counter create hit The Kinder Poison - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Kinder Poison

Availability: Ready to download

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, h 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.


Compare
Ads Banner

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, h 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.

30 review for The Kinder Poison

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cait Jacobs (Caitsbooks)

    *Thank you so much to Penguin Teen for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!!* Quick Stats: Overall: 4.5/5 Stars Characters: 5/5 Setting: 4/5 Writing: 5/5 Plot and Themes: 4.5/5 Awesomeness Factor: 4/5 Review in a Nutshell: The Kinder Poison surprised me with it's humor and addictive qualities. “All good stories start with bad decisions.” The Kinder Poison is a fantastic debut novel. The world-building is interesting and immersive, with fascinating mythology and a fun magic system. Fun is pro *Thank you so much to Penguin Teen for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!!* Quick Stats: Overall: 4.5/5 Stars Characters: 5/5 Setting: 4/5 Writing: 5/5 Plot and Themes: 4.5/5 Awesomeness Factor: 4/5 Review in a Nutshell: The Kinder Poison surprised me with it's humor and addictive qualities. “All good stories start with bad decisions.” The Kinder Poison is a fantastic debut novel. The world-building is interesting and immersive, with fascinating mythology and a fun magic system. Fun is probably the word I would say best describes this book- from the writing style, to the plot and the characters- it was a fun ride. The writing style was easy to jump into, but what I loved most was the sarcastic tone. It brought a lot of humor to the book that I didn't expect, and I'm obsessed with it. The writing style also lends itself well to the fast pace of the book. From page one I was hooked, and I continued to be hooked until I finished it. And that ending? Let's just say I'm very excited for the sequel. Now, for my favorite part, the characters. I really enjoyed the cast of characters we got to know over the course of this book. Zahru is an amazing heroine. Her desire for adventure is unmatched, and her friendship with Hen is such a great part of this book. We had a lot of morally grey characters, which is my favorite thing, and I really enjoyed learning the histories and backstories of the characters we meet. Also, there's a great romance building. It does feature a love triangle, but so far I don't hate it! "No matter what you're born to, you can be more." - Conclusion - Pros- great writing style, strong characters, interesting world Cons- love triangle, world-building could be a little less vague Overall- 4.5/5 stars. The Kinder Poison was an amazing read and I am so excited to see where the series goes!! Follow Me Here: Blog ||Tumblr || Bookstagram || Twitter|| Reviews

  2. 5 out of 5

    Athena (OneReadingNurse)

    Thank you so much to Bookish First and Razorbill for my finished copy of The Kinder Poison!  It is a gorgeous hardcover and for my fellow book sniffers, has that great sawdust smell 😂 Tons of sibling rivalry, a magical and dangerous race, a taste of political intrigue, and some interesting family dynamics are all aspects that drew me to - and kept me interested in the book while reading. The sibling rivalry is the base for the entire plot, so lets start there.  One of the three has to make it acro Thank you so much to Bookish First and Razorbill for my finished copy of The Kinder Poison!  It is a gorgeous hardcover and for my fellow book sniffers, has that great sawdust smell 😂 Tons of sibling rivalry, a magical and dangerous race, a taste of political intrigue, and some interesting family dynamics are all aspects that drew me to - and kept me interested in the book while reading. The sibling rivalry is the base for the entire plot, so lets start there.  One of the three has to make it across the desert first and complete the sacrifice in order to become the new ruler.  First we meet Sakira who might love to party and appear reckless, but is ruthless and refuses to be dismissed.  Kasta is the eldest and has a paranoid darkness about him. Jet is the second son, not wanting the kingdom but determined to see his sister safely in charge.   The history between the siblings and the Royal family make up most of the background and world building of the book.  The book is SO character driven that it makes most sense to talk about those relationships.  They are complicated, real, interesting, and all competing for their father's approval, as well of that of the nation and the innate power given by completing the human sacrifice. Each sibling is competing with a team of 2 helpers, and the dynamics within the groups are all so different and equally entertaining.  Kasta I think had the most interesting group, including a demon shifter named Maia.  Her story is totally heartbreaking and between her demon aspect and Kasta's insanity, they set up the main twist for book 2.  The best part was that for every twist and turn and bit of character development.....right until the very, very end, I had NO damn idea who was going to win that race.  The race itself isn't all that interesting, the groups do have some hurdles to overcome but most of the barriers come from the siblings detaining each other or trying to kidnap the human sacrifice, Zahru. I haven't talked about her yet because she's literally a stable girl that snuck into the palace, and somehow is the bravest person ever. She has no interesting backstory, no anecdotes like the siblings have, no life story that indicates where she got her cunning from....and I docked a star for yet another boring lead.  Thankfully the siblings carried it. Each sibling really was truly and uniquely interesting enough to make me keep reading the book quickly.  I liked Jet a lot, he is the main male character (ish) and I might have liked to stroll in the starlit desert with him too. Ha. Just to touch on the magic system - almost everyone is born with some magical talent in the land of Orkena.  From animal whisperers to sound benders and firespinners, everyone has a place.  There was nothing terribly extraordinary about this but some of the individual talents were cool. There was a lot of vivid imagery and good scenic descriptions of everything from clothes to horses to the land.  I like Mae's writing style because there is just enough prose and banter to make her story seem real, but not enough to make it purple and boring.  I wish there was more world building - but this book had to focus on establishing the character background and future political rivalries as well as the Crossing itself.  The history that mattered was there, some quite brutal, but what about the mood of the people in general? The surrounding nations that are brewing this war/conflict going forward?   All in all, definitely a great read if you like sibling rivalries, friendships, banter, danger and magic, with a twist of romance, all swirled into one cunning race for the future of the kingdom.  I would definitely recommend it. Thank you again to Bookish First and Razorbill for my copy, all opinions are my own!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jypsy

