FIRE STUDY By Maria V. Snyder To my parents, James and Vincenza, for your constant support and encouragement in all m. Poison Study. Read more Maria V. Snyder - Poison 1 - Poison Study. Read more · Maria V. Snyder - Yelena 01 - Poison Study · Read more. Poison Study Poison Study Maria V. Snyder www. DOWNLOAD PDF After writing many science fiction short stories, Maria started Poison Study, her first.
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Murder, mayhem and magic Locked in a coffin-like darkness, there is nothing to distract me from my memories of killing Reyad. He deserved to die--but. Poison Study. Chapter 1. Locked in darkness that surrounded me like a coffin, there was nothing to distract me from my memories. Vivid recollections that waited. Graceling by Kristin Cashore Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas Alanna by Tamora Pierce Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.
The man was quiet for awhile. Despite the clutter of the room, the desk was neat. In addition to my folder and some writing implements, the only other items on the desk were two small, black statues, a set of panthers carved to a life-like perfection that glittered with streaks of silver. I steadied myself with a reminder that I was soon to be out of his reach forever. If murder was committed, the punishment was execution.
Self-preservation or an accidental death was not considered acceptable excuses. Say you were framed or you killed out of self-defense. The man in black straightened in his chair, shooting me a hard look. Then he laughed aloud.
His last taster died recently, and we need to fill the position. I stared at him, heart pounding. He had to be joking. He was probably amusing himself. Great way to get a laugh. The training can be lethal. No days off. No husband or children. Some prisoners have chosen execution instead.
He was serious. My whole body shook. A chance to live! Service to the Commander was better than the dungeon and infinitely better than the noose. Questions raced through my mind: What would prevent me from killing the Commander or escaping?
Also the Code of Behavior states that someone whose life is forfeit must be offered the job. No longer able to sit still, I stood and paced around the room, dragging my chains with me. The maps on the walls showed strategic military positions. Book titles dealt with security and spying techniques. The condition and amount of candles suggested someone who worked late into the night. Poison Study. Chapter 1. Use your mind. Put the flames out with your mind. Then your last shit slides down your legs!
Take me! I wanna die too! I played along. Cover Art Gallery. She could either go through with Oh wow, like, really. She could either go through with her execution or she could be the new food taster for the Commander.
Bet you can guess when she chose or else this book would have only been ten pages long. Holy shit, I loved this book. Yelena has quickly become one of my favorite female protagonists because she's badass without Snyder shoving it down your throat that she's badass. The book is also told in first perspective, which sometimes I find it easier for me to grow annoyed with the main character because first perspective is so limited, but I LOVED this perspective and I loved Yelena's voice.
You really see her growth too from this dungeon rat to this all-around badass who is still learning but can hold her own. There's quite a bit of the whole "training montage" happening in this story. Most of the time in stories, I hate when we go through the stereotypical training sequences and I was nervous at first because not only does Yelena go through poison training, she also goes through fighting training. BUT Snyder never makes you feel like all you're doing it reading about Yelena training.
I've never read a book with that perfect of a balance. Ohmygod, Valek. What a hunk of man meat. So while I just recently learned that this series isn't actually YA, but adult, it makes more sense even though I feel like this series is marketed towards a YA audience do you know how many times I praised at the fact that Valek wasn't an eighteen year old?
Valek is the Commander's head of security, captain of the guard, whatever you want to call that position. He's in his early thirties which completely fits the rank he hold and the skills he has. Too often in YA do I see eighteen or nineteen years old controlling armies or head assassin or captain of the guard and I always think that's unrealistic - even in a fantasy.
Valek is stone-cold but he is so well-rounded. We find out so much about him through the observations and snooping. Can we appreciate the fact that the "trope housekeeper" that Valek and the Commander trust the most didn't give Yelena the expositional story on Valek's past?
I hate when an author brings in a housekeeper character just to do that. Moving on to the story and the plot. What I liked about the story was how layered it was. There was new things being introduced, history being told to us, and while the summary is extremely straight-forward to a point where you could feel this story could be a standalone, the new aspects including political corruption, magic, and the plethora of other territories, completely introduces the reader into this world that has many stories to tell and more directions Yelena's story could go.
Snyder balanced flashbacks really well too. She gave us insight into Yelena's past that put her in the dungeon without overbearing us with too much past scenes. Based off the ending, I can't wait to pick up the second book. I really enjoyed the journey of the first book. I felt like it was paced perfectly, not at all rushed, and the writing was completely effortless. I'm definitely going to recommend this book. Especially if you find yourself having the same reading style as I do.
