Here’s a review of Poison by Bridget Zinn, reviewed by miss Kate Lesher, one of our part-time reviewers. Take it away Kate!
Poison is Bridget Zinn’s first book, it’s not a long read but it is a highly enjoyable one. It’s a wonderful twist on the fairy tale genre. No damsels in distress here, no princess that needs saving. In fact, there’s a princess that needs to be killed.
The plot seems simple at first: our heroine, sixteen year old Kyra, is a Master Potioner. She and two other Master Potioners work together and are known as The Master Trio Potioners. They are revered throughout the kingdom for their work with poisonous weaponry. While they do create these weapons for a price, they are also known for their highly skilled use of them. Even at sixteen Kyra has made a reputation for herself as one of the best poison makers and users in the kingdom. But for reasons unknown to those closest to her Kyra has taken it upon herself to assassinate Princess Ariana, heir to the kingdom of Mohr. She is convinced that it’s the only way to save the kingdom from utter ruin, even when no one will believe her. But everyone is left wondering why she would do such a thing for the princess has been best friends with Kyra since she was twelve.
When we meet Kyra she is already on the run from the Royal Guard, the remaining Master Trio Potioners, and truly the whole kingdom. She has already made an attempt to kill the princess in full view of the entire court. To her dismay, Kyra’s poison tipped throwing needle missed the princess, something that has never happened to her before. And now, after being on the run for months, she is sneaking back into her old home to obtain the deadliest poison ever made. A poison that Kyra herself created, with the help of her fellow potioners. A poison she must have to complete her mission.
After dealings with the most notorious criminal in the kingdom, Arlo Abbaduto, Kyra finds herself with the most unlikely of sidekicks: an adorable pink piglet. Armed with her weapons, a stolen poison, and a pig that can lead you to any person you set it after, she sets out to find and hopefully kill the princess. Along the way she meets Fred, a too handsome for his own good and infuriatingly happy man with a large wolf-like dog named Langley. Although Fred is from a nearby kingdom Kyra has to lie about her identity, for someone was sure to have told Fred all about the Princess Killer. But despite all of her best efforts Kyra starts to open up to Fred. But friends and pets are not things she has time for. She manages to slip away from Fred (more than once) to continue her mission alone. But time after time Kyra finds herself running into Fred and even saving his life a time or two. But is Fred what he seems? She begins to think there is more to him than a common traveler.
In fact no one is quite what they seem in this story. While it is told from Kyra’s perspective some of her secrets are the most shocking. Even for a short book like this it has enough twists and turns to fill a book twice its length. Everyone’s motives are at question, even Kyra’s. Why would a young girl want to kill her closest friend? Zinn is able to keep the reader guessing by only giving you bits and pieces of the back story through Kyra’s flashbacks. And while this all sounds very dismal, the book keeps it fun, light and humorous. Kyra often daydreams about warm fresh bread and pies, all the foods she would eat if she weren’t on the run.
As much as I’d like say there is a sequel in the works, sadly the author passed away from cancer in 2011. She didn’t even get to see her first work published. If you check out her author website (www.bridgetzinn.com) you can find out about her life and the ways her family and friends are asking fans of the book to help it become a hit. This is probably one of the first times I have truly wished an author would pick up on another person’s work. The world and characters Zinn created are full of possibilities. There is something about Zinn’s writing that is very visual and I think would lend its self to the big screen. This story is wonderful mix of action, fantasy, and romance. It picks up right in the middle of the action, and doesn’t let up till the very end. And the humor! I mean, what wouldn’t be funny when your sidekick is a pig?
Poison hits stores today, Tuesday March 12th, 2013.