    Thank you FFBC, Edelweiss and Razorbill for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own. The Kinder Poison By: Natalie Mae REVIEW☆☆☆☆ Some years ago, I loved a movie called Hidalgo about a horse race across a brutal and deadly desert. The Kinder Poison's synopsis immediately took me back to that time, and I knew I had to read this book. The heroine, Zahru, wants so much more than life has given her. In a world of magical powers, she can speak to anima Thank you FFBC, Edelweiss and Razorbill for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own. The Kinder Poison By: Natalie Mae REVIEW☆☆☆☆ Some years ago, I loved a movie called Hidalgo about a horse race across a brutal and deadly desert. The Kinder Poison's synopsis immediately took me back to that time, and I knew I had to read this book. The heroine, Zahru, wants so much more than life has given her. In a world of magical powers, she can speak to animals, a low ranking ability that will never raise Zahru above her current station. So, when the opportunity to sneak into the royal palace presents itself, Zahru and her friend, Hen, act in haste to sneak in. They are going to the Crossing ceremony where the three potential heirs to the throne will choose teams, essentially, to cross the dangerous desert sands with them. The first heir to complete the Crossing and kill the appointed human sacrifice wins. Basically, a lot of bad luck and some bad decisions toss Zahru into the mix as the human sacrifice. Now, her goal is to survive this ordeal. As the story progresses, Zahru learns much more about the possible heirs, two guys and one girl, and a potential triangle thing maybe hangs around with the two guys? I'm not very interested in that aspect and could skip it. Zahru is young and grows as a character in numerous ways. I like her dry wit and flat sense of humor. Zahru is one of many excellent and well written characters, but I won't go into that now. A lot happens in this story, but it's not so complicated as to be confusing. The world building is solid and straight forward without all the extraneous details that can drag the plot along so slowly. I was entertained, riveted, amused, annoyed and wanting more than the ending gave me! This book is a fabulous work of young adult fantasy fiction, and I loved it. Definitely read The Kinder Poison asap!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mac (bookshelfpalace)

    Thank you Penguin Teen for sending me an e-arc copy of the book. If you like rivalling royalty and books that centre around a battle for the throne, I highly recommend picking up The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae. This book is about a race across the desert called, “The Crossing.” All of the heirs take part in this race, and at the end they need to perform a human sacrifice to ascend to the throne. As Zahru gets caught up in the feud between the heirs, she is forced to become the human sacrifice. Thank you Penguin Teen for sending me an e-arc copy of the book. If you like rivalling royalty and books that centre around a battle for the throne, I highly recommend picking up The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae. This book is about a race across the desert called, “The Crossing.” All of the heirs take part in this race, and at the end they need to perform a human sacrifice to ascend to the throne. As Zahru gets caught up in the feud between the heirs, she is forced to become the human sacrifice. The highlight of this book for me was the characters. The characters were well thought out and I enjoyed reading about all of them throughout the book - especially Zahru. I loved Zahru. She is clever, understanding, and her kindness throughout the book made me love her as a protagonist. I also really enjoyed learning about the magic system and world. I liked exploring all of the limitations and consequences that come from using your powers in this world. I loved learning about all the different types of powers. This will definitely be a book I’ll be recommending to anyone looking for a new YA fantasy!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    3.75/5 Read the full review at www.universewithinpages.com Thank you to Penguin Random House and Netgalley for providing me an ARC of this book! I got this book about a week back and I really like the concept of the book. It follows the main character, Zahru, who was chosen to be the sacrifice of a royal kingdom. There are three heirs to the throne who must race across the desert to kill her in order to ascend to the throne. This world is full of magic, including both “lowly magic” such as talking 3.75/5 Read the full review at www.universewithinpages.com Thank you to Penguin Random House and Netgalley for providing me an ARC of this book! I got this book about a week back and I really like the concept of the book. It follows the main character, Zahru, who was chosen to be the sacrifice of a royal kingdom. There are three heirs to the throne who must race across the desert to kill her in order to ascend to the throne. This world is full of magic, including both “lowly magic” such as talking to animals and more powerful elemental magic. The court politics add a lot to this book, and the dynamics between the three heirs and even Zahru are interesting and well thought out. I did enjoy the magic system in it, and I liked how it was intertwined throughout the story. Sometimes, I did wish that there were less types of magic, since it got a little confusing as to what the extents were. I wish that there were more clear categories of magic too, since there were so many characters with so many different powers. It was interesting that Zahru could talk to animals though (being a Whisperer), and I feel like it’s a more unique type of magic. I haven’t seen much of it, besides the last book I read, Hunted by the Sky, by some coincidence.

  6. 5 out of 5

    ♠ Tabi ♠

    the younger me that religiously rewatched The Black Stallion Returns and Hidalgo wants this book now the younger me that religiously rewatched The Black Stallion Returns and Hidalgo wants this book now

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christine Manzari

    This book was amazing and I’m absolutely obsessed.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Bennett

    Rating: 4.5 I had seen the cover circling for this one on every social media I have. The purple and gold together are amazing and it just has that dazzle that captures the eye. Even though I was a bit hesitant about picking it up, I’m glad I signed up for this blog tour because within in the first chapter I immediately fell in love with this story! Zahru relies a lot on others. She tries to be brave and tries to be optimistic about the situations she gets in. She is kind, caring, and truly wants t Rating: 4.5 I had seen the cover circling for this one on every social media I have. The purple and gold together are amazing and it just has that dazzle that captures the eye. Even though I was a bit hesitant about picking it up, I’m glad I signed up for this blog tour because within in the first chapter I immediately fell in love with this story! Zahru relies a lot on others. She tries to be brave and tries to be optimistic about the situations she gets in. She is kind, caring, and truly wants to see the good in others. Zahru reminds me a lot of me and that is why it was so easy to feel for her and really connect with her character. There are quite a few characters that are present for a lot of the book. There was nothing minor about them and some had intense plot points that just left me shocked. I love when smaller characters don’t feel so minor and this was a nice surprise to see. There is a bit of background for a couple and it was easy to understand their motives. Three of these characters were siblings: Kasta, Sakira, and Jet. These siblings each had their own personality. I liked getting to know each one (a couple more than others, ha) because they each had a different perspective of the race and what they wanted to get out of it. Plus, you all know how I like brothers and these two didn’t disappoint. This is a unique plot and one that I haven’t read about before. I wasn’t sure how I would like the whole race aspect but it really brought an interesting take to sibling rivalry/capturing the throne. It had it’s fast paced moments and there really wasn’t much downtime. If it wasn’t for bed calling my name, I would have read it all in one sitting since I got to 55% on the first night. Oops, ha. Overall, I really enjoyed this one. The characters were easy to connect with and the plot was a thrilling ride. Plus, that ending was not expected! I’ll be waiting for book two because I need to know what happens. Thank you Fantastic Flying Book Club for this opportunity and thanks to the publisher for the free copy! (I received a copy for reviewing. All opinions are my own.)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Abbie | epochnovels

