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.
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…
Goodreads rating: ✮✮✮✮ (4.16 stars)
My rating: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5 stars)
I first read this series way back in 2010/2011, as my friend thought I would enjoy these books. As a teenager studying for her A Levels, I was just glad to have something to take me away from the toils of school, and worrying about university applications. I didn’t know at the time that the story of Yelena and Valek would make me want to reread these books 6 years later.
There is so much I like about this book, and series, and it starts with a kickass female character, who has been through a hell of a past, and through the course of this book, we help her get through it all. Yelena is strong and independent and resourceful and is everything I want to see in a strong female character. As a person, though, she grows so much. She has found herself in this book, and has even started making a life for herself away from the terrible background she has come from.
Valek is something else entirely. He is manly and loyal to those he serves and who are around him, and he is a machine when he needs to be. I pretty much fell in love with him all over again since I picked this book up. When I was younger, he was the person I hoped I would find later in life. I mean, who doesn’t want an assassin boyfriend?
Lastly, Ari, Janco, and Maren remind me of the three musketeers. I adore them all individually, and the story wouldn’t be the same without them. I believe Ari and Janco add a somewhat comical aspect to the story, where Maren is another strong female character. I liked how Valek was willing to promote her, not based on her being female, but based on her skills as a fighter. It was nice to see a book where gender wasn’t necessarily an issue in the workplace.
This book is magic and adventure and everything in between. The character development is amazing and the story is everything I remember it to be. I will be spending my sunday evening getting into book two (2) – Magic Study.
You can find this book on goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60510.Poison_Study
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