Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Yes (Study #1)
Genre: YA Fantasy
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary 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 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 choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear.
I went into this completely blind (which almost never happens) cause at the very least I’ll read the synopsis. And wow, was I pleasantly surprised! It hooked me in straight from the first chapter through the very end. You get poisons, magic, deception, spies, secret assassins, conspiracies, military regimes gone-rogue, horrible kinds of villains and heinous acts and amazing main and secondary characters. The whole nine yards.
The premise of the book is that “Justice is Blind.” Those who enforce the law make their verdicts based on the evidence presented. Yet, they don’t always consider why a person commits a crime. And that there is nothing more lethal than power in the hands of tyrants.
Our protagonist, Yelena soon became of my favourite YA Fantasy characters. Life had not been very kind to her (to put it mildly) – She ends up in a dire situation after going through some unimaginable things and instead of letting it defeat her she refuses to give up and tries to turn her utterly horrible circumstance into an opportunity. Her behaviours and reactions to the situations she was put under were all completely believable when you consider her position. she owns up to the life she’d taken and never makes excuses for her actions. Her survival instincts, practicality, wits and even carelessness (at times) were refreshing to read about.
Oh, and did I mention some amazing secondary characters?? Read. It.