Friday, March 24, 2006

Poison Study byMaria V. Snyder

Although this is a first novel the author has been a freelance writer and the novel reflects this experience. It is well plotted and paced with a writing style that has the story flowing along. The world she has created is well thought out and populated with interesting, well-developed characters. The secret we learn about the Commander was quite a surprise.

This is a LUNA “romance fantasy” but the authors focus is on the fantasy with the romance in the background. In fact as far as romance goes I was surprised when I looked and saw LUNA was the publisher. They keep publishing novels of this quality and they are going to become known as a Science Fiction & Fantasy publisher, not for romance.

The story is about Yelena who is about to be executed, but is offered the the position of food taster for the Commander. Given the chance to live she begins to flower in her environment. How she grows, the friends she makes and the skills she gains allow her to be instrumental in overcoming a plot against the Commander and the nation. I had just read Singer by Jean Thesman (reviewed below) and both novel’s characters come from and abusive background. Yelena, however, grows stronger over the course of the novel (as opposed to Singer, pushed this way and that) until she is a moving force at novels end.

Polished writing, good central character surrounded by other strong characters, well thought out story and an emphasis on the fantasy elements not the romance. All in all a good novel – an impressive first published novel. I look forward to reading ‘Magic Study’ in the fall, the continuation the story of Yelena. I would recommend this novel for those looking for an enjoyable read.


Post a Comment

<< Home