Title: Poison Study: Soulfinders Book One
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Synopsis: Choose. A quick death or slow poison. About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. As a food taster, she’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace- and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.
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 a choice must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear.
Why I loved it: It’s very reminiscent of Merlin (the BBC show) where magic is outlawed. But rather than a tyrant ruler, you have a leader that rightly believes that magic can be used underhandedly. It’s adult in its themes (violence, hints of rape), but there is nothing too explicit. I love the medieval like setting, the way the many different themes are woven together, and the way the characters interact with each other. Yelena may have magic, but she works hard to make sure that she can survive.
Who will like it: Anyone who wants an adult fantasy that has a little romance but isn’t romance driven. This is a strong young woman simply trying to survive.
Who won’t like it: Anyone that’s looking for a heady romance in a fantasy setting. People too close-minded to enjoy a transgender character. Anyone who dislikes images of abuse.
Why I didn’t give it a better rating: While I love that it’s not romance driven, I wish it could have been built up a bit more. You sense that it’s happening, but when the shoe finally dropped, it wasn’t the “OMG FINALLY” that I usually enjoy.
General warning: If you’re getting this for a weekend read and you’re a fast reader, go ahead and get book two as well. I absolutely had to know what happened next!
Check it out on Amazon today!