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?
Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.
Poison was a book I was especially eager to read. Kyra sounded like a smart and capable main character, and I was very intrigued to learn the set-up for why she tried to kill her best friend. The world also sounded very unique: Kyra is a potions master, trained in poisons, who can also wield them as weapons? Sign me up! And for the most part, I did very much enjoy this book, and our main character, as well as the surrounding cast. But there were some things that ultimately made this just a “good” read and not a “great” one like I’d been hoping.
First of all, as a fantasy book – and this is very much a fantasy book – some world-building is really necessary to get the reader in the correct mindset. It’s all fine to describe buildings or the potions-brewing, or how Kyra mixes ingredients together to get her final results. But what I really wanted to know is how this world worked, and that sadly wasn’t described at all. I just really wanted more explanation about the magical abilities that some people had, the background of the witches and other creatures, more information about Rosie’s particular breed, etc. There just wasn’t enough information, so I never really felt all that grounded in the world or the story. Sure, it’s completely readable and entertaining. I’m not saying it isn’t. But it was a very superficial entertainment that ultimately isn’t really going to stand out for me personally in the long run.
Now, I did very much like Kyra. She is a very stubborn and strong-willed character, who does what she wants and doesn’t really care what others think of her. Kyra is one of those who has a magical ability – she is a Seer – and it’s because of something she Saw that prompts her to go after the princess. She spends most of the book on the run, and her singleminded approach to finding Ariana and finishing what she started – even though it breaks her heart to have to kill her best friend – is very well done and compelling to read. She also has a very quick wit and a sharp tongue that’s fun to read. As far as a point of view character goes, Kyra is a good one. She gets even better when Fred appears in the story, because their back-and-forth was sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, and overall they just had a good chemistry with each other. I was definitely shipping them. And Rosie! I want a magical seeking pig for my very own. ♥
It takes a while for things to come to a climax, but even so, Poison reads at a very fast pace. I don’t know about the “swoon”-ing promised in the summary, of course, but it was still a fun book. If you’re looking for a particularly deep or serious subject, you won’t find that here. But if you’d like a fluffy and fun read with a well-done female lead, then I’d certainly recommend it. Ultimately, it’s a good rainy day read. Nothing more, nothing less.
An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.