fiction · history · romance · young adult

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Poison Study

Book 2: Magic Study

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Pages [paperback]: 416

Memorable Quote: “Everyone makes choices in life. Some bad, some good. It’s called living, and if you want to bow out, then go right ahead.”

Favorite Characters: Janco, Valek, and Ari


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


When I first started this book, I was unsure as to whether I would like it at all. The first few chapters dragged on endlessly and I couldn’t really get into it. Then, about a quarter of the way into the novel, I was hooked. I couldn’t stop reading, and ended up loving it!

The characters are orginial and well-developed. They all have their seperate personalities, and I like that they stay true to them. Sometimes characters seem to randomly switch their feelings; thankfully, that is not the case in Poison Study.

I like how the element of magic is added, yet only slightly. That theme doesn’t overtake the book, it only serves to enhance the plot and to add suspense.

Going into this, I hadn’t realized there was going to be a sequel. Now, I definitely have to read it! After several twists, turns, and unexpected revelations, questions are still left at the end, leading (hopefully) seamlessly into the next book.

I really enjoyed Poison Study. I give it 5/5 stars, and highly recommend it!

7 thoughts on “Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

  1. I agree it was a well written book with an interesting story, but it was very heavy in parts. The description of Yelena’s sadistic sexual torture was absolutely sickening and, I felt, unecessarily detailed. The writer could have suggested it, rather than fully described it.

    It was in the YA section of my local bookstore and I took it back and complained. It is so not YA. I didn’t want to read those bits, let alone expose my seventeen year old daughter to them.

    I’m not prudish, but I hate sex and violence in the same act. Because of this, I decided not to read the rest of the series.


    1. I think there were definitely too many details where things should only have been hinted at. I didn’t feel that this book was YA at all; it had too many adult themes, even though the main character is only a teen. I’m going to read the rest of the series, only because I’m curious as to how things will turn out. Hopefully, the rest will be better.


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