Series: Soulfinders #1
Published by Harlequin MIRA on March 1, 2007
Genres: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Format: Kindle eBook
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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 Dusté 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—.
A young woman on death’s door agrees to become the food taster for the Commander, the highest ruling official of Ixia. Let’s review, shall we?
This book did not capture my attention as quickly as the Healer series by Maria V. Snyder, but it was still enjoyable. Yelena was an interesting character, constantly hinged between fleeing and fighting for her and other people’s lives. While I enjoyed the secondary characters of the series, I wished for more fleshed-out female characters. The ending felt really rushed as it attempted to tie up the loose ends of this story line, and yet lay the ground work for the next book in the series.
The romance was very slow to develop. It took me a while to even figure out Yelena’s supposed love interest, and then it took forever for anything to develop beyond sorta friendship. I would have liked a bit more on that end. The setting also never really developed. Little details were sprinkled throughout the novel of both the setting as well as Yelena’s characterization, yet I never felt like they were fully formed. Perhaps the rest of the series will delve further into everything.
Finally, the formatting of the Kindle edition seemed off. In the middle of chapters it would switch from one scene to a completely different scene with no context (spacing, line squiggles, etc.). It was very disconcerting, but it happened often enough that I eventually got used to it.
Fair warning, there are some scenes depicting violence against women.
tl;dr If you enjoy stories about women overcoming their demons, this story is for you.