Poison Study: Maria v. Snyder. (Spoiler Free)

This book. Is amazing!It was spectacularly written and the story line was beautifully developed; it was an intricate work of art that I loved reading. I cannot even being to describe how happy I am with this book, but I am certainly going to give it my best shot. 

This book. Is amazing, I put it down not three minutes ago and I am currently buzzing with the thrill of finishing a good book and starting a fantastic series. It was spectacularly written and the story line was beautifully developed; it was an intricate work of art that I loved reading. I cannot even being to describe how happy I am with this book, but I am certainly going to give it my best shot.

To start off with I unfortunately have to point out two minimal negative. Firstly, I wish that the romantic sub-plotline was a little more developed, while the build-up was beautiful subtly and not at all like a cheesy romance where you just have to roll your eyes, I feel like if it weren’t for the blurb revealing how it would go I wouldn’t have seen he romance coming and therefore, it would’ve been an out of nowhere occurrence, it also seemed like the development to the point of romantic action was a little rushed to build further up the sequence of events leading to the end. I feel like we weren’t given enough time to properly enjoy the pairing before chaos ensued. Another negative which is barely even a problem was a slight nuance of predictability. I kind of saw the plot-line evolving the way it did before it actually started developing. Now, I’m not sure if it’s because I’m such a seasoned reader that I can spot familiar tropes a kilometre away or if it was just the writing; so I’m only going to mention it instead of talking about it more, just in case it is just me.

Now that the gross negatives are out of the way, on the the gushing and frankly overwhelming compliments and good opinions on this book. HOLY CRAP it was fantastic!

So, right away we’re thrown unceremoniously into the story; and not in the ‘what the heck is going on?’ kind of way, but being thrown smack bang into the story and introduced to Yelena who is a prisoner, whose sentence of hanging is about to be carried out when she is given an unexpected reprieve. Continue on with her fate, to meet the noose or to become the Commander’s food taster, to risk her life everyday in order to ensure the leader of her country’s food to test for poison. She chooses to take the position and beings training under the eye of Valek, the commander’s advisor. The story is set in a fantasy setting; a country called Ixia where they are under martial law with a man called the Commander heading the country. The country is then further split into 8 section with each section under the rule of a General under the Commander’s rule.  It’s an intricately written story and Snyder does beautifully to set it up without the reader feeling overwhelmed by information. It’s done in a way that’s gradual and uses language we can understand and told through flashbacks and other characters stories to reveal how the world is shaped, formed and run. For me, fantasy has always been a challenge; but this series is brilliant and brings a whole new amount of faith into my exploration into the genre. It is truly hard to write a fantastic fantasy novel with a balance of information and plot working together; but Snyder has done it ten-fold. I cannot wait to read the next instalment in her series, and hopefully any others she has written after that.

This book is beautiful written and published, It is a wonderful beginning to what i hope will be a wonderful and fantastic series. I would recommend it to anyone who ants to read a good fantasy novel to open them up to the series.

Til Next Time,

L.K.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

An interesting start to what I hope to be a great Trilogy.

NON-SPOILER SECTION:

The story if an excellent start to a series, with an ending that makes a reader want to continue the story as soon as possible. However, there are some elements to the story that (to me) were predicable. The mythology and world-building involved was elegantly written with just enough mystery to promote continued reading. I love the development of the characters and the way they were subtly described across the book. Laini Taylor really creates a beautiful and mysterious story  that I can’t wait to continue to explore, the only negative I would say would be the  slight predictability to some events.

The story line was given just enough history to make sense with the attitudes of surrounding background characters such as other Chimera and Seraph. I liked especially how Kaoru had a unique childhood and she had a unique perspective on the world around her. Prague was also a beautiful setting for this book which added another element to the story with the descriptive language that brought the story that resides in the paranormal into everyday life; making it all that more emotive. Aviva as a character was an interesting construct, as he remained almost threatening and elusive until almost the end of the story. He himself grows as a character, going from a cold, unfeeling soldier to someone who dares to hope again and feel once more. His past like Kaoru’s remains mysterious progressively being revealed along the plot line, which is shown to be interwoven.

The structure of the paranormal worlds is also curious and well-written. The societies explored are those of the Seraph and Chimera, along with a few other locations. Each is written to have it’s own structure, religion, ceremonies and lifestyle. Its an incredible feat attempted with grace and intelligence. Its revealed through the perspectives of the main characters, but in a way that allowed their reliability to create an understanding in the author. Seeing these instances through both of the character’s eyes also allows for the unique situation of seeing how the perspective of the opposing societies were formed and how each are trying to reach an understanding within themselves of how their world and others work. Its almost like feeling as if you’re the intruder in your own home.

Mystery within this book is a dominant theme. The four most explored mysteries in this book are: Kaoru’s past, Brimstone’s work, the Hamsas and Akiva’s past. Koran’s past is the element that I believed to be obvious. There were hints that I picked up throughout the book which maybe only to me seemed to be a gigantic red arrow pointing directly to the answer, still there were moments when I had my doubts and considered other options, but when it was confirmed I was really satisfied by being able to guess the outcome. Brimstone’s work and the other three were elements that had me guessing until their reveal. Brimstone as a hulking yet soft hearted Chimera is someone who raised Kaoru from birth along with the other Chimera in his dwelling which acts as the portal between the human world and the Chimera domain. He deals with teeth, collecting them and making them into necklaces all the while using his hands and senses to understand their value. Why he does this remains unknown until Kaoru’s history is also revealed. Which brings the Hamsas unknown element into the light and stringing along to the finish line is Akiva’s past. Though some gaps remain in the story where they are headed is sure to fill them, I also look forward to how the story is going to progress now that there is little reason to continue dealing into the past.

All in all this story, a story of love, war and hope is something I look forward to continuing to read; especially to find out how the story evolves.