Written by: Bridget Zinn
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Release date: March 12th, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Buy: B&N, Amazon
Add on: Goodreads
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.
If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be: Fun. After being surrounded by so many gritty and serious books in YA recently, Poison really is a breath of fresh air. It’s exciting, funny, fast-paced, and light – and I enjoyed every second of it.
At the beginning of the novel, we’re introduced to Kyra, a Master Potioner equipped with all kinds of awesome potiony tricks and poisons. Kyra is a smart, capable, and often-sassy heroin, who is on the run after having tried to kill the princess (her best friend), and she’s gearing up for another try. But the princess is now in hiding, and Kyra has to find her first. She enlists the help of an adorable pig (who is the ultimate bloodhound when it comes to tracking), and sets off to find the princess, kill her, and hopefully save the kingdom from a terrible fate by doing so.
Instead of being one of your typically-dense, heavy-on-the-worldbuilding fantasy novels, Poison goes a totally different direction. There’s no feeling of “culture shock” in being thrown into this fantasy world, as I feel like there typically is in fantasy novels. The main characters all talk and act, for the most part, like typical teens (there were even a few “cool’s” and “jerk’s” in the dialog). And the worldbuilding is kept to a minimum, but instead of being a drawback, it actually added to the charm; any complicated worldbuilding is traded in favor of a super-tight, fast-paced plot – paired with fantastic characters – that sucks you in and doesn’t let go until the very last page. Nothing is what you think it is, and there are secrets and surprises around every corner.
As I mentioned, Kyra is a fantastic heroine, but I have to admit that my favorite thing about the book (other than the super-cute tracking pig) is Fred. He’s just so much fun! He’s dashing and charming and hilarious, and he and Kyra are perfectly adorable together. <3 Their romance actually struck me as very… Disney-ish? In a completely good way. Just totally adorable and smile-inducing. I couldn’t get enough of them.
When you’re in the mood for a light, really cute read, I highly recommend this book. It’s heartbreaking that Bridget Zinn is no longer with us – she would have been a wonderful addition to YA today. But I’m so glad she got to share Poison with the world. It will be enchanting readers for a long time to come.