Published by Razorbill on June 16, 2020
Series: The Kinder Poison #1
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy & Magic
Source: eARC from Publisher
Perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Holly Black, this enthralling fantasy adventure follows a teenage girl chosen to be the human sacrifice in a deadly game between three heirs who will do anything for the crown.
Zahru has long dreamed of leaving the kingdom of Orkena and having the kinds of adventures she’s only ever heard about in stories. But as a lowly Whisperer, her power to commune with animals means that her place is serving in the royal stables until the day her magic runs dry.
All that changes when the ailing ruler invokes the Crossing: a death-defying race across the desert, in which the first of his heirs to finish—and take the life of a human sacrifice at the journey’s end—will ascend to the throne and be granted unparalleled abilities.
With all of the kingdom abuzz, Zahru leaps at the chance to change her fate if just for a night by sneaking into the palace for a taste of the revelry. But the minor indiscretion turns into a deadly mistake when she gets caught up in a feud between the heirs and is forced to become the Crossing’s human sacrifice. Zahru is left with only one hope for survival: somehow figuring out how to overcome the most dangerous people in the world.
The Kinder Poison is the first book in the Kinder Poison series by Natalie Mae. I loved The Kinder Poison fiercely! It is one of my favorite books of 2020 for sure! The Kinder Poison is a young adult fantasy with a slow burn romance…my favorite kind! It really has it all- great characters, a really interesting world, competition, a unique magic structure, fantastic writing and world building and have a mentioned the romance? Yes! I totally loved it all and I am desperate for the sequel! Fingers crossed this is going to be a long and epic series because I can already tell I am going to love the whole thing!
In the Kinder Poison we meet our main character Zahru. Zahru has grown up in the kingdom of Orkena, and in Orkena everyone either has magic of some kind or they are banished from the kingdom. Zahru is pretty low on the totem pole because her magical abilities is not very highly regarded, but I thought it was super cool. She has the ability to talk to animals, which is known as a whisperer. One day, Zahru sneaks into the palace and inadvertently finds herself thrust in as a competitor in the fierce (and freaky) competition for the royals heirs. They have to race across the dessert, and the first one to cross the finish line and execute a human sacrifice will become the next ruler. Zahru gets forced into the competition as the sacrifice. Nuts, right? I got some Hunger Games vibes and some Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott vibes, but overall the Kinder Poison really stands on it’s own. It has a unique world and magic system that I loved. I enjoyed how varied the magical abilities are. Not only that, but the characters in The Kinder Poison are all so well fleshed out and detailed. This is no small feat for the size of the cast. There were a ton of different characters in the book and so many of them felt like they were really critical to the advancement of the plot, which I loved. The secondary characters didn’t blend into the background. They were not an afterthought, just added in for some flourishment. They all mattered. This story and world came to life before my eyes. I felt like I was watching a movie. That’s how I know I will love the rest of the series. Natalie Mae is a really talented writer. She brought this book to life for me, and I completely loved it.
The romance in this book is a slow burn and fantastic. Be warned, Zahru does develop feelings for more than one of the heirs, but I loved every second of the romance woven into the overall plotline. I want more more MORE of it! Zahru was an easy character for me to root for and to connect with. I loved her inner dialogue and thought process. Aside from the great cast of characters and the fantastic romance, the plot of The Kinder Poison will keep you on the edge of your seat and guessing up until the very end. This was one exciting ride for me. There is so much action and adventure going on almost constantly that the pacing of this book just floats right along at a good paced clip. There was not one moment or scene where I was bored, and because of that The Kinder Poison has a place on my favorite shelf. This book rocked, plain and simple. I cannot wait for the sequel! If you are a fan of young adult fantasy, you do not want to miss out on The Kinder Poison!
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You can check out the rest of the stops on the Kinder Poison tour HERE
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2020 New Release Challenge
- Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2020