On the Back of the Book
A quick death
Or slow poison...
Yelena has a choice – be executed for murder, or become food taster to the Commander of Ixia. She leaps at the chance for survival, but her relief may be short-lived.
Life in the palace is full of hazards and secrets. Wily and smart, Yelena must learn to identify poisons before they kill her, recognise whom she can trust and how to spy on those she can’t. And who is the mysterious Southern sorceress who can reach into her head?
When Yelena realises she has extraordinary powers of her own, she faces a whole new problem, for using magic in Ixia is punishable by death...
Pre Read Thoughts
I’ve been interested in this series for a long time so when I saw the whole trilogy available as part of the 3 for £5 offer at The Works, I snapped them up. I mean it’s a whole series, brand new, for a fiver! Okay, now I’ve got all over excited about the price tag I should probably move on to other stuff. I absolutely adore the font on the cover. I think I want to own it. The rest of the cover isn’t too shabby either; I love the castle and the poisons. I’m not too sure about the girl though, she looks a bit Photoshopped. On top of that, she doesn’t really remind me of Yelena. The synopsis excites me though, it doesn’t sound like other books I read.
Post Read Thoughts
I really liked the book and feel that it’s a good opening to the trilogy. The time just flew away as I read and I finished the book in a matter of hours. I guess this is me trying to say that the author captured my attention and refused to let me go. I wasn’t quite sure of the consistency of the technology in Ixia. Some of the stuff didn’t match up with other stuff but I’m going to put that down to Ixia having developed technology in a different order to Earth. I also thought the story was incredibly obvious in places but in others I was surprised so it may just have been that I related with certain events and understood how they tended to end.
Yelena – She’s the main character in the book and as leading ladies go, she’s pretty darn good. I found I could really relate to her and could understand her actions in the past that had brought her to her present situation. I also liked how she didn’t take things lying down. The strength she showed to fight back is incredible and I admired that about her.
Valek – He’s the guy who gives Yelena a second chance at life. He’s another truly likeable character, even though he shouldn’t be. I can see what Yelena sees in him, and I quite like it myself. He’s the kind of guy that most YA authors try to create but fail miserably. He’s amazing, caring and protective yet doesn’t smother Yelena and ask her to love him after a bout half a paragraph. I cannot wait to see what happens between them in Magic Study.
Ari & Janco – I refuse to write about one without the other. They’re a pair and they wouldn’t be right on their own. I adore them; they’re loyal and full of courage. They’re also filled with hidden depths that they keep hidden from most people. I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of them, they’d annihilate me.
Overall, I really did love this book. I found it to be enjoyable and entertaining. The strength of Yelena and the sense of danger throughout the book are enough to make me want to jump into book two and see what’s next for her and Valek. I think this is a well written book that, if I didn’t have so many other books to read, I’d want to read again and again.
4 stars – I thoroughly recommend this to lovers of YA fantasy. The only things that stopped me from giving this five stars are the fact that I found some of the plot to be predictable and the inconsistencies of the language and technology in Ixia. Other than that, this is definitely worth a read.