    “All good stories start with bad decisions.” And thus begins the tale of an epic, thrilling adventure that follows Zahru, a young girl desperately seeking adventure, who becomes the human sacrifice and pawn in a deadly game of cat and mouse between three heirs 👑 The World This was such an enthralling adventure. Everything from the color, warmth, and complexity of the world, to the characters, to the strength and compassion of Zahru - it was all so breathtaking! I felt like my imagination couldn’t c “All good stories start with bad decisions.” And thus begins the tale of an epic, thrilling adventure that follows Zahru, a young girl desperately seeking adventure, who becomes the human sacrifice and pawn in a deadly game of cat and mouse between three heirs 👑 The World This was such an enthralling adventure. Everything from the color, warmth, and complexity of the world, to the characters, to the strength and compassion of Zahru - it was all so breathtaking! I felt like my imagination couldn’t contain all of the beauty. The magic system was unlike anything I’ve ever read, and I found it so intriguing. The whole world glitters and glows with sand, magic, and heart. The Characters Zahru was such a refreshing protagonist. She was kind, without being weak and dependent. It was also refreshing to have her make some actually smart decisions, as painful as they were to witness, because even if they were right, they still hurt 😂 If you know, you know. (view spoiler)[*coughs* KASTA *coughs* TENT SCENE *coughs* Oh dear, excuse me. I don't know what came over me. (hide spoiler)] Zahru is also hilarious, and talks too much, and is the first to admit she’s made a mistake - which is my favorite kind of heroine, along with the snarky ones. “Daydreaming is all fun and games until you’re chosen as a human sacrifice, and having to sneak through a dilapidated town with a deserting prince and the risk of a treason charge.” The Romance NOW, getting to the important bits... I know he’s done some horrible things. And yeah, Jet’s a nice guy. BUT KASTA. Listen, just - I’m trash for him, and that’s the tea. Jet was nice, as well, but I mean...C’mon, America. Get with this broody boi named Kasta. I'm so excited/scared to see how he develops as the series goes on! This was all just so magical, and an all-around dazzling adventure complete with hope, romance, and kindness. A truly wonderful fantasy debut that shows love and compassion can conquer all. If you’re fans of An Ember in the Ashes, and similar books that bring with it the warmth and magic inspired by ancient times, I highly suggest you pick this one up! A big thank you to Penguin Teen for gifting me with this ARC! You can order your copy now! To check out my Kinder Poison post on Bookstagram, click here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CBlq4BggG0s/

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell

    I keep seeing people with ARCs of this and I am slavering at the mouth with want

  11. 5 out of 5

    ;3

    the main character can talk to animals that is literally the cutest shit 🥺 imma start off by saying that i despise love triangles, but this book is so much more than some dumb back-and-forth between two princes. and it‘s so entertaining too?? i don’t think i was ever bored. like, it’s a more character driven story rather than something that’s action-packed, so i guess it depends on ur personal taste, but still. zahru might start off as ur typical meek heroine but she grows so much throughout the the main character can talk to animals that is literally the cutest shit 🥺 imma start off by saying that i despise love triangles, but this book is so much more than some dumb back-and-forth between two princes. and it‘s so entertaining too?? i don’t think i was ever bored. like, it’s a more character driven story rather than something that’s action-packed, so i guess it depends on ur personal taste, but still. zahru might start off as ur typical meek heroine but she grows so much throughout the course of the book and i found her so endearing. the other characters were fleshed out well too—there wasn’t a single character that fell flat. it was also super refreshing to see so many easygoing female friendships and trust between girls. no pettiness or jealousy. and, although i wish the main characters themselves weren’t cis hets, there is no such thing as homophobia or racism in this world. this is what fantasy worlds that have things like magical elements and dragons or whatever should always strive to incorporate. one thing that kinda Did annoy me was the romance sometimes but honestly it was also kinda fun sooo 😗✨

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lori Goldstein

    I was lucky to get an advance read of THE KINDER POISON, a sweeping fantasy with a unique system of magic that guides one's destiny and place in the world, and yet Zahru wants more. But when that more comes in a way she couldn't have imagined, she must take a hard look at who she is versus who she wants to be. With strong characters, beautifully written description, a slow burn romance that will keep you enthralled, and a touch of humor, THE KINDER POISON has me anxious for the sequel!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alex Foux

    I've only managed to snag the first few chapters so far (crossing my fingers that I am approved for an ARC) but I am already OBSESSED. I am in love with the author's writing style and I was chuckling before the end of the first page. The main character's, Zahru, inner dialogue is riotous and really resonates with the way I talk to myself in my own head. Plus, she can talk to animals?! Excuse me, we have ALL dreamed about having this ability at some point or another. The CHARACTERS. I have yet to c I've only managed to snag the first few chapters so far (crossing my fingers that I am approved for an ARC) but I am already OBSESSED. I am in love with the author's writing style and I was chuckling before the end of the first page. The main character's, Zahru, inner dialogue is riotous and really resonates with the way I talk to myself in my own head. Plus, she can talk to animals?! Excuse me, we have ALL dreamed about having this ability at some point or another. The CHARACTERS. I have yet to come across one I'm not floored with. Each feels completely unique with their own personalities and tone of voice. My favorite so far is Zahru - her fascination for adventure and a life bigger than the one she's fated to is constantly clashing with her desire to be a good person and daughter. Her friendship with Hen warms my heart and is deeply relatable, reminding me of all the "adventures" I have with my own best friend. It's clear that Zahru is a good person, constantly trying to see the good in others and correcting herself when her thoughts tip towards unfavorable- even when the person is undeserving of her forgiveness. I cannot wait to see how she will grow as the story progresses. I preordered the book from my local indie store before I even began writing this review, I can already tell that this is going to be one of my new favorites.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dini Kamayana

