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?
Every now and again I get the craving for a fun adventure through a fantasy world and Poison by Bridget Zinn filled that craving very nicely. Running with Kyra as she evades capture for trying to kill the her best friend – and Princess – Ariana, had me entertained and intrigued throughout the entire course of the novel.
Despite not having the most elaborate world-building or rules to the potions and magic, Poison still manages to deliver a strong and engaging fantastical mystery with some side romance, great characters and the cutest pig (yes, pig) that I think has existed since Wilbur. The reader enters the story after Kyra’s attempt at assassination had already happened – we don’t know why, or even really who Kyra is except for a 16-year-old Potions Master. As the journey unfolds, so too does the back story. Each detail adds together to eventually tie up the story while setting the stage for the spot-on twists and reveals that appear. I was honestly surprised at some of the bigger plot reveals, and loved the ending. The romance was also slow and sweet, which I am a huge fan of.
I quite enjoyed the main characters of Kyra, Ariana and Fred – the traveler that Kyra comes across while on the run and can’t seem to shake. Kyra is extremely talented, capable, determined and strong, but also vulnerable and lonesome and a little bit worried, though she tries to hide it. I mean, who wouldn’t be nervous after attempting to kill their best friend and future ruler? Fred is just delightful. Funny, sweet, confident and full of surprises, while Ariana is boisterous, head-strong, kind and a little bit sneaky. The three of them play off each other very well and despite the seriousness of what Kyra has done, they find time to joke around and enjoy being in each others company. Even the secondary characters are fleshed out and memorable, creating a wonderful cast to populate Bridget Zinn’s debut fantasy novel.
Poison by Bridget Zinn is one of those fantasy novels to pick up when you want something fun, twisty, magical and engrossing. I’d frequently lose track of time while reading, trying to solve the mystery of why the Princess is a danger to the kingdom, why Fred keeps showing up wherever Kyra is, how Kyra knows what she does and eventually trying to sort out who the main villain really is. It’s a perfect case of, “just one more chapter, I need to know what happens!” And I dare anyone who reads this book to not want more of Rosie the pig. A character in her own right, I never thought I’d think a fictional pig is adorable, but I do. Fantasy fans? Definitely pick this one up. It’s well worth the read!
Poison was provided to me (book of my choice) by Kobo, Inc.. Thank you!