About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered a 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 dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and she develops magical powers she can't control. Her life’s at stake again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear!
Poison Study was fun to read, with a lot of action from beginning to end. The plot was interesting, even if at times entirely predictable. Even so, knowing how it was going to play out didn't take the joy out of reading, and the few times it did manage to surprise me were good ones.
The greatest thing about Poison Study were the characters. It wasn't so much about the story but how the characters related to each other and what made them tick. I especially liked Yelena, the main character, and Valek (of course), but the others were close behind in likeability.
The worldbuilding in this book is also very good, even if simple. We have two countries: Ixia, where the action takes place; and Sitia, a country that is seen as a haven for those who want to flee Ixia. Ixia is under a military dictatorship, but what is great in Poison Study, is that the inclusion of a “bad” type of government is not a green card to assume everyone in power is bad. Sure they have their flaws, and lack of freedom is something I never like, but as I got to know the Commander (the one who rules Ixia) I realized he wasn't going to be portrayed as evil and manipulative. I should have been expecting it, with a main character that is an assassin and spy, but I was impressed with the shades of grey of most characters, which is a thing that I always love.
I really liked Poison Study and, even if the plot was predictable at times, the characters made the book a page turner. I'll keep on reading the rest of the series because I really want to know more about these characters and this world, especially about Commander and Ixia.
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