Maria V. Snyder is the New York Times bestselling author of the Study series, the Glass series, the Healer series, Inside Out, and Outside In. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Meteorology from Penn State and a Master of Arts degree in fiction writing from Seton Hill University. Unable to part ways with Seton Hill, Maria is currently a teacher and mentor for the MFA program. Find her on the Web at MariaVSnyder.com.
Convicted of murdering a general's son, Yelena faces death by hanging until she is offered a reprieve by Valek, the commander of Ixia's chief of security. He will spare her life if she will become his poison taster. As Yelena learns to discern the slightest hint of poison in food and drink, she also discovers that some people want her dead. As tensions mount in Ixia, from rebels within and enemies without, Yelena discovers a growing magical talent within her that she cannot control. Snyder's first novel, a series opener, provides a compelling look at a woman caught in an impossible situation, living each day on the edge of dying. The author's talent for storytelling bodes well for her continuing career as a strong contributor to the genre. For most fantasy collections. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Shivers, obsession, sleepless nights-these are the results not of one of the milder poisons that novice food-taster Yelena must learn during her harrowing job training but of newcomer Snyder's riveting fantasy that unites the intelligent political focus of George R.R. Martin with a subtle yet potent romance. Through a stroke of luck, Yelena escapes execution in exchange for tasting the food of the Commander, ruler of Ixia. Though confined to a dank prison cell and doomed to a painful death, Yelena slowly blooms again, caught up in castle politics. But some people are too impatient to wait for poison to finish off Yelena. With the help of Valek, her steely-nerved, cool-eyed boss and the Commander's head of security, she soon discovers that she has a starring role to play in Ixia's future-a role that could lead to her being put to death as a budding magician even if she hits each cue perfectly. The first in a series, this is one of those rare books that will keep readers dreaming long after they've read it. Agent, Sally Wecksler and Joann Amparan-Close. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.