Poison Study by Maria V. Synder
Choose: A quick death . . . Or slow poison . . .
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary 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 new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear . . .
I’ve come across Synder before—specifically, I came across Storm Glass, the first in the Glass series. But completionist that I am, I must start with Poison Study, as apparently the series are mildly linked. I’ve heard good to mixed things, but you know me: I love good fantasy, I love bad fantasy. It’s mediocre fantasy I don’t have time for.
Jane at Dear Author found the worldbuilding a little vague and the romance (of course there’s a romance!) rushed, but, overall, she enjoyed it. Kristen at Fantasy Cafe liked its engaging and exciting plot and pace, but noted that the characterization was a little flat. Anna at Anna Reads loved it. Fyrefly at Fyrefly’s Book Blog liked it, but found the prose awkward and Yelena a bit thick-headed.
Poison Study was published on October 1, 2005.