Published March 12th 2013 by Disney HyperionPoison was a light, enchanting and delightful story that really fits in perfectly with the Disney line. It has a thoroughly fairytale-esque feel to it with a more modern take on a female protagonist. While I was instantly invested in the story right from the beginning, Poison was a bit lighter than I would have wanted in some respects. Nevertheless, I got used to it quickly and overall I really appreciated the fresh take on magic, potions & assassins!
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.
The story begins similarly to how the synopsis lays everything out, with Kyra smack dab in the middle of running for her life while she recalls & replays bits and pieces of how everything went terribly wrong for her. As she remembers her life before & plans for her future, we begin to piece together what drove Kyra to attempt to kill the princess- her ex-best friend. With the entire king's army on her tail and Kyra trying to figure out what to do next, she has a chance encounter with an adorably useful pink pig and an equally adorable traveler named Fred. Not long after, Kyra comes up with a plan for redemption that she must accomplish...at all costs.
I had a lot of fun with this book. From the first few pages I was sucked in to the Potion-making & the magical lore created by author Bridget Zinn. I laughed out loud more than once, which was surprising considering how short the book is and the fact that I'm not one to burst out laughing multiple times for no good reason - once or twice maybe, but this was more than that! Poison made me wish it had been around when I was a little girl, in love with fairytales & princesses. Why? Because Kyra is the type of heroine I would have really needed, and loved! She's no moony damsel-in-distress waiting for her prince. No, she's a master potioner and assassin with a good head on her shoulders, quick reflexes & quicker thinking in a tight spot. I liked Kyra right away and even though I wanted to shake her a couple of times for not spotting the obvious, I still had more fun getting to know her than anything else!
Kyra isn't the only character worth your time in this Poison though. Fred, the charming traveler made Kyra's sticky situation seem lighter, and offered up a few laughs himself. If he isn't cute enough for you, then Rosie the pink pig certainly will! I just l♥ved Rosie :D Ariana, the princess & ex-best friend was an interesting addition and fun to discover in her own right! The rest of the villains & allies all felt well-rounded, intriguing and even though the intentions of some were more obvious than others, it still was so enjoyable to get to meet all of them.
Asides from the characters though, my favorite part was easily the potions & magical-lore! Being that Poison is quite a short book, I found myself wishing for more potions, more poisons, more everything! I could have read pages & pages more about the different kinds of potions, their colors, their uses... The take on magical lore left me feeling similarly - though initially the familiar archetypes (Witches, Vilains, Gypsies) come off as familiar, we soon find out that nothing is quite as it seems. I really appreciate when authors can take well-known character-types but build & expand on them - make them their own, something I think Bridget Zinn has done very successfully.
All things considered, I really enjoyed Poison! I read it in about 2 sittings and for such a short book, I was surprised how quickly it sucked me in, not to mention the fun I had laughing or taking in all the charm it displays! It's definitely on the youthful end of the YA spectrum, and would probably fit in with MG fantasy reads as well. If you're looking for a light fantasy read, or you're a fan of fairytales....or even books like how something like the Percy Jackson series reads- you should definitely check out Poison! Sadly author Bridget Zinn passed away before she could see her book published, but at least it did get published so her story can live on...
My rating : 4 out of 5 stars ★★★★☆
**Again, a BIG thanks to the wonderful Kelsey @ Kelsey's Cluttered Bookshelf
for sending me Poison so I could read it! You ROCK.**