Poison by Bridget Zinn

Hyperion, 2013.

Kyra, potions master at 16, engaged to be married to her handsome partner, best friends with Princess Arianna, seemed to have everything going for her – that is until she tried to assassinate said best friend. Now she finds herself on the run, unable to trust anyone, and forced to seek the help of the local criminal mastermind.

The mastermind presents Kyra with a princess-seeking pig so that she may complete the assassination. The pig’s cuteness rankles, and Kyra vows to find the princess quickly, ditch the pig, and aim true with her poisoned dart. If she can manage all that, she’ll be able to save the kingdom from destruction.

I found the hook for this story so enticing that I bought it rather than waiting to read a library copy. I loved the idea of a potion master turned assassin, but I was dubious about the addition of a cute pig into an adventurous story. As I read, I recognized that the pig and Zinn’s other humorous touches add a lightness to the tale that is welcome.

I found myself rooting for Kyra and her pig to come out on top. The resolution of the story felt less well formed than what came before it, but satisfying nonetheless. Fans of Tamora Pierce and Terry Pratchett will enjoy this book.

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