February 26, 2012

Book #21 - Poison Study (Study #1)

Poison Study (Study #1), Maria Snyder
409 pages
high fantasy
Started 2/22/12
Finished 2/24/12

High fantasy usually isn't my bag. Sometimes, they tend to get a bit too weird. The names and places are weird, and I generally have a hard time getting into a story with no frame of reference. Recently, I tried reading Graceling for my challenge, and I barely made it halfway through before I abandoned it. So, I approached Poison Study with not much hope that I would actually see it through to the end.

But, see, here was the difference for me between Poison Study and Graceling. Poison Study actually was interesting. Huh. Yelena is scheduled to be executed for murder. At the last minute, she's given a choice - either take her execution or get a job. As the Commander's food taster. Yelena does what any smart girl would do and gives herself a fighting chance. She takes the job. But, to ensure she doesn't run away, the captain of the guards gives her a deadly poison that can only be kept at bay if Yelena is given a dose of antidote every morning. Skip a morning, she dies a slow, agonizing death.

Thing is, Yelena is good at her job. And, she even makes friends and gains the respect and love of the people around her. She also discovers that she has other hidden abilities besides being able to distinguish between 50 different poisons.

This was a great book! I loved seeing Yelena come from a broken, scared girl into a strong, confident woman. It wasn't an easy journey for her. She was scared and didn't trust anyone - not even herself. But, she makes a conscious decision to put one foot in front of the other and to keep her eyes and ears open for any opportunity to better her situation. And, that opportunity comes, but not in any way that Yelena ever expected. If you want to read a good book that makes you want to stand up and say, " Yes, I'm a woman, but that doesn't mean I can't kick your patoot," then, this is it. Loved it.  

No comments: