Choose: A quick death...or a 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 agonising 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...
- Paperback | 416 pages
- 1 x 1 x 1mm | 290g
- 21 Sep 2007
- Mira Books
- Don Mills, Canada
- Young adult ed
"This is one of those rare books that will keep readers dreaming long after they've read it." - Publisher's Weekly (Starred review)"
About Maria V. Snyder
M.V. Snyder has been writing since 1995 and has published numerous articles in magazines and newspapers. She lives with her son, daughter and yellow Lab in Pennsylvania.
Our customer reviews
I've read this book sometime ago so this is a retrospective review. I enjoyed reading this book and thought that the rest of the books in this series would be good too. But I've been coming across a not-so-brilliant reviews about the other books in this series. So I stopped buying Maria Snyder then. However this book is actually good. The world building is quite convincing and I would give it a 4.5 out of 5. The characters stays with you long after you've read the book. They felt like old friends. The cover of the one I've read was an older release, I think. I would give that cover art a 5. I find the story telling quality quite good too. It's not grab-you-and-take-you-along-for-the-ride but it kept my attention for long periods of time. I would give the story telling quality a 4. The story itself while still good, isn't that substantial from my point of view and would give it a 3. The story ended well with a good climax but it is also the start of the next book which therefore had a cliffhanger effect and I would rate it a 3. Overall: 4 out of 5.show moreby Cherry
Poison Study, Magic Study and Fire Study are a few of the BEST books I have ever read!!! I brought the first one and recommended it to my husband who loved it just as much as I did. We finished the other two in about 4 days. They were well written, intriguing and had a wonderful engaging story. You could relate to the characters easily and it was so easy to just submerge yourself in the entire series. I would describe them as being of fantasy origin with just a touch of romance rather than the romance of Twilight and the likes. My husband and I are close to 30, so I think they would suit people of all ages who enjoy the fantasy genre (although a little tamer than some fantasy novels) from teen to senior.....show moreby Alisha Bennett
I really like this book; Maria V. Snyder has written it very well. She hints at details of Yelana's past, but doesn't give the full story till later in the book (and even then it isn't entirely full). This made me eager to read on; to find out why this girl, who seems so innocent, would be driven to commit murder. There are quite a few people killed in this book, but it doesn't go in to too much detail; so it isn't gory. It also deals with some strong themes. Ixia, the land that the book is set in, is under a communist type rule. Commander Ambrose, the man for whom Yelana tastes food, is the leader of the country which is devided up into various districts. At age 12 everybody is assigned a job and trained. If they want to move districts, change jobs or get married they must get permission. Punishment for crimes are harsh; if you cause the death of another person (and you aren't a soldier) then you are executed. There is no such thing as an accidental death. Yelana is a very likeable character. She is extremely intelligent and the decisions she makes are the ones I would choose were I in her situation. The plans she comes up with are brilliant, yet plausible. Some of the other main characters provide the comedic relief needed in what could be a very dark book. Valek, the Commander's security chief, is an assassin and is Yelana's teacher on poisons. He is my favourite character in the book because of his unpredictability and surprising personality. Overall I would give this book 4 and a 1/2 stars out of 5 and I will be moving straight on to the next book in the trilogy, Magic Study. I recommend it to all teen fantasy readers, especially girls.show moreby Amy Mansell