I don’t get why I didn’t read Poison by Bridget Zinn sooner. After all, it has been sitting on my kindle for a few months and was an awesome light hearted read. I really liked that it was a story that didn’t take it self too seriously and was actually humorous and fun. It was a nice breath of fresh air between the heavier and more serious, dour sort of books that I’ve been reading. Also I hate this word, but Poison is totally ‘squee’ worthy! YES! I SAID SQUEE! Because that’s what it is.
Kyra is a master potioner — meaning she has got all kinds of skills when it comes to making potions and poisons. Yet, despite her skills and exalted status, she is on the run. You see, she tried to assassinate her best friend, crown princess Ari. Turns out the kingdom does not look too kindly on that. As Kyra was unable to get the job done, she has to get this super skilled pig to help her track down Ariana. OH OH and she has to kill her because if she doesn’t the land will totally rot. Along her journey to find Ari she makes friends with this guy named Fred — who has his own secrets, and his hound, Langley. Of course, there’s a little bit of romance and banter and humor as Kyra sets out to complete her quest. OH AND WITCHES! For those of you who like witches.
The main character of Bridget Zinn’s Poison, Kyra is so cool. You guys, she has chemistry knowledge. As a wannabe science nerd, I totally glommed onto that. I also liked that Kyra was so efficient, like she knew that the job she has to do really sucks, but she does it anyways, and with style. I liked that she wasn’t super girly as well. AND I loved that she had all these walls up around her, but animals kind of broke through those walls and so did Fred. PLUS she has agency and you know really does carry the story. I simply found her entertaining and endearing.
Even more endearing than Kyra were the animals! And Fred! Okay, so the animals are Rosie the pig and Langley the dog. Yo, these pets are very human like. Sure, they don’t talk or anything, BUT they do care about their owners and you can totally tell as you are reading. As a reader, I tend to dread whenever animals show up because usually that means they will end up dying as a cheap ploy for emotions. However, because this book was so light in tone, I was never scared that Bridget Zinn was going to off the animals. I have to admit, it’s nice to read without that pit of dread. As for Fred, he totally is a pain in Kyra’s butt. Yet, it’s funny and you can tell the two totally like each other.
I’ve seen a few reviews that didn’t care for the world building in Poison. However, I did not mind it. Basically you are sort of dumped into the story without a few chapters of info-dumping. It’s sink or swim, I suppose. Honestly I did not find it all that hard to figure out how the world worked and what was going on. I figured out that there are potioners who create potions that can do super things. There are also witches which are either good or bad — and a lot of people don’t like witches. Also, the land is imbued with magic and marriage is important to that magic. I don’t know, I guess my method to imagining it was to picture a clean version of medieval Europe and it worked out just fine for me.
Bridget Zinn’s writing style is great. Poison goes by pretty quickly and doesn’t get mired into useless description or plot points that go nowhere. I thought that the plotting was actually pretty tight. The pacing really worked for me — as I am struggling with my insane goodreads goal and well, this helps. I love fast reads, especially when those reads are fantasy. Further, Zinn really incorporated humor into her story and that’s something that tends to go over very well with me.
It is unfortunate that Bridget is no longer with us because her writing adds a much wanted light touch to the young adult fantasy genre. Poison reminded me of those old school fantasy books where there is humor and fun, where romance isn’t the main focus. I loved that it was not dark and dreary and mopey.
Disclosure: Received for review via Netgalley
Other reviews of Poison by Bridget Zinn:
Book Brats – “Filled to the brim with adorable characters you can’t help but fall in love with”
Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog – “a good dose of thrills/excitement”
The Starry-Eyed Revue – “ clever, whimsical characters and an engaging plot”