Review: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered a 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 dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and she develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life’s at stake again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear!

So I pick up this book, it’s young adult and fantasy. All the things I love most are high fantasy.


It’s a little slow at first, but then: it becomes impossible to put down.

*crazy meme says addictive and so do I*

Poison nerdery in this book. Do I have you yet? No.

Well how about assassins who are nerds for poison lore? No yet? Damn.

How about a prisoner who becomes a poison taster and works for an assassin?


I am on board with Valek and Yelena. Still, I didn’t completely love the book. I know. I know. I am apparently supposed to love this. It’s epic and fantasy and Young adult, but I didn’t. I didn’t. The world building was shabby at best. It’s kind of like the author couldn’t decide what genre she wanted to write in.

Should it be epic fantasy? No that’s not right.
I know I’ll submit it as a dystopian with a fantastical setting? No they wouldn’t buy that.
Maybe I’ll just say it’s high fantasy YA and write it off as a “different” type of high fantasy. No more medieval shit here! It’s got some modern doo-dads in there too.

*careful you’ll actually fool someone with your crazy*

As you can see, I didn’t buy into the world building because I expect more consistency with fantasy. It’s incomplete, inconsistent, and irrational.

The writing is good and the dialogue is witty and involving. The only thing is that I was more interested in the characters and the poison lore than I was with the actual story.

Let’s make one thing clear: if it’s just the characters, dialogue, and romance that’s interesting clearly there’s some pacing issues or the plot just isn’t as interesting as you would have thought. The magic is interesting, but doesn’t really make sense. She explains it up to a certain point and then oh yeah then that happens. No more explanations? You went half ass on me?

At least, it’s more interesting than the majority of assassin books I’ve read. I have yet to read a really good Young Adult assassin book. I haven’t even read that many good adult fantasy assassin books.

*so much idiocy*


About sixty percent in I was noticing that there seemed to be a lack of intensity? Is that the word I want to use?

You know that feeling you have when the plot is increasing and you are yelling


That stuff.

It was missing this far into the book. Where did it go? I don’t know. That’s what’s so confusing. It just disappeared like Amelia Earhart.

And um….sex in Young Adult? I approve. There should be more of this. And don’t give me that crap that “this isn’t a young adult.” The side of my book says it’s Young Adult.

Anyways I’m done with this review. I’m gonna go read more stuff now.

3 stars: because I enjoyed the writing and the characters so much. I am being very forgiving right now. I wouldn’t normally give a book with such inconsistent world building such a high rating. This book is very lucky right now.

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