me reading on. Good thing, because I eventually became hooked! Well written. Loved the subtle romantic development. Jumped right into book 2.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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