This review will also appear at Once Upon a Prologue!
By now, we've established that I'm a fantasy girl at heart. It's my comfort zone genre, where I head to when I need to get away from all the heavy dystopians, or contemporaries that bring the feels. I was excited about Poison by post-humus author Bridget Zinn as soon as I heard about it, and got my first glimpse at the adorable cover. And I'm happy to say, the story inside is equal parts adventure story, emotions, humor, and light fantasy.
Zinn has created a wonderfully developed cast of characters - spunky potions misstress Kyra, adventurous Fred, who is more than meets the eye, Arianna, Kyra's best friend-turned-enemy, and several other memorable minor characters that we encounter throughout the delightful Poison. Although its titles implies high stakes, there are many moments of levity that made me chuckle out loud at Kyra's misadventures.
Kyra was a self-aware, fun character to read about, and when she met up with Fred while on the run and sparks flew, Poison took on a whole new level for me. I liked reading from Kyra's point of view, seeing her thoughts and observations, and memories that all wove together into this quirky story. Throughout Poison, Bridget Zinn cleverly tied bits and pieces together but in a way that kept me reading, turning the pages eagerly.
I felt a bit like a kid again as I read Poison, because with all the mentions of potions, witches, and magic, it made me remember when I was younger and read books like The Princess Bride. And sometimes to enjoy a book the MOST, you NEED that childlike sense of wonder found in another fantasy I read years ago and enjoyed, The Neverending Story. Reading like that, just immersing yourself in a GOOD fantasy makes the experience that much better.
As I mentioned above, Kyra is a stand-out character among other heroines in fantasy books, because of her character traits - she's stubborn and a bit rash, but she KNOWS it. She has a big heart and cares for people, and she was a warm character to read about. I loved her banter with Fred, and my heart melted at her interactions with Rosie, the piggeh. That's right guys, there's an ADORABLE little piggy in Poison. I just wanted to scoop up Rosie and cuddle her tight! I loved watching Rosie and Fred get under Kyra's tough exterior!Poison isn't a heavy fantasy; I'd definitely classify it as "light," but it's no less fun or zany. There are familiar fantasy elements - a far-off land, kingdoms in peril, other Potioners (and it was so cool watching Kyra make potions!), witches (both good AND bad), and more. If you're looking for a quick, very enjoyable read that will soften even the hardest of hearts, Poison is a great choice!