Yelena is a great strong female protagonist. She seems to bounce back from a bunch of problems. One of the reasons I liked her so much was because she wouldn’t give up. She’s very smart, and maybe a little bit too athletic to be believable, but then, usually the protagonist of most books is like that.
Maria V. Snyder
It is against the Code of Behaviour to kill, but that is exactly what Yelena has done. Stored in a dungeon for jut under a year, Yelena is willing to die to forget what she has been through already. When offered a second chance as a poison tester for the Commander, she’s willing to make the most of what comes her way.
I found the romance of this book a little unconvincing. I was sure that the age gap between them was quite large, and also that it seemed to be a semi-dependant relationship. It also seemed to sneak up on Yelena without her noticing – something odd for a character who seemed to know herself well.
Plenty of foreshadowing going on in this book. Some of the smallest details end up being important. I love the way Yelena’s back story is gradually revealed, as it adds nice emphasis to her circumstances. I was unsatisfied with the Rand subplot. I wanted something better for his end. Yelena also seemed to about turn on him so abruptly. I could understand where Rand was coming from, but it seemed like there were more ways out of his situation. It was certainly a great way of showing the harsh side of the Commander and Valek though
Oh, those damn beans. I was so sure they were cocoa beans, but then they ended up being something different. Someone else give me an opinion here – did you think they were cocoa beans? Coffee beans? Something else? It was obvious that those were the cause though.
Sorry about the cover photo being so blurry. I had horrible lighting conditions, and it just wasn’t working for me. I’ll take this photo again if I’ve got time. UPDATE: I took a new photo! On a similar note – do you enjoy seeing my actual copies of books? Or would you prefer a plain old version from Amazon?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and would recommend it without hesitation. I’ve got the next two books of this trilogy sitting on my shelf, but I can’t have them yet! I’d say this book was ideal for teenagers, and perhaps some adults – but don’t go looking for too much depth. Pick the books up, and you’ll be hooked for sure.