Friday, April 9, 2021

The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae - HIGH

The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae
, 406 pages. Razorbill (Penguin Random House), 2020. $19. 

Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content PG-13; Violence: PG-13 



Zahru is a teenager itching to see the world outside of her small village. Fortunately for her, the ailing ruler has decreed a Crossing, a death-defying race across the desert to see which of his three heirs will rule. This is a rare event and the heirs will need a strong magical escort to help them. Even though Zahru’s magic of communicating with animals is considered weak, she manages to sneak into the palace so she can watch the festivities and sample fine food. Unfortunately for her, she ends up being selected as the human sacrifice the winning heir kills to gain the powerful magic that will win them the throne. 

 A fresh and engaging plot, Zahru’s experience is well written, combining danger and adventure. The characters all have their own issues and we get to know them better during the Crossing. Violence is not graphic or over the top. Zahru discovers the best (and worst) in people she meets. The book resolves enough to be satisfying, but leaves enough key loose ends that you will want to check out the sequel, The Cruelest Mercy sooner rather than later. 

 Michelle in the Middle 

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