Poison Study by Maria V. Syneder
PJV Series You Should Be Reading Feature
Bought with my own money.
PJV Quickie POV: One of my favorite authors and series. Poison Study is a fantasy novel unlike any I have ever read before. A usual fantasy novel drips with strange names, bizarre creatures, and bloated writing, where you have to sift through chapters of back story, world set-ups, and inflated descriptions. Not to say there is anything wrong with that – don’t get me wrong, I was raised on fantasy and scifi as my aunt read aloud Lord of the Rings and handed me my first cherished fantasy series book…a Dragonlance novel. But sometimes change is good.
Review: Yelena is given a choice. Execution or Food Taster. Quick death, or the threat of a slow, agonizing death by poison. The choice for Yelena was simple, she took the helm of the food taster, even though she knew it was dangerous, anything was better than being executed, and hung she will be. Her crime is certain, the punishment, death. She has killed a nobel’s son and for that she must pay the price. The tale is told through Yelena’s POV and her story is slowly revealed throughout the pages. As the story goes on, the depth of the plot gets deeper and deeper as we are introduced to Valek, the Commander’s assassin, whom seems to be able to wrap himself in darkness itself to sneak upon his quarry.
Valek trains Yelena in the subtle art of food tasting and the ability to detect poison. If not to save herself, but at least with her dying breath to be able to call at which poison is killing her so the murderer can be detected. As Yelena is sucked deeper and deeper into her new world, she begins to discover that not everything is how it seems, and enemies might need to be kept a little closer.
Poison Study is a great introduction to the fantasy genre if you are looking to cross the genre barriers. The world Synder created is rich in its depth, but not over-whelming or bloated. It is a unique world, a world of magic, military might and medieval noble sensibilities. Poison Study is a study in character development, the characters of Yelena and Valek are larger than life, entirely relatable and fall in love with material. As Yelena made choices and faced problems and tasks I was drawn in and didn’t want to leave. Moving on Magic Study & Fire Study are almost as good as the first!
Recommendations: There are some adult scenes, nothing blatant, so I’m recommending this for older teens and adults. You don’t necessarily have to be a fantasy genre fan. This has a lot of paranormal aspects, so fans of paranormal might really enjoy this.