Poison Studyis more a study of Yelena's struggle to deal with her past and find out who she has become. After she is offered the chance to become the Commander's food taster instead of being hanged, Yelena deals with intrigue, doubt, attempted murder, love, and the complicated feelings involved in learning to trust again; all this with the constant threat of assassination by poisoning.
I really enjoyed this intriguing and original fantasy story. The plot was interesting and the twists, while some were obvious from early on, were still pretty good. I didn't quite see how Commander Ambrose's interesting past fit in with the story, but I really thought it was a great book. I was really surprised at how the fantasy elements, which I thought would dominate, ended up not being the main emphasis of the story. It was really about Yelena and her path to recovery and self-discovery. This was published for adults, but will appeal to older teens who love fantasy. I'm already looking forward to the next one in the series.
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
also like Crown Duel and Court Duelby Sherwood Smith (review in the works)
the imaginary world reminded me of the Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan
Regularly throughout, but mostly mild words.
A few scenes, not descriptive.
Several fighting sequences, mainly in self-defense.
Overall rating: ****
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