Book blurb from Amazon:
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 . . .
This is such a fun fantasy novel. I loved Yelena's character. And Valek....*sigh* I want Valek. How can you resist him? Lots of intrigue here and I had a hard time putting this one down. There is some romance in here, but I wouldn't call the book a romance. It's pretty firmly fantasy. There are some issues with the world-building and some questions about the whole country setup, but I enjoyed the main story so much that I was able to ignore that as I read. It's only when I think about it afterwards that I wonder about some things. They don't really take away from the story, though. I really can't wait for the next book in the series, whenever that may be. So, go read Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder.