Thursday, May 9, 2013

Poison by Bridget Zinn

Poison by Bridget Zinn is a delightful stand-alone young adult fantasy.

Potions master Kyra tried to kill her best friend, and now she's on the run, not only because she is being pursued, but because she failed -- and unless she finds a way to succeed, the entire kingdom faces darkness and destruction. You see, Kyra's best friend is Princess Ariana, and something has gone terribly wrong with her. Now, of course, the princess is in hiding -- and Kyra's best hope for finding her is an enchanted . . . pig. As Kyra and Rosie the piglet journey, they meet Fred, a lighthearted wanderer (who, nevertheless, may be more than what he seems). Unfortunately, until her task is completed, Kyra can't afford to make any friends. And if she completes her task, she fully expects to be executed.  Along the way, there are scrapes involving witches, carnivals, and frilly underwear, though, so don't expect anything too grim!

Reviewers and blurb-writers are fond of using words like "romp" and "rollicking" to describe this type of story. I think I'll just call it a fun, whimsical fantasy with surprising hidden depths, not to mention numerous plot twists. Kyra's not quite an unreliable narrator, but she certainly doesn't give out information right and left! Sadly, the author of this book passed away shortly after completing the manuscript, so there will be no more adventures for Kyra, Rosie, and Fred -- but I am just glad to have had the chance to read this charming story, and I highly recommend it.

(Reviewed from an advance copy, courtesy of the publisher.)

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