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Realizing that her realm is on the verge of destruction and that she is the only one who can save it, 16-year-old Kyra makes the wrenching decision to poison the kingdom's future ruler, her former best friend, and is rendered a fugitive along with a charming adventurer and an adorable pig. A first novel.
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Bridget Zinn was a writer, librarian, and teen literature enthusiast who lived with her husband and two feisty cats in Portland, Oregon, until her untimely passing in 2011. Poison is her debut novel.Review:
Poison, pigs, and princesses combine in this fun fantasy adventure. Sixteen-year-old Kyra is a potions master. When she learns the future of her kingdom includes destruction and despair, she knows what she must do: assassinate the princess, who also happens to be her best friend. For the first time in her life, Kyra's poison dart misses its target, and now she is on the run. In her attempt to save the kingdom, she encounters goblins, witches, a magical tracking pig, and one very infuriating (and very cute) adventurer named Fred, who somehow keeps appearing on Kyra's trail. Does Kyra have the heart to follow out her mission? And what will happen to the kingdom if she doesn't? This is a frothy fantasy confection filled with quick-witted dialogue, cliff-hanger chapter endings, and plenty of plot twists to keep readers guessing. With a strong and independent main character, a dash of romance, and plenty of magic and potions, readers tiring of damsel-in-distress stories are sure to applaud Kyra and her madcap adventures. - Sarah Bean Thompson Booklist Online"
Don't let the title or cover fool you! No grimdark teen fantasy or angst-y heroines here; just a frothy confection of a fairy tale featuring poisoners, princesses, perfumers and pigs, none of whom are exactly what they appear (except maybe the pigs). Sixteen-year-old Master Potioner Kyra is on the run from the army, the royal family, organized crime and her business partners (including her ex-fiance)-all because she tried to kill her best friend Princess Ariana. But Kyra's newly awakened (if unwanted) prophetic visions have revealed that if the princess lives, the kingdom dies. Against this dreadful future Kyra pits her impressive martial training, her formidable skill with poisons, an infallible (and adorable) tracking pig, and the equally adorable (if infuriating) Fred, rogue and companion-of-the-road. Can Kyra survive long enough to execute Ariana? And can she live with herself if she succeeds? Ignore the ridiculously contrived plot and shaky worldbuilding; the sheer bravura charm of Kyra's voice will sweep away any reservations. More troublesome are a weakness for telling over showing and the distressing tendency to equate moral virtue with physical beauty. Still, this is good silly fun-a refreshing antidote to a genre overflowing with grit and gloom. (Fantasy. 11-14) Kirkus"
Sixteen-year-old Kyra is a girl with more than her share of secrets. Living in the world of witches, dwarves, potion masters, shape shifters, and the like, she is reluctant to trust anyone, even her best friend and the future queen, Ariana. Readers learn early on that Kyra has attempted to murder Ariana, and we spend the rest of the book trying to figure out why Kyra shot a deadly potion at her and why, when she has never missed a target, she missed that one. Twists and turns, including dramatic cliffhanger chapter endings, quick getaways, disguises, tricked-out witches, a princess-seeking pig, and one especially clever and handsome boy make this a fine rollicking adventure from start to finish. The author's use of thoroughly modern language in a magical setting adds to the charm. The characters are complicated and act in flawed human ways, making mistakes in judgment that make the plot twists all the more realistic. Kyra and Ariana are strong girls in the Vesper Holly tradition-not giving in to sexist social requirements and, thank goodness, never fighting over Fred, the love interest. Zinn has crafted a marvelous tale, more Harry Potter than Twilight. Readers will be sad that, due to her untimely death, Zinn's more-than-promising debut novel will be her last. robin l. smith Horn Book"
Gr 6-9 Sixteen-year-old Kyra is on the run. She may be one of the Kingdom of Mohr's most highly skilled potions masters, but she has also just tried and failed to poison Princess Ariana. And Kyra is determined to finish her mission even if it means killing her best friend. There's no room for companions or pets on this desperate quest, so how is it that she's wound up with an adorable pig and an adventurer who's too charming for his own good? In order to save her kingdom from a nefarious plot, Kyra will have to come to terms with all the gifts she possesses (including the strange visions that spur her actions on) and reveal a dangerous plot before it destroys everything she loves. Filled with unexpected twists, this frothy fantasy adventure offers readers a story with plenty of action, engaging humor, and a dollop of romance. While readers looking for complex, multilayered plots may find the characterization and world-building on the thin side, many young teen and tween fantasy fans are likely to snap up this quick read with a feisty heroine. Stephanie Whelan, New York Public Library SLJ"
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