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 am trying to write this review a week after I finished the book...uh-oh! Let's see how we go!
First thing to state, is that I really, really enjoyed this book, really right from page one. Is that enough?? No?
Okay then. I can't remember where I first saw mention of this book, but I do know that I was attracted to it, from the cover, to the blurb from that first mention...and I wasn't disappointed.
From the the first moment when Yelena is given a "choice", a quick death by execution, or a potentially long and painful death by poisoning in her role as the food taster to the Commander of Ixia, the story that unwinds is revealed in layers. From Yelena's past, still haunting her today (in more ways than one!), to her relationships with others in the castle, to the revelations about the Commander and also with Valek, Chief of Security.
With adventure, a touch of romance, and a really clever storyline, this book is well worth a read. I am looking forward to getting hold of Magic Study, the next book in the trilogy that is already out now!