Book Review – Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Poison Study Cover

Poison Study (Study #1, Chronicles of Ixia #1)

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Publication: August 15th, 2012

Publisher: Mira Books

Format: eBook, 431 pages

Genre: High Fantasy, Paranormal

Read: January 2015

Maria V. SnyderGoodreads

The last time I filmed a review was in February and the last time I wrote a review on Goodreads was in May, so you might say I’m a little rusty. And that there’s a lot of books I’ve read that I need to talk about more in depth but haven’t had the time to. So the first couple of reviews I’ll be sharing on this blog will be about books I’ve read awhile ago that I need to talk about. This is the first and it’s a bit more special. I’ve already posted this review on Goodreads but I am posting a review for its sequel and I want to have them both on my blog.

Before I start this review, I’d like to explain the way I usually structure my reviews. The first section is called Critically. This is where I give my spoiler free thoughts on three sections of the book: the plot, the writing style and the characters. I give a different star review for each section that has nothing to do with the general rating of the book. The second section is called Emotionally. This is pretty much where I ramble about my feelings on the book. Anything that hit me emotionally, or caught me off guard, etc will be discussed in this section. In case you haven’t read the book, this will be preceded by the read more tag so no one gets spoiled by accident.

The general rating for the book is based on my overall enjoyment of the book.

Poison Study is 5 out of 5 stars.

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….

Plot – 5 out of 5 stars
A bit slow in the beginning since we’re getting to know the world and our main character but it quickly picks up and we have a lot of build up of tension and mystery. It has a great combination of a military driven world and magic.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
This writing style is a little bit hard to explain. It’s very straight forward and sort of emanates our main character’s voice which is very dry and sometimes even sarcastic at times. There are a lot of descriptions and you sort of take it as if Yelena is incredibly observant.
Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
The characters in this book are some of my favorite characters ever! I love not only the main ones but also the side characters which there are a lot of. Each has their own distinct personality and attitude and you can really register what that is even if you only encounter them in short moments. Yelena is not your typical female heroine. She sort of has a tendency to run from difficult situations but even with that she is still very tough, stubborn and smart. She’s just really cautious at the same time. She comes to a point in her life where she is constantly trying to fight her demons. Then, we have Valek who at first comes across as rude and stoic, but as the MC gets to know him we see his loyalty and his strength and how he helps her stay alive.


This was a re-read for me that I was extremely excited for and it did not disappoint. It’s one of my favorite high fantasy books.

I love Yelena so much. She is such a strong character, always showing strength even when all the odds are against her. At every single moment, her life is in danger and even though sometimes she takes the cowards way out, you can still see how she fights tooth and nail to stay alive. Which is really hard for her at this point. She has quite a few flaws but that only makes her even better as a main character.
At first, Valek came off as a huge jerk. Obviously, by poisoning Yelena as soon as he meets her but you can see how he slowly changes his mind about her as the book goes on. As a prisoner. his first reactions are distrust and defensiveness, but as we move forward, you can see him start to notice her loyalty, her intelligence and her tenacity. He begins to worry about her and protect her while working together to solve the mysteries in the compound. Finally reaching the point when he loves her but he has to let her go and it broke my freaking heart.

I need to touch on the Commander because although his presence is very rough and demanding, you find out he was born a she and is transgender. One of the best revelations I’ve read in a book and I love that it’s so unexpected. I also love how comfortable the Commander is as that man, this military leader. I don’t know anyone who is transgender but I hope that they feel as confident and self assured as he does whatever gender they identify as.

I’m really excited to get to book 2 at some point. Sitia is such an intriguing country/kingdom and I can’t wait to dive into it.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts on the review and if you’ve read this book 🙂




2 thoughts on “Book Review – Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

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