I picked this one up based on all the glowing reviews I saw here on Goodreads. Thanks, Goodreads friends! 😉
This is a purely enjoyable fantasy. I’d classify it as a ‘comfort read,’ but I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. There’s room set aside for escapism in my library!
Yelena has been sentenced to die for the crime of murder. At the last minute, she is dragged out of the dungeon and offered a reprieve: she can opt to avoid execution if she agrees to take the job of food taster to the king. In this chaotic kingdom, the post tends to have a high turnover rate as poisonings are quite common. Still, even a small chance at life seems better than no life at all, and Yelena (unsurprisingly) jumps at the opportunity.
The chief of security, Valek, takes her under his wing as he trains her to recognize the known poisons and identify them. But while he seems kind at times, he also has Yelena chained to his service by the threat of a slow-acting poison. Although she begins to grow comfortable and even to enjoy her new life, she is increasingly driven by the growing realization that she may be capable of magic – a magic that is strictly forbidden in this kingdom. This magic may also be related to Yelena’s traumatic past – and the murder that she admits that she committed.
I’ve already got the sequel, and am about to start it!