The castle, politics, dark mysterious guy, strong female MC, and way it unfolds as a sort of mystery were all seriously awesome.
I did really enjoy this book, but think I was just expecting a bit more from the end. The basic plot is Yelena killed her sadistic abuser but is saved from execution by accepting a position as the Commander's food taster. She's given some poison everyday and then has to check back for the antidote in order to deter her from escaping. Yelena gets thrown into a world of p The castle, politics, dark mysterious guy, strong female MC, and way it unfolds as a sort of mystery were all seriously awesome.
This is not as Willy Wonka as it sounds. The pacing was great and it's pretty quick read, but I honestly would've liked it to have been a lot longer! This was a really cool world but the story felt like it just barely touched the surface of every plot point. Valek the guy who trains Yelena in poison tasting was easily my favorite part! He had kind of a Darkling quality and I totally wanted to skim the book just looking for his name.
I appreciated what seemed like a slow-burn romance, but then thought everything it built up to really failed to deliver. I wanted to see the romance develop. But then that didn't really mix well with the other relationships that were somewhat juvenile at times. Is it horrible that I kept picturing: This really did remind me of Throne of Glass at times with the writing and how some bits were really complex and creative, while others felt more simplistic with the potential to be more.
BUT but but I know I complained a lot, sorry this book really is a fun read overall! I just liked it so much that I'm disappointed it wasn't something I could connect with even more. So all of the complaints are a good sign in this case!
View all 3 comments. The originality deserves a full four, but the the issues I had with the writining make it impossible for me to grant it. But rounded down to three because it would have taken so little for it to be better, and that leaves a bitter, bitter taste in my mouth.
I knew I would be swept "Poisoned, pursued and living with a psychopath. I knew I would be swept up in it the moment I realized it was about this girl who had to train as a food taster.
I don't know what I expected, exactly; probably something a bit different from this, even though I could not pinpoint how, but nonetheless I enjoyed it immensely. The plot , while a little naive and predictable at times, never fail in holding the reader's attentions.
She is no assassin, no fighter, no feisty creature and she has no problems accepting it, and it's so tremendously refreshing that I loved her from the start. During the story, she learns to fight and to stand up for herself, but she never leaves behind her aura of innocence, so to say, of tranquillity, and this, paired with a couple of interesting things she finds out about some peculiar abilities of hers, leads me to think her true talents lie in something different, for once, from her fists or a sword.
Don't get me wrong, kick-ass heroines are wonderful when they are properly fleshed-out as characters , but I love it so much more when a woman proves she can fight just as well even if armed only with her mind for further information, see The Winner's Curse.
Valek is fabulous, view spoiler [ even though he could work a little better on that declaration because, honestly, I found it a bit lame; anyway, he won me over when he didn't refuse to kill Yelena when ordered to: I'm not so sadistic as to want him to commit murder-suicide, naturally, but it would have been so tragic.
Ari and Janco are adorable, view spoiler [and I ship them hide spoiler ]. I kind of?
A story that important can't be dismissed with a couple of lines here and there. I wanted to know what exactly had happened and way, and I very much hope we will receive further clarification in the following installments. It is not horrible or bad or unpleasant in the very real sense of the word, but it is extremely flat , unemotional which, depending on the case, can be a remarkable perk, but here it is not , monotone , which negatively reflected on the characters' personalities an attitudes.
They seem to be incapable of distinguishing between events needing strong reactions and mundane actions, because their response is always dull, somehow, as if coated or encased in ice, as if set in advance to "act as usual" instead of "act accordingly". I don't know how to explain myself better than this.
I know this particular flaw is to blame on the writing because this isn't the first time I encounter it in a book, and every single time it annoys me and spoils my enjoyment like few other things can.
For this reason, it is more than possible, and maybe even likely, that for many of you it won't be that much of a problem; in that case, feel free to consider I rated the book four stars and dive into it, because it's definitely, definitely worth a try.
Strongly recommended. View all 17 comments. Sep 03, Lyndsey rated it really liked it Shelves: One of these things does not belong here: Well, one of these things does not belong in a fantasy novel. Hint - it is small, electronic, and blue! More on that later. So this is another one of many books A story about an orphaned girl, whose been tortured and basically given a rotten hand that's full of all jokers, most likely dealt by some sort of sleight of hand magician or something.
Rough life. After mysteries are introduced and back stories told, she encounters a mysterious One of these things does not belong here: After mysteries are introduced and back stories told, she encounters a mysterious character who reveals she is "special" and, imagine that, has a unique power. So yeah, it's AWE-some! The reason these durn formulas exist is because they work. We like to read about special people, because we all like to hope that we are special too.
