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.
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.
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.
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