While Bridget Zinn's fast-paced fantasy Poison (Hyperion/Disney, 2013) should technically be shelved as a young adult book, it makes a fine read for the mature middle-grade set. It tells the story of Kyra, a Master Potioner who has seen a vision that the kingdom is about to be destroyed. The only way to prevent it is to kill the ruler who will ascend to the throne. But there's a hitch in Kyra's plans, since the soon-to-reign princess is Kyra's best friend – or rather, her former best friend.
Armed with her bag of potions and an adorable little pig with tracking skills for a sidekick, Kyra ventures across the kingdom in search of the princess. Amid some fun plot twists and a good dose of humor, she meets a handsome traveler along the way. But the adventure tale of brave and resourceful Kyra takes precedence over the love story. It's a delightful read.
Bridget was working as a librarian in 2007 when she began writing Poison. According to her website, she loved books that featured "strong young women with aspirations." And she set out to tell a story "with pockets of warmth and happiness and hoped that her readers' copies would show the watermarks of many bath time reads."
Bridget passed away in 2011, while Poison was still in production.
With its recent publication, Bridget accomplished what she set out to do – creating the joyful yet thrilling book that she wanted to read. It has met with good reviews: even the tough-to-please Kirkus pronounced it "a refreshing antidote to a genre overflowing with grit and gloom."
Publisher's Weekly, in a review by her literary agent Michael Stearns, called it ". . . a romping, fairy-tale quest with more than one twist up its sleeve. The story is vivid, headlong, and occasionally tongue in cheek, and the narrative’s dark moments never get too scary because everything else is so much fun."
Pick up a copy of Bridget's book and see for yourself.