The reality is that, while everyone is unique, we aren't all special. We don't all have superpowers or magical inclinations.
It sucks. But we have to deal with it. What we don't have to do is read about it.
Because let's face it, it dull to read about boring people. So I prefer not too. Yelena and Valek are anything but dull. I'm was very impressed with Yelena. She nev-er plays the damsel in distress card, expects anyone to rescue her or even to just help her. She takes responsibility for her past and future actions, accepting punishment when she has to and planning ahead when she begins to have options.
When Valek enters the story, it isn't blatantly-hit-you-over-the-head-obvious that he will end up being a love interest. The relationship develops slowly. It simmers. He isn't the perfect boyfriend, over-achiever type.
Yet he isn't the unpredictable and unreliable bad boy. He's mysterious and inscrutable. Makes you wonder what he's hiding with that quiet confidence.
In other words: The technology and culture can be confusing. But they use candles and covered wagons? Like a mish mash of culture. Can you even make a trampoline without modern equipment?
Then again, they do have magic. I realize this is just nit picking. However, unrelated metaphors or descriptions bother me because it takes you out of the story, out of the fantasy realm, and brings you back to Earth.
And Earth is all well and good when I'm here. But when I'm reading, I prefer the blissful ignorance of the fantasy world. The main reason I brought this is up is because I was happily reading along, despite the 10 tiered wedding cake and switchblade references bothering me; I stuck with it until the trampoline. I was so confused about whether or not they would actually be able to MAKE a trampoline with their level of technology, that I felt compelled to stop reading and look up the history of the trampoline, which by our standard wasn't actually invented and named until , after the onset of automobiles and electricity.
Regardless, I think a more accurate description for the culture would have been a trapeze tight net, if the passage was even necessary at all. It disturbed me so much I actually had a dream about it. The characters in the book all had modern equipment like lightbulbs and cars but they completely ignored all of it and went about their business. Sorry about the long gripe but I have OCD when it comes to literature. I don't like anything in my books that isn't supposed to be there, including names written inside the cover, book plates, highlighting, and trampolines in fantasy novels!
Imagine if Samwise and Frodo had stumbled upon a trampoline on their journey!? Uh, no. It's funny to picture but it just doesn't work in the context of the book. Why not just give Frodo a gold medallion, some extra bling, and put him on a professional basketball team?
Well, what do you know? Anyway, there are already too many factors measuring into my reader's ADD. I get pulled away easily enough as it is, and I shouldn't need to worry about whether or not they should have trampolines. It was a completely unnecessary and distracting fiasco.
But there is still a bright side: I feel like I learned something new. Despite my gripes, I loved it. The characters really got into my head. It is actually unusual for me to dream about characters from a book.
Usually, my mind is inventing it's own bizarre hogwash, so the dream is actually a compliment to the author and her character development. Maria's prose is concise and creative.
Apart from the aforementioned, her descriptions and metaphors are usually spot on and beautifully constructed. The characters are fully developed, each with backstories, subplots and their own unique quirks. There's Janco, a military man who trains Yelena. He also rhymes while fighting - and I mean it. Anybody wanna peanut? And then there's Ari, Janco's best bud who also helps with the training.
I really loved the scenes with these two. They're a breath of fresh air. There's also Rand, the gourmet chef addicted to gambling. I felt for him There's Reyad, resident jerk, whose apparent weakness is view spoiler [the phrase "Be gone". That's it? Also, I saw the antidote mystery coming, but not the one involving the Commander.
Never would have guessed! I really hope all her books are as good, because they all look so damn interesting. Definitely will keep reading them. Great combo, huh?
Fortunately, they both seem to apply mostly to reading and not necessarily all aspects of my life. Oh, the humanity!
Or rather, hobbitmanity!?! My review for the second book: Magic Study My review for the third book: Fire Study View all 36 comments. Apr 10, Tamora Pierce rated it really liked it Shelves: I'm not sure if this is supposed to be adult or teen fantasy, and I don't really care. It's just plain good. Yelena, sentenced to die, is offered the chance to live as the Commander's taster.
She could be poisoned at any moment, and if she tries to escape, she could die of the poison given to her at her first meeting with the Commander's chief of intelligence he gives her the antidote daily.
