Synopsis (from Goodreads)Choose: A quick death or slow poison ...On the eve of her execution for murder, Yelena Zaltana is offered an incredible reprieve - on the condition that she becomes the food taster for the military leader of Ixia, Commander Ambrose.Avoiding poison is the least of her troubles, however ... General Brazell, father of the man she killed, has vowed bloody revenge; she's beginning to have feelings for her captor, Valek; and someone is plotting the downfall of the current regime. In a desperate race against time, Yelena must learn to control the growing magical talent withinn her and master the demons of her past. The Commander's life, the future of Ixia and all those she loves depend on it
Wow. This book was amazing! It was the sort of book that I just couldn’t put down, no matter how late it was or how tired I was. I read this in one day and pretty much in one sitting, except for a little break to watch Doctor Who. I found that the story was really captivating.
I loved the plot. I hadn’t read any books before where the main character was a food taster and it was a really interesting idea. I enjoyed the little touch of magic that was sprinkled throughout the plotline which made the story more intriguing and created more potential. There was some predictability in the plot, in that you knew who the bad guy was and who was behind everything, to an extent. In saying that though, I found the outcomes to be unpredictable as well as who was a magic user and who wasn’t.
I really liked the characters in this book. I liked that Yelena was a murderer who wasn’t remorseful for what she had done. It was great to see a flawed character, who was haunted by her past and unsure of who she is. I also loved how she stayed strong in the books even when she had no hope of surviving. I absolutely loved Valek. He is another character who is so flawed, he has a bad temper, a jealous streak and not to mention that he has killed a lot of people, but underneath all that he does have compassion and a caring side. I loved how complex both Yelena and Valek were. I loved Ari and Janco, and hope that we get to see more of them in the next books. I loved Janco’s humour and Ari’s loyalty. I did find the Commander to be a little one sided at times, but his history did kind of explain why he was so.
I loved how well written the “bad” characters where in this book. Some of them had reasons behind their actions and their betrayals and others you constantly questioned their actions. I loved that some characters started out as bad and where trying to kill Yelena and then changed and helped her. I really loved how one character tried to kill Yelena and then became friends with her and then kept setting up ways for her to be killed and trying to save her every time. It just summed up the complexity of the characters and the complexity of the plot.
I really liked the world-building in this story. I could imagine the world vividly, and when Yelena was walking through a setting, I could visualise everything around her. I felt like I was walking through the world with Yelena. The descriptions were concise so they didn’t take away from the pace of the story and they also allowed room for imagination.
I really enjoyed the intriguing plot and world building in Poison Study. I really loved the characters in this book, and I look forward to reading the second book. I give Poison Study 5/5 stars.
Up next - Review: Lament by Maggie Stiefvater