    Thanks to NetGalley and Razorbill for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thanks also to the FFBC for including me on this blog tour! 4.5 stars (rounded up). Ok, wow. I think The Kinder Poison might be one of my favourite YA fantasy reads so far in 2020! I went into this book with very little expectation and in all honesty, didn't even re-read the blurb to refresh my memory of what it was about until I got to the 40% mark -- not that I needed to because this book had me hooked from the be Thanks to NetGalley and Razorbill for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thanks also to the FFBC for including me on this blog tour! 4.5 stars (rounded up). Ok, wow. I think The Kinder Poison might be one of my favourite YA fantasy reads so far in 2020! I went into this book with very little expectation and in all honesty, didn't even re-read the blurb to refresh my memory of what it was about until I got to the 40% mark -- not that I needed to because this book had me hooked from the beginning but I was curious to see what caught my eye in the first place. First of all, major cover appreciation. The combination of gold and purple with a scorpion in the middle of a lotus flower is so eye-catching and is a definite win. This has been appearing on many 'most anticipated lists' across the book blogosphere over the last month and the cover pops out at you every single time! Now, moving on to the good stuff, which I have to say was pretty much the whole book! I did have some issues (hence 4.5 stars) that mostly related to the romance aspect and I'm going to be up front here and say that I was pretty worried it would be a love-triangle situation, and for a little bit there it was. It seems to have dissolved now but sometimes I feel like you never know with YA 😂 So, I'm just going to leave that there. I really enjoyed Mae's writing style--it was easy to digest and flowed smoothly. The plot was also one that I don't think I've read before--a race/competition between siblings to win a crown. I do like the "quest" type of fantasy and this one didn't disappoint! The story moved very quickly from the start but Mae doesn't skimp on the details or play with the timeline, jumping days or weeks ahead, which I liked. Considering the story only takes place over a short period of time, there is a lot that happens but with the immersive world building, interesting plot, and intriguing characters it was such an enjoyable ride! I didn't once feel bored or that the pacing was too slow. Mae's writing had an undertone of dry/sarcastic humour laced throughout that honestly gave me life! I found myself constantly laughing out loud at the most random moments and I definitely didn't expect that. It has been a long time since I've read anything that I couldn't wait to get back to once I put it down (thanks to ACNH), but this book managed to do that and it was thrilling to feel again! The world building was so well done and it wasn't difficult for me to imagine this setting. There was a surprising amount of political intrigue in the story as well. The magic system wasn't completely new in the fantasy realm but I still enjoyed reading about it and thought it was well explained. Honestly, one of the powers that I've always wanted is the ability to talk to animals (lol don't hate), so to find that our MC, Zahru is a Whisperer, only made me love her even more! I was intrigued by the ability of trielle, where you can manipulate different forms of magic through words, by using a brush and ink. Then we come to the characters. There was so much delicious banter between many of them and I loved it! I think what I appreciated most is that almost all of them were fully fleshed out; even many of the secondary characters get interesting backstories and motivations. I liked that many of them were morally grey. The "good guy" wasn't purely good but also did some pretty villainous things in his past. The villain was cold and cruel but we get glimpses into his past that paint a quiet, thoughtful and kind person. For the majority of the book I actually forgot these characters were so young, as a result of the magic system in this world, but they had a certain maturity that made them relatable despite their ages. Zahru was a great MC! She is full of sass, is hilarious often without meaning to be and she has a big heart full of kindness. There are moments when her actions and naïveté do scream "teenager!" but despite that she was so easy to relate to and it wasn't difficult to love her character. There were also some great 'found family vibes' with quite a few of the groups in this book and when has that trope ever been a bad thing?! Overall, this book was such a pleasant surprise! It was fast paced and so engaging all the way through to the very end--even until the prologue which had me gasping in shock when I finished reading it! I'm so glad that I didn't sleep on this one because it is definitely hot and I just need book two already now. Please and thank you!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    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 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!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Andi

    Many thanks to Razorbill and Edelweiss for giving me an ARC! I was excited to read The Kinder Poison. The blurb made it sound stronger than Red Queen, focused on the strong female angle. I had read Red Queen and found it lacking in depth and coherence. I hoped that this one would give me more hope. After finishing this book I can say that if you enjoy Red Queen you will enjoy this one for the same reasons. IF you didn’t enjoy Red Queen, then you won’t enjoy this book. I find it crazy these days tha Many thanks to Razorbill and Edelweiss for giving me an ARC! I was excited to read The Kinder Poison. The blurb made it sound stronger than Red Queen, focused on the strong female angle. I had read Red Queen and found it lacking in depth and coherence. I hoped that this one would give me more hope. After finishing this book I can say that if you enjoy Red Queen you will enjoy this one for the same reasons. IF you didn’t enjoy Red Queen, then you won’t enjoy this book. I find it crazy these days that the lack of world building is slipping farther and farther away from the narrative. In this book, you have a very vast world with several countries at war with one another. You hardly hear about these other countries and the war is hardly brought up but apparently it is an issue that seems to be the focus of one of the heirs to the kingdom in their reason for doing the trek across the desert. The plot seemed to go out the window when you find out that one of the men have instant romantic feelings for the girl, and the other has some sort of love and hate relationship. The girl herself is vapid, uninteresting, and has a power that is – while lame – not very important to the plot. Will it be later? Maybe? I mean, you could literally get rid of her power and this book would literally be unchanged except for a few details. There were two characters that were interesting: Kasta and his shape-shifter, Maia. They have the best depth and were far more interesting than the supporting characters and the lead female. I’d rather read a book about them. Like Red Queen, the book’s focus is this strange obsession that both brothers have for the lead who is lacking in depth and originality. Maybe the other books will allow for some better worldbuilding and character development, but not having those in the initial book is a bit of a concern for me. No matter if it is the author’s first book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    A Reader in Time

