Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…
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… (Goodreads)
This book. THIS BOOK. Oh my gosh, what did I just read?!?
Until I reached the last several chapters, I thought this is a YA fantasy romance book with a dark, suspenseful undertones running through the book. Although the plot hooked me right from the beginning with Yelena, who is convicted of murder of General Brazelle’s son, facing an ultimate choice between being a Commander’s food taster and execution – a slow death or an immediate death, this book didn’t truly wow me; I did find this book addictive and hypnotizing with a sinister ambiance and constant threats of death hanging in the air the entire book, but once again, it was the last several chapters that threw me in a frenzy of emotions and made me squealing and holding my breath with my hands either on my throat or on my heart.
There are so many things happening in those several chapters, I was emotionally worked up in a very positive way, feeling like being in the midst of maelstrom. My heart was pounding with excitement, dread, and heart-melting romance, I just couldn’t help but pause in a very short span, taking a calming breath and brace for the next twist.
Maria V. Snyder’s writing is so mellifluous and exquisite, simply breath-taking. I was listening to an audiobook and the smooth flows of her writing was enhanced by the narrator’s brilliant performance, the whole book flew so smoothly like velvety chocolate going down my throat.
Although there is a lot of building up and explanations about the world, it never felt info-dumpy. It was done in a very comprehensible way, so easy to follow through. The world setting and the rank system is also intriguing, another element that captured my imagination.
The quiet, yet dark undertone her writing exudes is also hypnotic and mesmerizing, I thought this book is like a poison that slowly creeps into my skin and mind. Before I knew it, I found this book incredibly addictive and irresistible, combining with the intriguing plot where Yelena constantly faces with life-or-death choices and threats and emotional conflicts between betrayal and royalty, I was completely hooked, eager to turn pages to find out how the story plays out.
I don’t think I need to ramble on how beautiful and steamy-hot the romance between Yelena and Valek is. The progression and the pacing is on-point, once again, it goes down like a lethal toxin spreading in my mind and made my mind flutter so many times. The jail scene in the latter part of the book is literally to die for – I had to hit the pause button to calm the roaring butterflies in my stomach. It bothered me SO MUCH. I almost couldn’t handle it.
I never thought I was enthralled by this book THIS MUCH. As I mentioned in the beginning, I thought it would be a 3.5 to a 4 star read, but I can’t believe what this book has done to me; I did a complete 180 about this book, the unexpected twists and curve balls knocked me off my feet and had my heart in its clutch.
Yelena’s character growth, the tantalizing, sizzling hot romance and the suspenseful, twisty-turny plot, not to mention her beautiful writing… this book threw me for a loop in a positive way, this is absolutely a 5 star book for me.
I could use poison this delicious all day, every day.
As a matter of fact, I cannot wait to get bothered by the next book, Magic Study to see how Yelena’s new chapter of her life and her new adventure play out!
My Rating: Straight up ★★★★★ No doubt!!