Normally I am a voracious reader, but thanks to Netflix, I’ve lately become too addicted to watching episodes of Charmed to bother with books. However, there have been two exceptions, both by Maria V. Snyder, which I enjoyed very much for their easy read and their tie-in to my magic-inundated mindset.
The first book is called Poison Study, but I actually read book two, Magic Study, first after finding it on the New Books shelf at the library. Despite reading in the wrong order I had no trouble getting my bearings and afterwards immediately placed a request for the first book. What I love about the heroine, Yelena, is her underlying strength, despite being in complex situations that often make her unsure and vulnerable. Here is the description for Poison Study:
CHOOSE: A QUICK DEATH OR A SLOW POISON. About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered a 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 dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and she develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life’s at stake again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear!
After reading both books I took a moment to email my pleasure to the author, and guess what? She emailed me back! I know, pretty rare, and no, it wasn’t a form letter because she actually referred to things I mentioned, particularly about reading the stories in the wrong order. She also thanked me for my “kind words” and mentioned that she has an online short story about Valek (Ixia’s cheif-of-security and eventually Yelena’s lover) called Assassin Study. I haven’t read it yet, but I plan to. Needless to say, I am looking forward to her next book Fire Study, due out this fall. Maria’s blog can be found at www.myspace.com/mariavsnyder.