Rating: 4.5 Stars
This is an excellent debut novel. The premise of the plot is that three siblings have to battle across the desert in a deadly race to win the title of heir. At the end of this race, they must make a human sacrifice – and on the other side of this, Zahru is our protagonist who just wants to see the palace and then this goes wildly wrong and she accidentally becomes this sacrifice!
The writing was very easy to read and I was immediately gripped from the first page. I liked the style of writing as it made the story fun and real but also an easy light read. It had great imagery and descriptions which made the story very vivid and immersive and I enjoyed learning about the world and the characters.
I loved the concept of the race and the sibling contest. Getting introduced to each sibling was wonderful and they were all so unique. We got an insight into each of their pasts and we got to see that they all experienced something different and this has made them into who they are today. I liked them all – even when I know I wasn’t supposed to love them – and enjoyed reading about each of them! I loved the setting of the desert and it was wonderful getting to know all the characters. The sibling rivalry was constantly entertaining, and I loved all the switching and adjusting during their journey’s and by the end, I loved them all and the dynamic each of them brought. I can’t wait to see where the story takes them in the next book.
Zahru was our protagonist that has some seriously unfortunate luck. After several accidental missteps, she ends up as the sacrifice for the contest. I loved having Zahru as our main character because she is the epitome of a “normal” person, in the sense that she has no special powers, she’s not trained in combat or in any way “special”. She’s just a stable hand with below-average magic who dreams of having an adventure like those in the tales she’s heard. I loved that this was our mc as it reminds us that you don’t have to be special to have amazing adventures. And yet, despite her pretty normal upbringing, she turns out to be incredibly brave and empathetic and the perfect person to reach out to the siblings.
The magic system was fun, though not ground-breaking or completely new, it was entertaining reading each character use and manipulate their abilities, as well as seeing the judgment surrounding ‘lower/ lesser’ abilities.
Overall, this story encompasses sibling rivalry, friendships, danger, magic, and romance, all wrapped up in one extremely entertaining race. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, entertaining easy YA fantasy! I am already dying for the next book.
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.
Title: The Kinder Poison
Series: The Kinder Poison #1
Author: Natalie Mae
Date Published: June 16th 2020
Genre: YA Fantasy