{Review/Tribute} POISON by Bridget Zinn

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Before I begin my review, let me just say that POISON isn't a fairy tale.  It reads like one in the way that THE FALSE PRINCESS by Eilis O'Neal or SILVER PHOENIX by Cindy Pon feel like they could be based on lore, even though they aren't.

I wasn't going to review POISON during Fairy Tale Fortnight, but then I saw an article from Publishers Weekly that blew me away.  Bridget Zinn lost the battle against cancer in 2011 and isn't here to see her debut novel break out and connect with fans.  She'll never go on tour, receive fan mail, broker future deals, even see her book's gorgeous cover.

From now through March 28th, more than 120 authors and bloggers have come together for a special two-week tour to promote POISON.

I didn't know that Zinn had passed away until after I'd read an early copy of POISON.  I'm glad I pre-ordered my own copy in hardcover and not as an e-book.  This is one to treasure!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

THE MASTER TRIO POTIONERS' flat didn't look impregnable.  From the outside it just looked like an enormous ramshackle old house  One in bad need of a paint job.

But Kyra knew better. 

The first-floor doors and windows bore elaborate magic wards that would alert the Potioners as soon as Kyra touched a windowsill or doorknob.  And--unless the Potioners had disabled the bellows contraptions Kyra herself had set up--the wards would knock her out with a puff of sleep potion.  Only charmed residents could pass when the wards were in place. 

No, there was no getting in on the ground floor.
(Page 1, US hardcover edition)

I've wanted to read POISON since I first saw the book deal write-up and have had my eye on it ever since. It's been one of my highly-anticipated titles, and I was sad when the publication date pushed from 2012 to 2013.  At the time, I hadn't realized that author Bridget Zinn had passed away.  I'm actually glad I didn't know until after I read the book because my first thought upon finishing was that I was looking forward to more books in the future.  What a promising debut novel!  I was shattered when I heard that it wasn't to be.  I truly enjoyed reading POISON and hope that this amazing book community embraces it and shares the title through Word of Mouth with friends, co-workers, students...anyone and everyone.  This book deserves to be read by fantasy lovers everywhere!

Kyra has studied potions for years, and is especially good at making poisons.  Before the book begins, she attempts to assassinate her former best friend--the kingdom's princess.  It's the one and only time her poisoned dart misses its mark.  Now, Kyra is a fugitive on the run.  Only she knows that if the princess isn't killed, the kingdom will be destroyed.  But how can Kyra seek out the princess and assassinate her if the army knows what she looks like?  Together with the help of a tracking piglet,Rosie, and a fellow traveler, Fred, Kyra will attempt to save her kingdom...even if it means sacrificing herself in the process.

While POISON isn't especially deep, it's fun.  It's a little too mature to be middle-grade, but probably falls into the tween category even though it's officially catalogued as a teen title. The novel starts off slowly, but quickly picks up speed, especially as revelations come forward and explain the events leading up to the start of the story.  There's adventure, excitement, and romance; everything you could want in a book.  And Rosie!  I admit that I was a little wary of the pig element but after reading POISON, I have to say:  I want a Rosie in my life!  She's like a little bloodhound as she tracks the princess' scent with her nose.  Rosie stole the show whenever she made an appearance.  Zinn did a good job developing her characters and making you feel for them.  Everyone has a backstory, even villains, and it was refreshing to see.  I really found myself rooting for Kyra, too.  I really grew to love her character throughout the book.  And Fred!  It was refreshing to see a male love interest who doesn't fit any of the tropes found in too many of today's YA novels.  He was a sweetheart, and I enjoyed the pace and rhythm of his scenes with Kyra. The writing is fresh and humorous, easy to fall into.  Even some of the surprise twists remain just that--a surprise.  For readers such as myself who often discover plot secrets too early, it's always exciting to find that element of surprise.

If you're look for a light-hearted, fun-filled, action-packed adventure, grab your favorite bloodhound piglet (Okay, I suppose a cat/dog/ferret/etc. will do...), curl up with your favorite blanket, and embrace the magic of POISON.
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

Does this cover not scream fun fantasy to you?  It does to me!  I love the whimsical scenery and want to step into the book myself.  

The model's outfit is great; it doesn't look modern like some fantasy covers I've seen recently.  It's appropriate and from its time.

And the blue liquid she's holding is mysterious and intriguing.  I'd pick this up to look at the summary in a heartbeat.

Plus, Rosie is peeking out!  I want to cuddle that little pig!
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  POISON
Author: Bridget Zinn
Release Date: March 12, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Received: For Review;
since purchased

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.


  1. That's so sad! Man, I want to read this book so bad. And I love the cover. I really love all of the different colors on it.

    1. I know, there's just something SO lovely about it. And sure, Rosie's colors don't mesh, but it makes her peeping head stand out! *cuddles her*

  2. This book looks amazing and I love the cover! I like that you said it's "fun-filled and action packed" because that is a nice change of pace from a lot of the YA books out now! I can't wait to read this book!

    Suz Reads

    1. It's very different from other YA novels, Suz. If you're a fan of fun fantasies, I definitely recommend it!

  3. I love Fairy Tales and Books that redo Fairy Tales! :) I hope this is where I was suppose to comment for the giveaway. Good luck to all and Happy Reading :)

    1. You're allowed to comment on any post from the event! And you can do it once per day if you wish :)

  4. OMG...That is soooo Sad. I went to the link you posted & read it. It honestly brings a tear to your eyes. I think your an awesome person at heart to Let us all know. Big Hugs Darlin'
    Missie Jones
    missie25524 (at) netzero (dot) com

  5. I REALLY want to read this! I had it preordered and everything, but then Amazon decided out of nowhere not to accept my credit card, and I haven't had the chance to get it anywhere else ):
    After I heard about the author I was practically in tears. Just looking at a picture of her, you could tell she was an amazing person! I'm so glad so many people have loved her book, though!

  6. It is so sad :( I really hope to buy a copy from this book soon, because it sounds so good.

  7. It is so awesome to see all the support for Bridget Zinn and her book from the blogging and writing communities. I was on the fence about reading this book when I first saw it a few months back, but all of the support for Poison makes me want to grab a copy. Thank you for your excellent review, Bonnie. I look forward to reading Poison soon. :)

  8. This book sounds so good I'm so sad that the author didn't get to see the beauty of her work or get to promote it in any way.

  9. I'd posted something on my blog about Poison a few days ago, after reading about it elsewhere. Its incredibly sad that the author will never get to see the success of her book. I'd love to read it, it certainly sounds like my kind of book


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