For the longest time since I've had a chance to find Maria's V. Snyder's books, I've wanted to read her first book, Poison Study. I learned about her work when I encountered Inside Out. Her style of writing is smooth, action packed, and easy to fall into for a great read.
I tend to be picky with books, so I was pleasantly surprised when I read and enjoyed Poison Study. The book is about Yelena, a nineteen year-old who had been convicted of murder. On the day she is to be executed she is offered a choice: either die or become the Commander of Ixia's food taster. (In essence either a quick death or a death that may come at any time from eating food.)
After she agrees to take the position, the second in command, a handsome man named Valek, gives her a poison to where she is forced to stay. Every day she must come back to him to receive the antidote. And that is just the beginning! Through Yelena's will to live she grows stronger as a character and learns to fight--as well as learn more about the magical abilities she possesses.
Throughout the story, Yelena also faces dangers from the father of the man she murdered to magicians with evil intent. The end of the story was a bit bittersweet, but all in all, I loved the story and I can't wait to read Magic Study, the next book in the series.