Poison by Bridget Zinn
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published: March 12, 2013 by Disney Hyperion
This review is also posted at Candace's Book Blog.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 by Bridget Zinn is a different sort of fantasy than most of these fantasy reads that have been coming out lately. It's a lighter, funner and funnier book. It's easy to cruise through in no time, and while I wouldn't say it packs a powerful 'punch' it packs a lot of greatness into a shorter, easier reading package.
Kyra is a potions master and is running from the law. It's a bit shocking to discover WHY she's on the run, and the twists at the end were pretty stellar. Kyra is a very serious person and getting to know her a bit through her memories helps us get a better grasp on her but it's not until the last quarter of the book that I felt like I really understood her. While Kyra is very serious, Fred, who becomes a travel companion, is completely the opposite. He may make your heart go pitter patter, but he'll also have you rolling in laughter. He's an absolutely hilarious and very fun guy. I enjoyed getting to know him, and he was one character that I felt like I knew very well almost straight away.
This world is magical and beautiful. It's the fantasy world from all our imaginations. The Princess Bride is what comes to mind first but I honestly watched that movie so many years ago I'm surprised that that's what popped into my head. I think perhaps it's the tone of the book as well as the world itself. The world has potion masters, witches (including seers), goblins, and many other things. But most importantly, there's a pig. A very adorable enchanted pig that will steal your heart away.
I enjoyed this adorable book immensely and while some fantasy fanatics may think it's a bit on the 'light' side and could use more depth, I loved it just the way it was. This book may be accepted more by the younger YA crowd and would even be appropriate for mature middle grade readers. It's a perfect intro to fantasy as well since there are no lengthy descriptions or confusing court drama. It's a clean read that's loads of fun but has enough serious mixed in for those who need some edge of the seat moments.
Note: The author, Bridget Zinn, passed away from cancer in 2011. Not only is it very sad that she passed away, and not around to write more stories for us to devour, but she's not around to see her book in the hands of readers, nor to do the promotion that authors do themselves. For this reason I think it's important as bloggers that we help spread the word of this book and help get it into the hands of readers that may not have heard of it yet. So please take the time to ask your library to order it, and to spread the word of this wonderful fantasy story to readers everywhere.
Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at http://www.candacesbookblog.com, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.