Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Poison by Bridget Zinn

Premise: Kyra, a sixteen-year old highly-skilled Potions Master, is on the run. While fleeing from the authorities, she also must find and assassinate the princess. Unfortunately, the princess is also Kyra's best friend and the entire is kingdom is on the look-out for her since she failed in her first assassination attempt.
Title: Poison
Author: Bridget Zinn
Length: 288 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Series or Stand-Alone: Stand-Alone
Content Appropriate for: Grades 4-8
Format: This ARC was provided by Disney Hyperion Books through Netgalley
Release Date: March 12, 2013
4 stars
3 adjectives that describe this book: fun, easy-to-read, whimsical

Poison is a super fun read. It fully deserves that wonderful, eye-catching cover. The main characters are unique, fun, and well-developed. At first I thought Poison was going to be fairly typical - a fantasy novel about a girl who kicks some butt. Basically a simpler version of Graceling, just with less intense and without the raciness. Luckily, I was wrong. Bridget Zinn has created a story that stands on it's own.

While Kyra is indeed a main character who can disable her assailants in moments, she is much different than other popular female protagonists in recent YA fantasy. Kyra is conflicted about her talents, actively seeking to ignore some of her more deadly potential. Yet, she isn't afraid to defend herself and her kingdom from the richly populated world of Poison. Most uniquely, though, Kyra is funny. She finds herself in ridiculous situations (likes crossing a river in lacy underwear with a pig on her head). Also, the rapport between she and Fred, her traveling companion, was chock-full of witty barbs at one another. I have never chuckled so much in a fantasy adventure.

The humor, however, doesn't take away from the intense adventuring, questing, and intrigue of the story. Poison is a fun, quick read, even though the lengthy and too-frequent flashbacks made me impatient. There are goblins, witches, invisibility spells, fun disguises, and witty exchanges among the characters. It will certainly keep you wanting to read more.

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