The Kinder Poison has all the right ingredients for a teen fantasy. Some reads are just meant to be. From the time I read the summary on the back cover I knew that The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae was going to be phenomenal. It was like eyeing a cake in a bakery. It had all the ingredients that I love:
-a struggle for power – check
-a rich mythology – check
– an adventure into the unknown -check
And the icing on this fantasy cake was that the story centered on a strong female lead character. I immediately dropped everything else I was reading and devoured every page of this book from start to finish.
The people of Orkena are blessed by the gods. They possess magic that makes them more than just human. The kind of magic a person develops dictates their social standing. The higher magics like soundbenders and firespinners sit at the top of elite class. Zahru, however, is only a whisperer. She can hear the thoughts of animals. This low magic means she serves in the royal stables, never to rise above her station.
As fate would have it, the opportunity arises for her to glimpse at what life is like inside the royal palace. She sneaks inside during a banquet that marks the beginning of the “Crossing” – a brutal competition between the heirs to the throne. The three children of the King must prove their worthiness which starts with a race through the unforgiving desert and ends with a human sacrifice. Zahru becomes entangled in the struggle between the heirs and is unwillingly marked as the sacrifice.
The driving force for this story is the character of Zahru. She is an ordinary girl with a good heart who gets thrown into an extraordinary situation. She has always believed that she is unworthy of a higher destiny because she’s only a whisperer. However, her ability to always see the good in others becomes her most valuable asset as she navigates between the battling heirs. She proves that kindness can be greater than any magic.
Like any great fantasy novel, the ending of the story opens the door for a sequel. The events of the Crossing will have consequences that ripple throughout the kingdom of Orkena. There is no doubt that The Kinder Poison is just the start of what will likely be an epic series of novels. I have my eyes set on the next installment which is set to be released sometime in 2021.
— Lesley L.