    Thank you so much to Penguin Teen for sending me this eARC for an honest review. THIS BOOK IS INCREDIBLE AND I ADORE IT. Okay this is seriously the best debut book that I have ever read (I'm not exaggerating at all!). The world building, characters, atmosphere and so much more was just done perfectly in this. I gasped out loud at so many points during this book, there were so many shocking twists! I really like our main character, Zharu, she grows so much during the duration of this book whic Thank you so much to Penguin Teen for sending me this eARC for an honest review. THIS BOOK IS INCREDIBLE AND I ADORE IT. Okay this is seriously the best debut book that I have ever read (I'm not exaggerating at all!). The world building, characters, atmosphere and so much more was just done perfectly in this. I gasped out loud at so many points during this book, there were so many shocking twists! I really like our main character, Zharu, she grows so much during the duration of this book which I love to see in a character. She wasn't my favorite at the beginning but she really grew on me. The magic of this world is SO unique and very interesting. I love the power that Zharu has and the abilities that other characters have as well. The way that they use their powers is so unique and something that was very refreshing to read in the YA fantasy genre. This is a super random side note but one that I want to make! I really appreciate how accurate the author writes about horses. I can tell, from being someone who rode horses for years and years, that she knows a lot about horses and wrote about them accurately in this book. Horses are a large part of this world since it involves a race across the desert on horseback. I appreciate it when an author takes the time to do research, or in the case of this author, has ridden horses first hand. The depictions were great and some of the best that I have seen in fantasy. I LOVE this book (if you couldn't tell) and I'm pretty sure it is going to make my top 10 of the year list for 2020 because it is simply THAT good. I highly implore you to pick up this book if you are looking to read a new, desert YA fantasy that is unique in its magic, fast paced, shocking twists and turns, great characters (who are kinda morally gray which we love hehe) and overall, just want to read a really good fantasy story!

  18. 4 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Zoë Leonarczyk Wow, what an amazing read this was! The style of writing, the story, the characters… this book just has it all in a perfectly successful combination. As soon as you pick up the book, you are immersed and thrown into this intriguing story. The writing style is extremely engaging and fun to read, making the high stakes in the story that much more intense. Lately for me it seems that young adult books are either a complete miss or a to Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Zoë Leonarczyk Wow, what an amazing read this was! The style of writing, the story, the characters… this book just has it all in a perfectly successful combination. As soon as you pick up the book, you are immersed and thrown into this intriguing story. The writing style is extremely engaging and fun to read, making the high stakes in the story that much more intense. Lately for me it seems that young adult books are either a complete miss or a total win. And what it seems to come down to is the uniqueness of the stories and the ability for the author to infuse important concepts/issues without sounding preachy. Now, that might sound very contradictory but there is a way to tell a story that perfectly conveys those ideas without losing the story in order to share the ideas, and Mae does this perfectly. The Kinder Poison is such an intricately and well written story that everything comes together so perfectly. Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The Kinder Poison was such an epic read. Hard trouble putting it down it was finish. Looking forward to a book 2.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Allisa White

    This book is a hidden gem! It's got everything I could've asked for in an exciting fantasy—and more! Lasting Impressions I think I always start with the characters in my reviews, but I don't care, because the characters are why I fell in love with this book! I'll start with Zahru, the star of the show. Her voice is so refreshing in that she has a sense of humor and it shows through her thoughts, expressions, and dialogue. She's so funny, with amazing comebacks and hilarious thought processes. A lo This book is a hidden gem! It's got everything I could've asked for in an exciting fantasy—and more! Lasting Impressions I think I always start with the characters in my reviews, but I don't care, because the characters are why I fell in love with this book! I'll start with Zahru, the star of the show. Her voice is so refreshing in that she has a sense of humor and it shows through her thoughts, expressions, and dialogue. She's so funny, with amazing comebacks and hilarious thought processes. A lot of YA fantasy these days are serious and dark, leaving no room for humor outside of sarcasm. But Zahru's jokes and lightheartedness had me grinning throughout the book. That's not to say that Zahru herself is a joke. No, she's a fully-developed, rounded-out character. She has her flaws, worries, and insecurities, and these really show through her voice as well. I felt such a strong connection to this character because of her weaknesses, but her strengths are so admirable as well. The themes of the story play strongly with Zahru's strength of character, and I really loved that. And I haven't even mentioned the royals who must chase Zahru and sacrifice her! I was not expecting to fall in love with each and every royal in their own way. Sakira is a fun-loving, people-pleaser with her own motivations for getting the crown. Jet is such a sweet guy who craves adventure and rejects his throne. And Kasta's dark side sometimes backs away from the light inside of him. Each character also has their own flaws and strengths, worries and motivations. Zahru's fascination with each one matched mine. None of them is a stereotype or caricature, which I appreciated. I think what helped me to connect with each character was the level of emotion I felt, through Zahru. There are so many complicated, conflicting emotions toward each character, and wow I loved that so much. Nothing about these characters is straightforward. Nothing is clear. And I was living for it. I haven't even talked about the fantasy aspects of this novel yet! The magic system is really interesting, but I think what really makes worth reading is how the politics surround the magic system. Different magics fall into different classes, and Zahru falls into a lower class because she speaks to animals (which is seen as not as important as an elemental wielder, for example). Zahru's place in the world doesn't only motivate her, but it affects the types of decisions she makes. I loved that her magic, though seen as less important, is still useful to her throughout the book. The descriptions of different magics is also fantastic (especially Jet's magic! I loved his abilities!) Gosh, I tried so hard to read this book fast, but I just didn't have the time! If I'd had the time, however, I think I would have read this book so fast. It's so exciting, and each encounter becomes more and more thrilling. I never felt like a scene was wasted, and I looked forward to what Zahru would come up with next. The prose propels the story at a fast pace, though it does leave time for beautiful, intimate moments between characters. By the time I reached the end of the book, I was desperate for the next one. Quick Thoughts -The romance is AMAZING. I will not give spoilers because you need to experience the amazingness yourself. Gosh. I love it. It's been a long time since I've shipped a couple so hard. -The ending seriously left me wanting the next book! I wish I knew if this was a trilogy or a duology so I can be prepared for that at least! Overall Feelings This is definitely one of my favorite books I read this year! The mix of fantastic characters, intriguing magic, and exciting plot had me wanting more. I cannot wait to pick up the next book!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tara (Spinatale Reviews)

