1 Feb 2010
Choose: A quick death or slow poison...
Yelena has a choice - be executed for murder, or become food taster to the Commander of Ixia. She leaps at the chance for survival, but her relief may be short-lived.
Life in the palace is full of hazards and secrets. Wily and smart, Yelena must learn to identify poisons before they kill her, recognise whom she can trust and how to spy on those she can't. And who is the mysterious Southern sorceress who can reach into her head?
When Yelena realises she has extraordinary magical powers of her own, she faces a whole new problem, for using magic in Ixia is punishable by death...
What happens when one friend raves about a book, but another dismisses it out of hand? Well, the only thing a bibliophile can do - find out for ones self!
From the very first page you are thrust into a world coming to grips with a new leader and with it, a new way of living. All magic and sorcery has been exiled by the commander and with it a higher risk of assassination. In comes Yelena - in chains for the murder of General Brazell's son and the next in line for the noose. Until she is brought to Valek (the Commanders personal security chief) and given a choice. But is anything that easy? To ensure her loyalty Valek poisons Yelena with Butterfly's Dust, with which she must go to him to take the antidote every morning, ensuring her survival. No antidote and she dies a rather unpleasant death.
And that's just the first chapter!
I am very pleased to note that this book contains a very strong and worthy heroine. Intelligent and endearing heroines are increasingly rare in a genre filled with silly girls who follow their immortal hunks to greener pastures. Yelena is no follower. She is resourceful, witty and quick to act. Throughout Poison Study she is plagued by her tragic and haunting past and the consequences of her murder - all of which is gradually revealed as you read on.
So, for a series that has magic, murder, mystery, corruption, secrecy and love interwoven throughout - how could I not love it?
And onwards to book two...
Published by Mira Books - 2004