Poison, by Bridget Zinn

This book.

This book was a tragedy before it came out, because between selling the MS and the publishing release date, the author died of cancer. I remember taking it out of the box at work, and just being overwhelmingly SAD. I don’t think about my own mortality very much, but I was waiting for OWEN, and it occurred to me: I wanted to live to see my book on the shelf. Not in a suicidal way, or anything. I just…didn’t want to die. Anyway, POISON is also a tragedy because it’s a GOOD book, and I would have loved to see what else Zinn had up her sleeves. But my favourite thing about POISON?

It’s not a tragedy.


POISON is, there’s really no other way to put it, a fantasy romp. It doesn’t turn dark corners, it’s not raw or wrenching, and it certainly isn’t gritty. Instead, it’s the fun kind fantasy I wish the YA section had MORE of, because it’s such a delight to read.

Plot: potion/poison master Kyra is on the run, after having attempting the assassination of the princess (her former best friend). With her old workmates and the royal guard closing in, Kyra has a second chance, even though only allies are her own wits and skill…and a magically talented pig she’s managed to acquire along the way.

have fun storming the castle

POISON had a lot of really delightful twists and turns, and managed to be accessible without ever breaking into everyday vernacular. I love Kyra a lot, and the back-up characters are great as well. The plot is fast moving and takes all sorts of interesting directions, and I really loved the world-building.

Feel the Power

Plus, the magic is all science-y, and Kyra appreciates the value of pie. And friendship. And having fun.

I really enjoyed re-reading this, even though it made me sad again. Publishing is such a NOW! business that sometimes I forget you can fall out of it not because your book didn’t sell, but because of real world sadness. I never got to meet Bridget Zinn, but I got to read her book, and her book is fabulous.


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