When she accepts, she is pitchforked into a world where she cannot tell who is an ally and who is an en I'm not sure if this is supposed to be adult or teen fantasy, and I don't really care. When she accepts, she is pitchforked into a world where she cannot tell who is an ally and who is an enemy, where she trains daily to gain the skills that will help her to survive her personal enemies, and where she must peel back her own layers to learn who she is, and what she is capable of.
Now I see why so many of my reading friends were recommending this book to me. It was good enough that I plowed through it in two days okay, I had to break for sleep and company , and now I want to get my hands on the next books. Yelena and her master are great characters, as are the warriors who befriend Yelena, and the vengeful ghost of the sadistic young aristocrat who she killed. View all 12 comments. Oct 16, Sabrina The Trash Queen marked it as to-read. I want to know who this couple that everyone love is.
Very excited. Sep 16, Maria V. Pretty cool - eh? View all 10 comments. Feb 21, Wendy Darling rated it liked it Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.
To view it, click here. This review is for all three books, since I think most people will check Book 1 to see if they should begin a series. This series has a really fascinating set-up, and I liked a number of the characters, including Valek and Janco and Ari.
It took me a long time to get through the first book, however, and I probably would not have kept going if I hadn't downloadd all three books as a Kindle bundle. I found the language difficult to get used to, since it veered between a rather mannered, old-fashione This review is for all three books, since I think most people will check Book 1 to see if they should begin a series.
I had a hard time remembering that Yelena was supposed to be 18 since some circumstances and things make her seem very adult her job, her boyfriend, etc while others made her seem like a year-old the language, many of her decisions, etc. As the books went on, the action and plotting became less believable and pretty scattered, and I felt less and less engaged by what was going on. The biggest flaw, however, was the way the books were written.
While there's decent sentence structure and such, there are often long, unbroken blocks of text where things are explained or described at great length. Most importantly, there is a weird emotional distance in the way the author writes and you never really feel attached to Yelena or empathize with what's going on.
There is a lot of telling rather than showing, and many significant events reuniting with a mother and father you haven't seen in 14 years, for example aren't written with the kind of impact you would expect. Many of these set-ups just don't ring true.
Even things that start out sort of cute Yelena talks to her horse become ridiculous by the third book. What began as the projection of simple thoughts and images and communication spun into the horse providing her with an idea for bribing another character with honey, the horse taking revenge on someone on Yelena's behalf, etc. Waaay over the top. I really wanted to like this series, but in the end, it just didn't do it for me. I feel like this is one of those books that a lot of people have heard of but haven't really read.
Maybe that's just me trying to make myself feel better about not reading it before lol. This book was weird-in a good way. It's very dark and if you know me, you know I love dark books so there's that.
BUT the love interest? I don't know, man. At first Valek is described as a man. In my mind Valek was automatically above 40 I am very well aware of the fact that that is not the age criteria for a I feel like this is one of those books that a lot of people have heard of but haven't really read. In my mind Valek was automatically above 40 I am very well aware of the fact that that is not the age criteria for a man but my mind works differently.
And then Yelena is 19 so I thought Valek would be a weird nice uncle-ish and not the main guy. But I was, you know, wrong. Anyway, it was good. I liked it. Audrey Yeah, he kind of is. I find it really hard to give a book five stars these days. It really has to earn it and truthfully, Poison Study almost did. The writing was surprisingly rich and colourful, the characters were great.
Yelena was calculating and resourceful which I really liked. Valek was great. At some points he was your stock-standard superhero, protective saviour cliche but his loyalty, dedication and sneakyness really added some more dimensions to that. The plot Okay, in some instances it was I find it really hard to give a book five stars these days. Okay, in some instances it was really, really great.
Except the big reveal was painfully, painfully obvious. I don't want to spend umpteen chapters screaming at the characters about what the beans are and how they're connected to everything. If it's that flipping obvious then, as an author, you need to be just a little more sneaky.
Other than that is was a really enjoyable read and I'll definitely be picking up the next one in the series. Yelena, plucked from the dungeon of the kingdom of Ixia just before her scheduled execution, is given a chance to live if she will accept the job of food taster for the Commander, the military leader who has taken control of Ixia.
Her new boss is Valek, the Commander's head of security and a trained assassin. Valek trains Yelena to recognize all fifty-two of the known poisons in their world. It's even odds as to whether Yelena will be killed by Valek's ruthless teac 3. It's even odds as to whether Yelena will be killed by Valek's ruthless teaching methods which involve taste testing all of these poisons , eating some poisoned food or drink intended for the Commander, or getting assassinated by the minions of General Brazell, whose son she killed a year ago for reasons Yelena refuses to divulge, out of a combined sense of pride and knowing that under Ixia's laws, self-defense is not considered as an excuse for killing someone.
