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.
This novel surprised me in several ways. And I use surprised in the good sense. Poison is a romp of a book–a great time, a light-hearted read, and swift moving adventure tale. While the premise starts out serious, it soon becomes apparent that this isn’t going to be an angsty novel full of teen naval-gazing. Kyra has a tracker pig, for goodness sake.
Kyra is the protagonist. She’s a potions maker, famed for her lethal poisons. She’s on the run after trying (and failing) to assassinate the princess who also happens to be her best friend. I was fully expecting a dark and twisty narrative rife with double crosses and tragedy.
What I got was an adorable pig named Rose, a resolution to the princess dilemma half way through the novel, slapstick, and a refreshingly non-existent love triangle. The story moves along at a fast clip and almost reads more like a Scooby Doo mystery than a fantasy novel. And I use that term lovingly because this novel is as much fun as one of those great early Scooby Doo episodes.
There’s little darkness to be had in Poison and a whole lot of fun. The love interest, Fred, is a loveable goofball and fits in well with the offbeat tone of the novel. The princess, Ari, is no delicate flower, but a force to be reckoned with who lends a hand in her own rescue. There are still a number of twists at the end, mostly to do with Kyra’s backstory, but the three mains are what really make this book special. Plus tracker pig. It cannot be said enough–there needs to be more pigs in literature.
I’d recommend this book for anyone who loves fantasy–young adult or otherwise– and tales of adventure. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, funny book, you can’t do better than Poison.
Four Jennifer Lawrences.