Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Rating: 4 stars

Series: Study #1

Poison Study was awesome! It had great characters and an interesting setting. In the country of Ixia, killing of any kind was banned including self defense and accidental. Magic was banned. It didn’t matter if the powers were used or not; just having the ability to use it was against the rules. When things were not allowed in Ixia, it normally resulted in a death sentence.  Yelena was supposed to be executed for her crime. She got a last minute reprieve as long as she agreed to be food taster to ensure the commander’s food wasn’t poisoned.

Valek is the one who taught Yelena all about poisons. He is a fascinating character who was smart, diligent, duplicitous when necessary, and well trained in combat. She liked him but feared him as well. He always knew what Yelena was doing. It was his job to kill people with magic, and she was trying to hide her powers from him.

There was a some political upheaval, and Yelena got mixed up in all of it. FYI the politics in this weren’t drab, boring, or complicated; it was more like a mystery since Yelena and Valek were trying to figure out who was trying to change the way Ixia operated. Many were leery of Yelena, but she managed to make a few friends. Several of the characters kept me guessing if they were really friends or enemies. It was awesome that Yelena had powerful magic but it did not solve all of her problems. This was a book I didn’t want to put down.

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