REVIEW #112: Poison by Bridget Zinn

Title: Poison
Author: Bridget Zinn
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: March 12, 2013
Pages: 288, Hardcover

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.


“It was the most ridiculous thing in the entire world: Kyra, would-be-assassin and master potioner, had resorted to hunting down her prey - her best friend the princess - with a piglet.”

My oh my what a pleasant surprise this book was! I must admit, I expected to find it a little cheesy, or at least young for my tastes, and while it was still a pretty innocent book, I found that I very much enjoyed it!

The story is simple but has all the right elements to entertain readers. Kyra is a master potioner and a witch. Is this the right time to mention how much I love a strong female lead? Kyra was talented, capable, funny, brave, selfless, and just AWESOME. She won me over pretty quickly with her dry humor and attitude toward life. Anyway, Kyra’s witch-ly talents allow her to see the future and, in one particular vision, she sees her best friend, the princess, destroying the world. As a last resort, Kyra realizes she must kill the princess to stop the vision from coming true.. Thus the adventure begins. Kyra’s first assassination attempt failed and now she is on the run from the King’s Army and chasing after the princess to finish the job. Enter a pig with special searching abilities, a ruggedly handsome traveler named Fred, and some ghoulish evil creatures, and you have a recipe for Poison.

So Kyra’s journey was fun to follow and was told at a really nice pace that kept my full attention. There was plenty of exciting action dispersed throughout the story and a pretty solid ending in my opinion. But the real adoration for this novel comes in the humorous writing. I have so many quotes to share so excuse me while I share ALL OF THEM *evil laugh*. But seriously, if you read anything all please read this excerpt that I took the time to type up after it cracked me up. :D

“Kyra looked at Fred skeptically. ‘I’m sure Fred can give us a few tips, at least, of how to act like men.’
‘Hey! I am more than capable of giving man lessons.’ Fred smiled broadly at Kyra. ‘What do you want to know?’
‘For one thing, we need to know how to walk.’
‘No problem. I’ve been walking most of my life.’ Fred held up a hand. ‘Stop and watch.’
The girls leaned up against an apple tree with Rosie at their feet.
‘First, you aren’t just acting like any kind of men; you’re going to be especially manly men. I picked you up to work for me, after all, and I wouldn’t choose just any men for that sort of thing. I need men who can fight and lift heavy things. You might want to spit occasionally.’
‘It helps keep you from looking too smart. Now, because you are so manly, it naturally follows that you have large upper-arm muscles. Huge muscles, really. The way you let people know this is by slightly bending your elbows and holding your arms out from your body, like your muscles are so big they’re getting in the way.’
Kyra and Ariana bent their elbows and pushed their arms a couple of inches away from their bodies.
The edges of Fred’s lips quirked as though he was trying to restrain a smile. ‘Then you need ot let them know that not only are you muscular, you’re confident of your abilities in all areas. You accomplish this by swaggering when you walk. Langley, stay.’ He pointed for the dog to sit next to the girls.
Fred sauntered away from them under the lacey white boughs of the trees in a masculine strut.
‘Your turn.’
The girls copied Fred’s walk while he stood back and watched.
‘A little less hip swinging, Kyra.’
‘I’m not-‘
‘And don’t walk so close together. Imagine there’s at least one invisible guy between you at all times.’
Ariana leaned over and whispered in Kyra’s ear. ‘He wants us to imagine him between us. Guys are so weird.’
‘Men don’t whisper, but if you have to do it, at least do it the right way.’
Ariana and Kyra stopped walking and turned back to Fred.
‘If you find you need to whisper, you don’t get up close to the other person and lean into their ear. Stay where you are, a person’s-width apart, and put a hand up on the far side of your face like a shield.’ He demonstrated with his hand out straight from one side of his face. ‘Then turn your head slightly to the other person and say what you need to say.’
The girls exchanged a look.
‘No ‘best friends’ glances at each other like that , either. Or ‘dears’ and ‘darlings.’ Men insult each other every chance they get.’
‘Men don’t have best friends?’ Kyra asked.
‘You’d only know it by the ferocity of the insults. If a guy’s your really good pal, you let him have it at every opportunity.’
‘Got it, fathead.’ Ariana said."

And there is so much more where this came from:

“A few minutes later, a chuckle came from behind her. ‘Kitty don’t be alarmed, but this part of the forest seems to be populated by a bush I’ve never seen before.’ 
‘Hmmm. . . ?’ 
‘It seems to be sprouting women’s underthings.’ 
Kyra sat bolt upright. ‘Leave those underthings alone.’ 
Fred sat beside her. ‘I wouldn’t dream of touching such an unusual plant. It’s probably poisonous.’”

“Ariana dabbed sap about her lip and smoothed a chunk of her hair on each side, creating her mustache. ‘How does this look?’
‘Um. . . ‘
‘The only real answer to that is ‘great.’’
‘Looks great, Ari.’
‘Convincing and genuine?’
Fred popped out of the woods wearing a black riding outfit with a long navy velvet cloak attached at the shoulders. ‘Ariana, there’s a small rodent on your face. Thought you should know.’‘It’s a mustache. Kyra assured me that it’s extremely convincing.’”

“’You know, kitty cat, you don’t need to go to such great lengths to find out my secrets. I’d tell you anything you wanted to know without truth serum.’
‘Ari, maybe we should get you out of here. No joke. You really are dangerous with this truth serum in you. You might say something you wished you hadn’t.’
‘Like that your mom scared me, but I think your dad is kind of cute, in an old-guy sort of way?’ ‘Exactly like that.’”

‘…I might stick around for a little while longer. There are some interesting things in the Kingdom of Mohr.’
‘Like what?’
‘Like a certain funny and extremely talented potioner.’
Kyra took a breath. ‘I have to warn you, Hal isn’t that great as a boyfriend. He’s pretty self-absorbed.’”

Ok ok I'll stop. But see what I mean? Pretty amusing stuff. This book is a lot of fun. A daring adventure with a few twists thrown in. A very clever and skillful female lead. And great writing with quite a bit of laughs. All in all, I'd say this is a great book when you are looking for some light action and fun.



  1. Sounds cute! Do you think its too old for a 7 year old? I could see my niece loving it.

    1. Umm no I don't think so. There is no inappropriate content and the writing/story is pretty simple. I'd definitely say that it is worth a try!

  2. I've had my eye on Poison for a while after seeing some rave reviews. Your review, excerpt and quotes have solidified its spot on my wish list. It sounds like a case of good old-fashion masterful storytelling with a nice dose of humor.

  3. I've been meaning to read this book, but I keep passing it over at the bookstore. Clearly, I'm missing out! Based on your excerpts, i really think I'd have a fun time reading it. Plus, I have a big soft spot for fantasies and this one sounds good!

  4. This book. SO MUCH FUN :D I really liked it. Fred is adorable and I love Rosie.


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