Book Review: Poison Study by Maria V Snyder

Poison Study is the first book in the Poison Study trilogy by Maria V Snyder.

Summary (from Goodreads)


On the eve of her execution for murder, Yelena is reprieved, but her relief is short-lived. She is to be the Commander of Ixia’s food taster. Can Yelena learn all she needs to know about poisons before an assassin succeeds?

Her troubles have only just begun, however… Valek, her captor, has a uniquely cruel method to stop her escaping; General Brazell, father of the man she killed, still wants her dead; and someone is plotting against the Commander.

Resourceful and wily, Yelena gains friends, survival skills – and more than a few enemies. In a desperate race against time, the Commander’s life, the future of Ixia and the secrets of her own past will be in her hands…

Favourite Quote

“Trusting is hard. Knowing who to trust, even harder.”


When I first picked up this book, I found it extremely difficult to get into so put it back down pretty quickly.  And there it stayed for months.  And yet, the second time I tried to read it, I found it engaging and addictive.  I guess I wasn’t in the right mood to read it that first time, which was a shame because there is so much to like about it.

The storyline was engaging and the world building detailed.  Ixia is an interesting and sometimes scary place.

I liked Yelena; it’s hard not to empathise with her after all she’s been through and what she must face every day as the Commander’s food taster.  And yet she grows and becomes stronger.  I also like Varek.  There is so much more to his character than you realise when we first meet him as the cold, calculated man offering Yelena the choice of being executed for murder or becoming a student and taster of poisons.  The other supporting characters were also good: Rand, Ari, Janco, Dilana, especially.

This is one of the better YA books that I have come across and I can’t wait to read the second book in the trilogy, Magic Study.




8 thoughts on “Book Review: Poison Study by Maria V Snyder

  1. That’s happened to me so many times too, that when I first try a book I can’t get into it, and at some later time I find it more interesting. This book sounded great right up to the part where it’s part of a series. I have too many books on my to-read shelf, I can’t start any more new series, ack!!!

    Looks like you’re going gangbusters on catching up with all those reviews — great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know. There are too many series on my to-be-read list. I seem to read the first book and then unless it’s really really good, I don’t read any more as they get lost amongst all the others. I hope I’ll get around to reading the next one in this series, but you never know. I would have been more certain if I had bought all three at the same time. That being said, when I looked the book up on Goodreads, it says that the series is longer than a trilogy! *Sigh*

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m the same way — either I read the next book right away, or I probably never will. If I run across it again later, it means I have to re-read the first one, and if I liked it enough to read it twice, I probably would have read the second right away — it’s a vicious cycle. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • And I have just posted the last review for my Goodreads challenge! That’s 12 reviews in 3 days! I’ve done no writing, no editing, just working on catching up with book reviews…I am looking forward to a lower goal for 2018 and a hopefully a less stressful end to next year! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Congratulations on meeting your reading and reviewing goal for the year — hooray! Cutting back to a more reasonable goal for next year sounds like a good idea. No sense having it stress you out — that’s not what reading is supposed to be like! I am doing zero writing or editing for two weeks while I’m at my sister’s for the holidays. I’m sneaking away with my laptop here and there to keep up on a few friends’ blogs (like yours) and trying to make a little more progress on a beta read, but that’s it.

        Liked by 1 person

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