Standalone. Hyperion (March 2013) Own
Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.
But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.
Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?
What I wanted from this book was a no holds barred, kick-ass potion wielding heroine who would take me on a journey unlike any other I've read before and that is exactly what I got. Kyra is a strong character who faces a choice between her home and her best friend. She chose her home and all the people who live in it and tried but failed to kill her best friend who happens to be the princess. Only one thing drives her now - to complete her mission and save the kingdom but what happens when a handsome young traveler named Fred and a small and lovable pig start inching their way into her heart? Will Kyra be able to save the kingdom or is it destined to be destroyed?
You've got a poison maker, a charming companion, and two animals that fall for each other. All are a recipe for a great fantasy, adventure read. Kyra was exactly who I wanted and more out of a protagonist. She had resolve and heart. The "flashbacks" to her childhood with her best friend Ariana really gave me a sense of the impact and seriousness of what she attempted to do and what she still plans to do. You get to know her well and know who Kyra is as a person. But, when I thought I knew her I got a big shock in the end so there's a little room for twists in this story. Her friendship with Fred could be pretty funny sometimes because Fred was such a charmer but without going to the dark side of being an overly confident jerk. No, that's reserved for her ex who was a potionist just like her. Fred was the complete opposite of him. He basically had no faults. I would have preferred not so many references about how handsome he was made by Kyra but if I were standing next to a hot guy I may be repeating those words in my head too.
I really liked that Kyra was a fully developed character and I got to know about her so well. I love that she makes poisons and that she keeps them in needles and throws them at people. Don't worry it's to put people after her to sleep but, she does have access to other deadlier poisons as well. So the poison making was amazing and I'm happy that it was mentioned so much because who wouldn't want to read about poisons or potions being made? I also really liked that we got to see Kyra let people in. Well, one person and one adorable pig. I didn't get the mention of a pig in the summary, on the cover, and in other reviews. What is the reason for the pig I wondered? She actually makes perfect sense once you get into the story thank goodness because I was so worried about this pig ruining everything. I don't know why I just imagined it being introduced in a not so well thought out way.
Towards the end or when around more than half the book had gone by the story seemed a bit rushed in some places. I would have liked a bit slower pace and not such a nicely presented wrap up. Although, I feel like this book was meant to be a series. I found out while reading the authors bio when I was later into the story that Zinn passed away in 2011 (later found out it was because of colon cancer) which is so sad because she made such a great story and characters and of course because of the family that were left behind. Poison had fully developed, strong, and likable characters with a great adventure to boot. If you are a fantasy book lover or you like the idea of a kick ass heroine I would give this one a try.