Author: Bridget Zinn
Year Published: 2013
Synopsis: 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.
Review: First of all, I think the world lost an incredibly talented mind and an excellent author when it lost Bridget Zinn. This book was just so good, and I am a little upset that I won't be able to read anymore about Kyra or by Bridget in general. You would think that a book with a tagline that reads "Can she save the kingdom with a piglet?" would be ridiculous... but it's actually really great!
Most fantasy books have really dark undertones and are full of angst from at least one character, but Poison is a breath of fresh air. Kyra might dress in all black and have relationship problems and be trying to kill her best friend, but there's just so much subtle humor surrounding her that it's impossible not to love her. She has to traverse the kingdom with a piglet, for crying out loud, so how could that not be hilarious? It was fun to read about her being frustrated with the piglet and then watch her fall in love with it. Adorable!
Fred was probably my favorite character, and I loved how he just kept randomly showing up wherever Kyra was. She can't stop thinking about him, but it doesn't matter because she doesn't really have to! He's definitely swoon-worthy, and I really enjoyed getting to know him with Kyra (although I'm pretty sure I enjoyed it more than I imagine she did). He's got secrets of his own too, and I was able to guess some but not all of them, and it was nice that he still had an air of mystery about him even when you think you've got him all figured out.
The plot moves along at a really nice pace, and there's not much sitting around or too much detail thrown in like sometimes happens in a fantasy book. I thought that the details that were included, like how the potions are labelled and how Kyra dilutes and mixes them, was actually really interesting, and helped me to understand Kyra and the other Master Potioners better. This book definitely could have been the beginning to an excellent series, but it also wraps up nicely in the end and is capable of standing on its own (which is a little bittersweet).
I would definitely recommend Poison to anyone looking for a great YA Fantasy, especially if you want a lighter fantasy full of humor, a piglet, and swoon-worthy boys! I think it would be nice for someone looking to get a foot in the door with fantasy without being bogged down by all of the dark things usually associated with fantasy novels. I would give this a 5/5!