    The Kinder Poison immediately grabbed me with that summary - magic, a deadly race to become heir, and a protagonist who stumbles into the games of royalty? It sounded amazing but ultimately fell a bit flat for me. Zahru’s character arc was the best and I liked how she grew throughout the novel. The other characters that I thought had depth were Kasta and Maia. I found them both fascinating. Their secrets explained so much about both characters and their relationship. However, the plot of the book The Kinder Poison immediately grabbed me with that summary - magic, a deadly race to become heir, and a protagonist who stumbles into the games of royalty? It sounded amazing but ultimately fell a bit flat for me. Zahru’s character arc was the best and I liked how she grew throughout the novel. The other characters that I thought had depth were Kasta and Maia. I found them both fascinating. Their secrets explained so much about both characters and their relationship. However, the plot of the book was fairly predictable. There was one twist that surprised me though, which gives me hope that the future installments in this series will be better. Additionally, I’m hopeful that future installments will contain more world-building. Overall, The Kinder Poison was a decent YA fantasy. This one would be a good introduction to the genre, particularly for readers who enjoy a good love triangle. *Disclaimer: I received an advance digital copy of this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    **Disclaimer: I was given a free ARC of the below in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.** Title The Kinder Poison Author Natalie Mae Release Date June 16, 2020 Publisher Razorbill Description from Amazon 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 c **Disclaimer: I was given a free ARC of the below in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.** Title The Kinder Poison Author Natalie Mae Release Date June 16, 2020 Publisher Razorbill Description from Amazon 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. Initial Thoughts I was super excited to be chosen for this tour. This book has been on my TBR for a while and I actually requested it from NetGalley before the tour was announced. Some Things I Liked The magic system and world building. This book felt like a combination of The Demon Race by Alexandra Warwick and All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace. I loved the concept of the Crossing that the heirs had to compete in to determine who would be the heir apparent. Similarly, I loved all of the different kinds of magic and how they were utilized. #teamKasta. I had far more moments than I thought I would where I actually rooted for Kasta. I really didn’t want him to be the villain and I’m still not entirely convinced that he is. I think he is redeemable and His rivalry with Jet gave me all kinds of Salvatore Brothers vibes (Vampire Diaries fans know what I’m talking about!). Zahru as a snarky and fun main character. Let’s be honest, most of what happens to Zahru is one disaster after another but she cracks jokes and tries to make the best of it, I loved that about her character. She made for an excellent narrator and I really felt like I connected with her. The cover art. When my parents took me to India as a toddler (to meet my grandma, the OG Monika), I was quite a rambunctious little rascal and I earned the nickname bichchhoo, meaning, scorpion in Hindi. Grandma claims it has something to do with the way I used to run / crawl around the floor but, I’m not 100% convinced. Furthermore, Scorpio is my moon sign and I’ve always been drawn to the creepy stingers, so I just loved that they were a theme throughout the book as well as a golden feature on the cover. One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About The love triangle. Oh, how I dislike them so. I just don’t want to choose between the love interests. I can see value in each of them and it breaks my fragile little heart to know that one of them is going to end the series with a broken heart. Series Value This story ends on a bit of a cliffhanger so I’d be incredibly disappointed if there wasn’t a sequel. Beyond that, I like these characters and this world. I want to see what happens next. I think this book has a ton of sequel potential as well as spin off potential. Jet’s teammates were very interesting and I’d like to know more about Marcus and his grandma 😉. Final Thoughts I enjoyed this book. I think it set up an interesting structure for a series and I am eager to keep reading. Natalie Mae was a new author for me and I am also excited to read any other books she writes. Her characters are engaging, the world was captivating and unique, and I am curious to know more. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Recommendations for Further Reading The Demon Race by Alexandra Warwick – if you liked the plot of a race across the desert filled with magic, check out this book by Alexandria Warwick. All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace – if you enjoyed the magic system and like the idea of a magic driven society, try this book by Adalyn Grace. The setting in that book is more aquatic, but the magic systems and worlds felt similar. Night Spinner by Addie Thorley – if you liked the idea of a charismatic villain that you find yourself rooting for or almost rooting for, try this book by Addie Thorley.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Liz (Quirky Cat)

    I revived a copy of The Kinder Poison in exchange for a fair and honest review. The Kinder Poison is the debut novel of Natalie Mae, and it is has been marketed as perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Holly Black. Being a fan of theirs, and having read this book; I can tell you that this is completely fair. Zahru only wanted an adventure, is that too much to ask? Unfortunately, Whisperers like her don't get many opportunities for adventure. So when her best friend came up with a plan to get I revived a copy of The Kinder Poison in exchange for a fair and honest review. The Kinder Poison is the debut novel of Natalie Mae, and it is has been marketed as perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Holly Black. Being a fan of theirs, and having read this book; I can tell you that this is completely fair. Zahru only wanted an adventure, is that too much to ask? Unfortunately, Whisperers like her don't get many opportunities for adventure. So when her best friend came up with a plan to get them both into the palace to witness a spectacular event, she was stupid enough to turn it down. One thing led to another, and now Zahru is on that adventure she always hoped for, and it is nothing like what she expected. The stakes are high, and the cost even higher. Yet she is exactly where she needs to be. “All good stories start with bad decisions.” The Kinder Poison is every bit the thrilling adventure that I hoped it would be. It was fast-paced and intense, and completely unafraid to be exactly what it is. Zahru's tale has only just begun, and I can already see how she's going to change the world. The kingdom of Orkena is a fascinating one – one that I sincerely cannot wait to see more of in future novels. Actually, the whole world that Mae has created here is brilliant and interesting, with lots of hints of more to come. The characters are bold and bright, and not afraid to sass when needed, which is always fantastic if you ask me. Zahru is a shining light in both the novel and the world, and I cannot wait to see what future adventures she'll find herself in. The secondary characters were just as impressive, which is vital for this particular novel and the many subplots that surrounded them. The impact would have been lost, if we hadn't been given so many reasons to care (or feel anything, for that matter) about the others. In the future, when I think of debut novels worth diving into, I'm going to think of The Kinder Poison. This book is everything that I'd want from an adventure like this, and I really do believe that the marketing was on point. That's not always a given, so I'm relishing in that fact right now. I think what I loved the most about The Kinder Poison is the message woven into the narrative. It's beautiful and simple, and yet so extremely powerful. That alone makes this book worth reading, and guarantees that it'll stick in our minds for quite some time. I should probably mention that there are several potential ships to be found within The Kinder Poison, so if that is your thing, you really need to dive into this book. Seriously, the love/hate in this book is strong. The ending still has me reeling, if I'm being truthful. Though at least it made certain that I'll be snatching up the sequel as soon as humanly possible. Until then! Read more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

