I remember reading this one probably a year after its release. Amazon had recommended Magic Study to me, and when I saw it's original cover, I was stunned! So much so, that I immediately looked into its FIRST book--because naughty Amazon decides to recommend a book 2 without saying anything about book 1--and immediately bought the book! From Borders, naturally! And I started reading it, and kept reading it, and basically shunned whatever Freshman college work I had at the moment. (Okay, maybe that's a stretch!) I remember reading it in the car as we took a road trip and basically tuned everyone out as I kept reading until it got dark and cursed myself for not having a booklight!
Needless to say, this read stuck with me! And I loved it oh so much! It was one I even re-read after a time or too, before I grew a TBR pile 5 years later! LOL! It was an amazing and incredible read! I have since come to collecting every edition I can find of this book! Still need for the publishers to actually publish the newest version in paperback! Fix this "cancelled" I see on Goodreads too.
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. . . .
Maria V. Snyder changed from being a meteorologist to a novelist in 1995, when she began writing to keep her sanity while raising two children. Since then, she has published numerous freelance articles in magazines and newspapers, and teaches fiction-writing classes at the local college and area libraries. The classes give her the wonderful opportunity to encourage fellow writers, and to keep improving her craft.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maria always had a fascination with big storms. Dreaming of chasing tornados, Maria earned a bachelors of science degree in meteorology at Penn State University. But she discovered, much to her chagrin, that forecasting the weather wasn't one of her skills. In order to chase tornados you had to predict where they might form. Creating fantasy worlds where she has complete control of the weather was more agreeable to her.
Maria's research on food-tasting methods with an expert chocolate taster, her husband, turned out to be a delicious bonus while writing Poison Study.
Maria has a brown belt in Isshinryu Karate, and enjoys playing volleyball and the cello. Traveling in general and via cruise ship in particular are her biggest distractions from writing. Maria has traveled to Belize, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal.
Maria lives with her husband, son, daughter and yellow lab, Hazelnut, in Pennsylvania where she is at work on more LUNA novels. She is also pursuing a master's degree in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University.
Readers are welcome to contact Maria at the following email address: email@example.com -->For realises! I emailed Maria tons over the years and she's always replied!
Now here's a special treat/excerpt for you! Be prepared to be delighted and excited with this taste! And be sure to note the word in red, for it will help you out with the contest below!!
We stopped. Through squinted eyes I saw a staircase. In an effort to get my foot onto the first step, I tripped over the chains and fell. The guards dragged me up. The rough edges of the stone steps dug into my skin, peeling away exposed flesh on my arms and legs. After being pulled through two sets of thick metal doors, the guards dumped me onto the floor. Sunlight stabbed between my eyes. I shut them tight as tears spilled down my cheeks. It was the first time that I had seen daylight in seasons.
This is it, I thought, starting to panic. But the knowledge that my execution would end my miserable existence in the dungeon calmed me.
Yanked to my feet again, I followed the guards blindly. My body itched from insect bites and from sleeping on dirty straw. I stunk of rat. Given only a small ration of water, I didn’t waste it on baths.
Once my eyes adjusted to the light, I looked around. The walls were bare, without the fabled gold sconces and elaborate tapestries I had learned about that decorated the castle’s main hallways. The cold stone floor was worn smooth in the middle. We were probably traveling along the hidden corridors used solely by the servants and guards. As we passed two open windows, I glanced out with a hunger that no food could satisfy.
The bright emerald of the grass made my eyes ache. Trees wore cloaks of leaves. Flowers laced the footpaths and overflowed from barrels. The fresh breeze smelled like an expensive perfume, and I breathed deeply. After the acidic smells of excrement and body odor, the taste of the air was like drinking a fine wine. Warmth caressed my skin, replacing the eternally damp and chilly dungeon air.
I guessed it was the beginning of the hot season, which meant that I had been locked in the cell for five seasons, one season shy of a full year. It seemed an excessively long time for someone scheduled for execution.
Winded from the effort of marching with my feet chained, I was finally led into a spacious office. Maps of the Territory of Ixia and the lands beyond completely covered the walls. Piles of books on the floor made walking a straight line difficult. Candles in various stages of use generously littered the room, singe marks evident on several papers that had gotten too close to the candle’s flame. A large wooden table, strewn with documents and ringed by half a dozen chairs, occupied the center of the room. At the back of the office a man sat at a desk. Behind him a square window gaped open, permitting a breeze to blow through his shoulder length hair.
I shuddered, causing the chains to clink musically. From the whispered conversations between prison cells, I had determined that the condemned prisoner was taken to an official to formally confess his or her crime before being hanged.
Wearing black pants and a black shirt with two red diamonds stitched on the collar, the man at the desk wore the uniform of an advisor to the Commander. His pallid face held no expression. As his sapphire-blue eyes scanned me, they widened slightly in surprise.
Suddenly conscious of my appearance, I glanced down at my tattered red prison gown and dirty bare feet roughened with yellow calluses. Dirt-streaked skin showed through the rips in the thin fabric. My long black hair hung in greasy clumps. Sweat soaked, I swayed under the weight of the chains.
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