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POISON by Chris Wooding Kirkus Star

POISON

By Chris Wooding

Age Range: 13 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-439-75570-0
Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

In this exciting fantasy by the author of The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray (2004), the kidnapping of her sister propels a teenaged girl out of her rural village determined to bring the baby back. On the day she selected an adult name, teenaged Foxglove chose Poison to spite her stepmother—an indication of the cranky, impatient and often rude hero she is. Given the dangers she faces on her quest, her stubborn grit turns from the drawback it was at home into an asset. As she journeys, Poison attracts helpers: a middle-aged carter, a dithery housemaid and an intelligent cat. This fantasy, set in various realms—human (lowest in the pecking order), phaerie and arachnid—utilizes many fantasy and folkloric tropes in original and often amusing ways. The story moves forward at a quick pace; characterization and world-building add to the strength of the gripping plot, while an ambivalent but satisfying resolution tops off a compelling read. Sure to appeal to fans of Holly Black and Charles de Lint, as well as other writers of dark fantasy. (Fiction. 13+)