  24. 5 out of 5

    Katie Akerman

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Zahru lives a simple life as a whisperer (being able to communicate with animals) tending a stable with her father. She longs to travel and experience adventures and taste far away foods. Believing that her simple life is not enough for her and that her magic is not worthwhile. Her and her best friend Hen hatch a plan to smuggle Zahru onto a boat bound for the capital for the choosing of the competition for a dessert crossing who will choose the next Mistra/ruler. At the party Zahru hits a snag Zahru lives a simple life as a whisperer (being able to communicate with animals) tending a stable with her father. She longs to travel and experience adventures and taste far away foods. Believing that her simple life is not enough for her and that her magic is not worthwhile. Her and her best friend Hen hatch a plan to smuggle Zahru onto a boat bound for the capital for the choosing of the competition for a dessert crossing who will choose the next Mistra/ruler. At the party Zahru hits a snag and gets wrapped up into a rivalry between the princes and ends up marked as the sacrifice for the crossing. What will Zahru do now that she is destined for more adventure then she thinks she can handle. I love that the protagonist in this story is not only strong but kind. The premise that being kind to someone sticks with them far longer then any other action is a main take away from the books story. In this way it reminds me of an Aesop’s fable, where a lesson is learned in the end. In this story it almost seems like Zarhu can see the good in all people, even though it might be far hidden underneath the surface. Sometimes in life, instances make us forget that people are not perfect and that they may still not be pure evil but somewhere in between that can still be redeemed and shown kindness. I was extremely interested in the story and devoured it as quickly as I could. I fell in love with the characters including the less then perfect ones. Seeing through Zahru’s eyes made me really develop relationships with all the teams. This made it awfully hard to root for one particular team to win, or to even be in possession of the sacrifice (Zahru). The action that was developed in the story was very stimulating, I love when blows are traded, and the “hero” does not always come out unscathed. I do however wish that Zahru had a chance to let her talents/magic/brains shine a little bit more then the book allowed. I am hoping that maybe she becomes more instrumental in the sequel. Much of the magical development in this book is remarkably interesting. I am excited to learn more about this world and see what new information is introduced in the next book. Did the knife that stabbed Zahru grant anyone extra magic? What happened to the Mistra and why is he dying? What will happen to Zahru’s family and will they find them? What new challenge will Zahru face and will Jet be there with her along the way? All I can say is that I am Absolutely in love with this story! I am highly anticipating the sequel and I really hope that if a movie does eventually come (which I would highly enjoy) that it would not get screwed up like many books to movies do.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Indre

    This book was a pleasure to read. So much adventure, and interesting characters. The story itself takes in this magical world, that is mainly a desert. The people there have different kinds of magic - they can control different things, like write out spells on paper or body to make things happen; some can enchant items to provide water or food; there are healers and shifters, and even those who can read minds. But there are also those that don't have any kind of magic, and are called forsaken - This book was a pleasure to read. So much adventure, and interesting characters. The story itself takes in this magical world, that is mainly a desert. The people there have different kinds of magic - they can control different things, like write out spells on paper or body to make things happen; some can enchant items to provide water or food; there are healers and shifters, and even those who can read minds. But there are also those that don't have any kind of magic, and are called forsaken - the lowest class, that doesn't "exist" to the royals. The main character by accident gets caught up in the big competition for the next heir, and gets deemed a sacrifice. The three possible heirs have to race to some special caves, where they make the sacrifice and not only earn their place on the throne but gain new magic. The adventure was fun, the banter entertaining, but there were things missing for me. For example the race wasn't explained well. The details were revealed as the race happened which made the journey a bit confusing as well as the role of the sacrifice in the grand scheme of things. Same with the magic system. Bits and pieces are revealed through the book, but they felt disjointed. Like things were made up along the way. There's political conflict in this world too, that again is kind of mentioned backhanded. There are mentions of other countries that want to declare war, but why - it isn't discussed much. It seems like there are a lot of introductions to plots that possibly will be shown more in later books, but it isn't fun to have a dangling carrot and never get to taste it. For example that flame horse? I did like the themes of this book. Finding a way to solve problems with kindness rather than violence. The discussion of different classes and the inequalities of human life between them. They are important themes to talk about. Overall it was a good and fun adventurous book. Looking forward to the next one in the series to see how much more of the world we get to see and explore.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Paige Green

    Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher and netgalley. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: The Kinder Poison Author: Natalie Mae Book Series: The Kinder Poison Book 1 Rating: 5/5 Recommended For...: Competitions, Love Triangles Publication Date: June 16, 2020 Genre: YA Fantasy Recommended Age: 16+ (violence, slight gore, human sacrifice) Publisher: Razorbill Pages: 416 Synopsis: Zahru has long dreamed of leaving the kingdom of Orkena and having the kinds of adventures she’s only ever heard Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher and netgalley. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: The Kinder Poison Author: Natalie Mae Book Series: The Kinder Poison Book 1 Rating: 5/5 Recommended For...: Competitions, Love Triangles Publication Date: June 16, 2020 Genre: YA Fantasy Recommended Age: 16+ (violence, slight gore, human sacrifice) Publisher: Razorbill Pages: 416 Synopsis: 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. Review: Awww I really liked this one! I really liked the story overall and the plot was very intriguing. The book was unique and the character development was really well done! I also enjoyed the world building. However, omg I really didn’t like the love triangle (never have never will) and I thought the book was a bit too slow in a few places. Verdict: Overall, I really liked this one!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lea

