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The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. - Jane Austen

Maria V. Snyder – Poison Study

If you’re following my reviews, you’ll have probably noticed that I haven’t read very much this year, I just haven’t found myself wanting to pick up a book and read very much.

But if I needed a book to renew my desire to read, Poison Study was perfect. My friend Abi bought it for me for Christmas, so I should have known it would be awesome, I literally couldn’t put it down.

I always used to think that a standard chick-lit book was my favourite genre, a nice bit of smushy romance and nothing too deep, but I was wrong, I love books with a bit of magic or otherworldliness about them to make them more interesting.

I don’t want to go into too much detail on the plot of this book so I don’t give away any spoilers, but I have to say I loved the main character, Yelena. A strong young woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to try and get it, who doesn’t need (or want) a man to save her, and who has a kick-ass attitude that you can’t help but love.

She was sentenced to death for killing a man, but on the day of her execution, she is given a last minute reprieve; the Commander needs a new food taster, and the rules dictate that this role be offered to the next prisoner sentenced to hang.

But it doesn’t feel like a reprieve for long, as Yelena is forced to drink a poison that will require her to drink an antidote every day for the rest of her life. Eliminating the chances of escape as only her tutor and keeper, Valek, has the antidote.

And speaking of Valek, he was such a well written character; enigmatic and mysterious and completely loveable despite his seemingly mean exterior. The one thing that confused me though was that either we are never told how old Valek is or I missed it, but for some reason when I pictured him in my head I pictured a pot-bellied old man. So *spoiler alert* when 19 year old Yelena starts to fall for Valek and the feelings seem to be mutual, I had to quickly re-draw my mental picture before my mental picture got weird!

The pacing of the book was absolutely perfect, fast enough to keep you on your toes and stop you from putting the book down to go to sleep, but slow enough that it didn’t feel rushed and you felt like every inch of the story was given the attention it deserved.

I am so, so happy to know that this book is the first in a set, and even happier to know that Abi also bought me the next two parts, so I can continue straight away and find out what is coming for Yelena. After the ending that I just devoured, I’m desperate to know what happens next.

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