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Poison Study
List Price: $6.99
Our Price: $89.27
Availability: N/A
Manufacturer: Luna
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5

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Binding: Mass Market Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 813
EAN: 9780373802579
ISBN: 0373802579
Label: Luna
Manufacturer: Luna
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 432
Publication Date: 2006-09-01
Publisher: Luna
Studio: Luna

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Editorial Reviews:

Choose: A quick death . . . or slow poison . . .

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace -- and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear . . .

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Excellent Book
Comment: The characters were very realistically depicted and likeable. Yelena is an admirable character but not Mary Sueish. Valek is an impossible to look away from hero. Both have a very well-developed history and background that adds to the realism.
The plotline was excellent. None of the parts seemed rushed or impossible.
The romance was a perfect balance. Not too little to make it barely there and not too much to make it sappy and cliche.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in fantasy and magic.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Intrigue, politics, Betrayal, Poisons, a dab of magic and romance
Comment: First off, I would like to make a rebuttal to those one star reviewers. The villains in this novel is not evil for the sake of being evil. They're evil because they wanted power and reign over Ixia and Sitia. They're evil because they had ambitions to rule. They're not evil for nothing. Furthermore, I don't know where that one reviewer got the harlequin part. This novel or series is NOT a harlequin type novel, it has more intelligence and plot than trashy harlequin novels. The romance in this novel is kept to a acceptable amount because Ms. Snyder was focusing on more character development and other aspects that make this novel an interesting read.

I enjoyed this book because you see a gradual change and growth in the main character, Yelena. I did not think her romance with Valek was stapled on at the last minute. Yes, Valek revealed his love for her at the near end but there's a gradual process of Valek being more kind and soft on her, while Yelena learning to trust Valek and eventually having feelings for him, which herself did not know. I liked her interactions with Ari and Janco, they're two friends I would like to make. Whatever happened to Maren is what I'm curious about. She did not appear much towards the end after Yelena became a stronger fighter.

Valek - He maybe described as a cold, ruthless assassin and expert on poisons. But He also has a tragic history and reasons for why he became the man he is. However, he's not as heartless as his cold and indifferent exterior makes him out to be. when I read this book, I didn't envision SNAPES from Harry Potter at all. I imagined a cold, smart, mysterious, handsome guy who you could not completely understand. He wore a multifaced mask, where if you do not know or understand him, you would misunderstand his actions and intentions. But if you really take a step back and look at him at all angles, you'll see that under that cold, stone face exterior, he IS STILL human...that can still bleed and feel pain.

The only minuses about the novel is how often Snyder blends an ancient setting with references to modernish culture. Perhaps it is how I read it and imagined Ixia as a more ancient place and when Snyder comes in and includes dialogues that sounds a bit to 21st century it takes away the illusion of an ancient setting. Stuff like "Stop or she'll die" "I took the manacles and handcuffed him to the post" instead of I took a rope and tied him to the post. Maybe this infusion of modern culture was the author's intention? It does get on my nerve since I imagined it differently, but overall the interesting characters balanced it all out. I am looking forward to the sequels and hope that the ever blooming romance of Yelena and Valek will continue.

I had no complains on the shortage of romance in this novel because it is only the beginning. With all the secret battles over the rule of Ixia and what not, and with people plotting to murder other people, the slowly budding romance was appropriate without excess.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who appreciates an author who has skill in ending each chapter with suspense and making it quite a page-turner. Snyder writes with lucidity and conciseness. I definitely read the sequels.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: I think I have a new favorite author!
Comment: I could not believe how quickly this book hooked my attention. It was definitely one of the best fantasy/romance books I've read in a very long time...
The poisons really made the book intriguing to me. I've been interested in this kind of assasin/espionage plot line since The Belgariad and Mallorean (Eddings).
The romantic plot line was also very well-written... and it wasn't necessary obvious that a relationship would develop, which keeps it interesting.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Quick an Easy
Comment: Poison Study is an enjoyable, quick and easy read. However, you may not want to turn to critical an eye to it or you'll soon find it a bit lacking. There are definite moments when the dialogue becomes a bit cheesy and the setup of Snyder's world unrealistic.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Strong Start to Fantasy Trilogy
Comment: Yelena is about to be executed for murder. With her life on the line she's offered a choice - attend her execution or become a food taster for the Commander of Ixia, a man under constant threat of assassination. She accepts the job offer, aware that whilst it may be merely a delay of her death, it also offers her the opportunity to escape.

Poison Study is set in a society (Ixia) which is Totalitarian. But it's made clear that in some ways this is better than the monarchist system it replaced. The people as a whole appear to be better off under the rule of the Commander - everyone has a job, there are no homeless, people are expected to contribute to society. But it's also a rigid system with high standards, there is little flexibility. The use of magic isn't tolerated. Creating another problem for Yelena when her magical abilities start to develop. Unfortunately even within this controlled system there is still room for unscrupulous people to manipulate things to their advantage.

The story did start out slowly for me. Though I was hooked by page 81 and at that point basically read until I'd finished the book. Initially the story seems very simple. Yelena is the hero, we're on her side. The people who've imprisoned her are bad - but it's more complicated than that. As we progress through the story it becomes more complex and layered - especially as Yelena doesn't know who it's safe to trust. Every time she confides in someone it's a risk and you feel that as you're reading. And in sharing her secrets is she endangering the people she's come to care for?

What made this book for me are the relationships between Yelena and the other characters. Not just Valek her mentor and more, but Ari, Janko and also the characters she didn't get on with. You feel like this is a story about a real place and real people, even though some of the circumstances are fantastical.

Valek slightly reminded me of Anafiel Delauney from the Kushiel series, he's one of those men who sees everything. And the author doesn't betray his character. At the end when he has the most difficult choice to make. He makes it, but he makes it his own choice. It's the relationship that develops between Valek and Yelena that kept me turning the pages. How it progresses from jailor and prisoner, to mentor and student to more.

If I had any complaints it would be that some of the resolution was a little convenient and wasn't as involving (for me) as I hoped it would be - slightly too much running from place to place. Apart from that, this is definitely a book I'd recommend. And I've already got Magic Study on my TBR pile ready to go.

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