I’ve been very curious about this book. Seeing it on Audible I downloaded it to listen to on the second half of our trip to South Dakota. I will start off by saying the audio book was done very well; very high quality production.
Yelena has been imprisoned with the ultimate punishment of death awaiting her; her crime is the murder of a man. As she takes what she believes to be her last steps before hanging by noose she is instead lead into the office of the Commander’s head of security, Valek. There she is given a choice; she can go to the noose or she can go through training to become the Commander’s food taster. Of course she chooses the second action. From this point on her live is full of the danger of food-tasting and of escaping the guards of the father of the man whom she killed. It is also filled with the kindness of a few special people and of Yelena’s exploration of here own abilities.
I loved this book. This book was a breath of fresh air after all the mediocrity I’ve read lately. The characters had a lot of depth and were very intriguing. I loved Yelena’s character and found her training as a food taster to be very interesting; I don’t think I’ve ever read anything on this subject before. The character of Valek is close to the top on my list of male characters that I love. He is just awesome in his skill, his depth, his humor and his loyalty. The Commander is another character with great depth and great interest. You really want to know all of these characters better; you want them to be a part of your life.
The book is exquisitely written and full of lush detail; yet there is wry sense of humor throughout the book that keeps the story from taking itself too seriously. The plot starts off simply and becomes more convoluted and intriguing as the book continues. There are many layers of political intrigue here that really keep your brain thinking and active. The characters are constantly evolving and surprising you. Yet somehow the book is an easy read (or listen). I found myself unable to leave the car because I needed to know what would happen next! This is one of those books that you will think about; I couldn’t wait to start the second one in the series.
A great book. I am very happy that I picked this one up; definitely one I will re-read. I will have to go and by the hardcover book just to have it in my collection of books that I absolutely adore.
Here is a link to the paper book on amazon: