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.)