Yelena tries to protect herself and her heart, but finds herself torn by the desire for friendship, even when it backfires on her: Yelena is an admirable main character, plucky and determined to find a way to escape at some point. Valek is a dark character, but honorable and attractive in his own way. Other than the main characters and a couple of others, most of the characters are stock characters and tend to be drawn in all black or all white.
The world-building was good, for the most part, if not terribly unique, but there were a few cracks in it that didn't feel natural to me. What kind of society wouldn't accept self-defense or accident as a valid reason for killing someone, but insist on publicly hanging everyone who causes a death, regardless of the circumstances?
Why would Yelena refuse to tell Valek why she killed General Brazell's son? Why would the Commander view spoiler [pass a death sentence on Yelena at the end, right after she saved him, just so he could keep his intolerably strict rules hide spoiler ]?
Even though there were reasons given in the book, these things just felt like plot devices to me. On the other hand, there were some compelling plot developments as well. I really enjoyed Yelena's day as a pretend fugitive, trying to avoid being captured by men in training, and the danger that faces Yelena and the country of Ixia had me turning the pages in a hurry. The story leaves you hanging a bit at the end, but the GR reviews for the sequels are distinctly mixed.
I think I'll call it a day and just imagine my own ending to Yelena's story. There are still a lot of stray villains out there who could use a good poisoning View all 9 comments. Jan 15, Phrynne rated it really liked it Shelves: I am pretty late to this party as this was my first Maria V. Snyder book and I liked it very much.
It is one of those books which is very hard to put down. I kept thinking "Just one more chapter, just one more" until suddenly I had finished. And even then I did not want to put it down. Fortunately the next book is lined up ready I enjoyed everything about this book. Yelena is a genuinely strong female main character. One who can actually defeat a baddy without a man coming in at the end I am pretty late to this party as this was my first Maria V.
One who can actually defeat a baddy without a man coming in at the end to save her. In fact she can manage more than one when she gets going! Best of all she is only in love with one man, not two. That is very important to me these days in YA books!
I liked the world building, the magic system, the characters, the pacing of the book. I liked everything: An excellent book. View all 8 comments. This jewel was brilliant from the very first line. I'm so glad I decided to give it a read. I can't wait to move unto book two. I loved every blinking thing about it. The storyline, The heroine, the side characters, Valek and lastly, but by no means least, Valek ; The storyline was fantastic, the characters "You've slipped under my skin, invaded my blood and seized my heart.
The storyline, The heroine, the side characters, Valek and lastly, but by no means least, Valek ; The storyline was fantastic, the characters had depth, whilst being engaging, memorable and lovable all at once. My only regret was not reading this book sooner. This was me literally whilst reading this book The plot twist and discoveries along the way had me like: The story is told inelaborately, and there is no hesitation in describing the ugliness of Yelena's situation.
When I met Yelena, she was taken out of her prison cell, where she had languished for the better part of a I finished this book on Friday, and I took all weekend to decide what I wanted to say in my review. When I met Yelena, she was taken out of her prison cell, where she had languished for the better part of a year, and was prepared to meet the executioner. I can't say I've read too many books that started this way. I was hooked right then and there. Instead of seeing Yelena get executed, she is taken to the office of the man who will cause a profound change in her life, Valek.
Yelena was offered the opportunity to escape a quick execution. She could undertake the training as a food taster, which was not without risk, and if she survived, she would spend her life risking death on a regular basis. Typically the life of a food taster is very short. But, it's a lot longer than instant death. Yelena thought things through and decided she'd rather take her chances as a food taster.
From the beginning, I was interested in Yelena's story. She was a young woman who had ended up in a very dire situation not all of her making , but was willing to own up to the life she'd taken. She never made excuses for her actions, although the reasons were valid. With the murder she committed, she felt as though her soul had been lost. And yet, some part of her refused to give up. This book brings to mind the aphorism that "Justice is Blind. Those who enforce the law make their verdicts on cases based on the evidence presented.
Yet, they don't always consider the underlying reasons why a person commits a crime. In the eyes of an omniscient diety, this makes perfect sense, because that Supreme Being sees all things. But, humans don't have that all-seeing perception. Is it fair for a woman to be sentenced to death for trying to protect herself and her loved ones, for killing a man who brutally tortured and raped her?
According to the strict laws of Ixia, murder outside of war is considered a capital offense. From the moment that Yelena took the life of the son of General Brazell, her life was forfeit.