High Fantasy

Review: Poison

Poison book cover
Image from Bridget Zinn’s website

Title: Poison

Author: Bridget Zinn

Genre: High Fantasy

Back Cover:

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart…misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Review:

I wanted to get this post done for last Friday’s Poison blog tour, but the book got lost in the mail somewhere and didn’t come in until yesterday. (In case anyone was wondering, the cover really is more beautiful in person.) Anyway, I hadn’t planned on picking it up until I finished the book I was reading, but I had about ten minutes until I was going to go to bed, and I wanted something lighthearted and fun.

I would advise not starting this book right before going to bed. This is more of a devour-in-one-sitting book, even if you have to pull an all-nighter to do it.

I loved Kyra. She was the now-popular strong, I’m-responsible-for-everything heroine … except not. She had more of a lighter, un-broody (if that’s a word) feel to her. Her potions skills made her awesome, her foibles made her human, and her takes on things made her just plain fun. She is absolutely hands-down the best human fantasy heroine I’ve read in ages.

Fred was also completely awesome. He was clueless sometimes, very distractable, and had definite quirks. He was also laid-back, not easily riled up, and laugh-out-loud funny. He wasn’t exactly the dreamy romance type (unless you go for goofy guys), but he would have been a fantastic big brother.

I thought the basic plot would be pretty simple – the princess is evil, kill the princess, along with Kyra’s emotional arc with killing her best friend. And that’s how it started. And then we meet the pig. And Fred. And learn some secrets about Kyra. And get a hint that all is not what it seems with the princess. (Half the fun of this story is finding out the details bit by bit, so I’m trying my best to avoid spoilers.) The plot took so many hairpin turns and loop-the-loops that I totally did not know where it was going. And the big reveals – about Fred, about what was up with the princess, even a major secret about Kyra that was brilliantly hidden until the end – took me completely by surprise. And I loved every second of it.

This is not a book to read late into the night if you have a roommate. I share a room with my sister, and kept her up half the night cracking up. Poison is full of one-liners and off-hand comments that made me not only laugh hysterically, but go back and read it two or three more times and laughing hysterically again because it was just that funny.

I considered donating this book to my local library. But I honestly don’t think I can part with it, I love it that much (which is saying something. Out of all the hundreds of books I’ve read, I’ve only found a dozen – now thirteen – good enough to own). Maybe I’ll buy the library its own copy. Because Poison is too fantastic not to share.

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