Author: Maria V. Snyder
Title: Poison Study
Series: Poison Study #1
Number of pages: 409
Published: October 1st 2005
Genre: fantasy, ya, fiction, magic
Goodreads: Poison Study
Amazon:Poison Study (The Study Trilogy - Book 1) of Maria V. Snyder on 22 December 2011(affiliate link)
Yelena is about to be executed for murder. Before she dies, she is taken to Commander's master spy. He offers her a second chance, to become Commander's food taster.
The training is demanding and possibly deadly. Valek (master spy) makes her taste almost every poison, so she will be able to taste it in food. One of the first ones is Butterfly's Dust, deadly poison, that leaves her unconscious for three days.
Her former "master" is out to kill her, because she murdered his son and Commander is acting strange. There are conspiracies happening left and right and sometimes she isn't sure who to trust.
I love the whole structure of the world and political intrigue. The story keeps you on your toes, nothing is what is seems and there are soo many twists and turns.
My favourite part are definitely characters, even the side or minor ones are flesh out and very vivid. Yelena is one of my favourite female character. She is very strong, very strong and vulnerable at the same time, and definitely kick ass, what I love the most, that it's not all given to her, she has to work hard to be all that.
And Valek... he is master spy, always up to something, wickedly smart and really hot. :) I love his loyalty and the way he treats Yelena.
One of the best fantasy book out there. Highly recommend it!