    What a wonderfully lavish world Natalie Mae has created in The Kinder Poison. This story is a fast-paced adventure about a girl named Zahru that just wants to visit the palace. Instead, she ends up becoming the sacrifice in the royal's game, The Crossing. The Crossing is a race across the desert and the heir that makes it to the end must sacrifice the chosen (Zahru) to become the next Mestrah. I was fully drawn into the plot from the beginning. The world building is beautiful and, from the start, What a wonderfully lavish world Natalie Mae has created in The Kinder Poison. This story is a fast-paced adventure about a girl named Zahru that just wants to visit the palace. Instead, she ends up becoming the sacrifice in the royal's game, The Crossing. The Crossing is a race across the desert and the heir that makes it to the end must sacrifice the chosen (Zahru) to become the next Mestrah. I was fully drawn into the plot from the beginning. The world building is beautiful and, from the start, the characters had just enough depth to them to keep me intrigued (even the side characters are quite charming!). Each heir (Jet, Sakira, and Kasta) has their own drive to win the race (or abandon it) and as the story progresses more secrets are revealed and each character becomes more complex (and, sometimes you end up rooting for the "wrong" one...oops!). There's a love triangle for a bit of the story and some slow-burn romance, but I wouldn't say the romance drives the plot, it's just a nice addition... 'cause who wouldn't fall for a handsome royal trying to save you from being sacrificed? ;) The story does end with a cliffhanger as The Kinder Poison is the first book in a new series. I am greatly looking forward to reading the next book and I have a few theories about what may happen!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Erin (erinevelynreads)

    The Kinder Poison is set in the magical country of Orkena, where your magical abilities define your future. Zahru is a Whisperer, possessing the ability to speak to animals. She and her father manage the stable in their small town. When an exciting challenge known as “The Crossing” is invoked by the ruler of Orkena, Zahru and her best friend Hen devise a plan to sneak into the capital to watch the festivities. But their plan goes horribly wrong, and Zahru suddenly goes from being a casual specta The Kinder Poison is set in the magical country of Orkena, where your magical abilities define your future. Zahru is a Whisperer, possessing the ability to speak to animals. She and her father manage the stable in their small town. When an exciting challenge known as “The Crossing” is invoked by the ruler of Orkena, Zahru and her best friend Hen devise a plan to sneak into the capital to watch the festivities. But their plan goes horribly wrong, and Zahru suddenly goes from being a casual spectator to a crucial part of the event known as the Sacrifice. Zahru is sent out into the desert with the feuding heirs who must race each other to an endpoint on the other side of the desert where the winner will sacrifice Zahru to the gods and claim their rightful place as ruler. Zahru knows her only hope at survival is to convince one of the feuding heirs to spare her, but as they race through the desert she’s unsure who to trust. The Kinder Poison is told entirely in the first person from Zahru’s perspective, as she grapples with what to do next to ensure her survival. I didn’t know who to trust from one minute to another. Zahru is a pawn in a game between three heirs, and each of them has their own motivations. Youngest Sakira is a party girl who wants to have fun but also win the race. She and her fans will stop at nothing to ensure she wins. Middle child Jet doesn’t want the throne for himself, despite being the most prepared. Eldest Kasta is a cruel boy who views the throne as his right and will stop at nothing to get it. Kindness and its impact is a major theme in The Kinder Poison. Although Zahru does not possess “useful” magical powers, the kindness she shows to the heirs and their travel companions, despite the fact that she is their prisoner, is what keeps her safe. I loved this highly imaginative, fast-paced story. I’ll be not-so-patiently waiting until the sequel is released! I highly recommend this to fans of YA Fantasy and Adventure stories. Thank you to Penguin Teen and Netgalley for my review copy! All opinions are my own!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Savannah Porter

    This book reminds me of We Hunt the Flame, Ashlords, and Tiger Queen. The Kinder Poison follows Zahru, a peasant with insignificant magic, as she gets caught up in a deadly race across the desert between heirs of the kingdom battling for the crown. It took a bit for me to get into as the beginning is very slow, but the middle of the book has lots of twists I didn't see coming. Zahru also has some nice character growth, and I enjoyed learning about each of the heirs. It did drive me crazy that Za This book reminds me of We Hunt the Flame, Ashlords, and Tiger Queen. The Kinder Poison follows Zahru, a peasant with insignificant magic, as she gets caught up in a deadly race across the desert between heirs of the kingdom battling for the crown. It took a bit for me to get into as the beginning is very slow, but the middle of the book has lots of twists I didn't see coming. Zahru also has some nice character growth, and I enjoyed learning about each of the heirs. It did drive me crazy that Zahru had soooo many chances of escape that she didn't take, making her kindness look like weakness. However, there was enough action to keep me interested, and enough intrigue to make me look forward to the second book. But somehow, I still don't feel like this book deserves four stars. Maybe because it seemed underdeveloped with the romance (there's some instalove and also a suggestion of a love triangle?), I'm still a little confused on how the magic works, and the story overall didn't seem polished. (Also, I still don't know what "Kinder" in the title refers to, especially because that's the word for "children" in German.) Writing Aesthetic/Style: 3 Plot/Movement: 3 Character Development: 3 Overall: 3 Thank you Razorbill and NetGalley for the review copy!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Alyesa

    A story about freedom, trust and the deserve for life or power...you will have to read to find out. This is more the writing of an author who has written several books under their belt, not a debut. The writing style is simular to that of Incendiary or Holly Black in The Cruel Prince. Well developed and smooth to go from one sentence, page and chapter to the next. A truely adventureous and smooth flowing plotline aswell which takes instead the need for an all out romance and put the story focus m A story about freedom, trust and the deserve for life or power...you will have to read to find out. This is more the writing of an author who has written several books under their belt, not a debut. The writing style is simular to that of Incendiary or Holly Black in The Cruel Prince. Well developed and smooth to go from one sentence, page and chapter to the next. A truely adventureous and smooth flowing plotline aswell which takes instead the need for an all out romance and put the story focus more on the adventure itself. Saying that there is an element of romance in there but the further I read the less it was there. Personally I was not a fan of the main character as I did find her a bit whiny and so struggled to connect with her or the other characters. Saying that though this is down to me and I have a feeling others who read it would disagree with me. Due to this I have given it a 3 1/2 star personally, but a 4 star unsubjectively as I still for some reasson do not feel compelled to want to read the sequel...but this will probably change when it is released. Would definitely recommend for fans of The Cruel Prince series.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.