Imprisoned in a country where killing, even in self-defense, is punishable only by death, Yelena's future is bleak. However, the Commander's food taster has just died and law demands the next prisoner scheduled for execution be offered the job. Yelena finds herself freed from immediate death, but faced with brutal poison training by Valek, Ixia's head of security and the Commander's intelligence agency. In addition to danger from poison, Yelena has to avoid constant assassination attempts by the soldiers of General Brazell whose son she killed.
Yelena's personal danger increases as she and Valek uncover a plot to kill the Commander and overthrow Ixia's political system. This fast-paced fantasy includes mystery, intrigue, as well as an interesting new world and intriguing characters. Readers who enjoy some magical fantasy, a little romance, and a lot of adventure will be satisfied with Snyder's Poison Study. The characters are well-developed and the action is appropriate for all levels of teen readers.