The Kinder Poison

· Sold by Penguin
14 reviews

About this ebook


Perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Holly Black, The Kinder Poison is an enthralling fantasy adventure that follows a teenage girl chosen to be the human sacrifice in a deadly game between three heirs who will do anything for the crown.

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. 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.

Now Zahru's only hope for survival hinges on the impossible: somehow figuring out how to overcome the most dangerous people in the world.
14 reviews
Tabitha Stephenson
June 21, 2020
From the very first page, I was drawn to the world built by Natalie Mae. Orkena is a beautiful, magical place, as wonderful as it is flawed and as intriguing as it is mysterious. It is no mean feat to create a fictional setting in which a book takes place, and an even meaner feat to craft a world with its own religion, culture, and sense of tradition. I would say that Mae went above and beyond when it came to making the reader feel like they were really in a strange desert land filled with danger and semi-murderous, slightly entitled royalty. The characters were equally engaging – passionate and independent Zahru, bold and brash Hen, cold and unhinged Kasta, stubborn but compassionate Jet, and wild and determined Sakira. You know characters are well written when you can’t help but feel you know them – their hopes and fears and aspirations. I loved that each character felt like they had redeeming qualities and even the villain of the story wasn’t all bad. I also really appreciated that as much as Zahru wished it was different, her powers were always consistent. I’ve found that a lot of YA fantasy novels set the main character up to be someone with lackluster powers who, through some hardship, discovers they actually have awesome powers unlike any the world has ever seen. Although there’s nothing wrong with that particular angle, I liked that in The Kinder Poison, Zahru can still be her own hero without having to come into a rare ability – it’s enough that she’s a Whisperer. The fantastic world-building, captivating characters, and overall fast pacing made The Kinder Poison a quick, fun read that kept my attention from start to finish. It’s everything a YA fantasy should be, and I simply cannot wait to read the next book in the series! *Thank you BookishFirst and Razorbill for the opportunity to read a copy in exchange for an honest review
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Danielle Hammelef
July 26, 2020
The cover and premise of this beautiful book left me with no doubt that I'd love the adventure and characters waiting for me on these pages and now, after finishing way past my bedtime last night, I need book two now. I've already marked the sequel as to-be-read long before I reached that cliff hanger of an ending that left my chin and heart on the floor of my living room. Zahru is so real and makes a fun protagonist to get to know and travel with through all her adventures. She is snarky, acts and speaks before thinking (her impulsiveness makes for exciting edge-of-seat reading time), kindhearted, smart, and loves her family and friends with such strong loyalty. The first person point of view from Zahru immeditely pulled me into this stunning and believable world and never let me go. Jet--I now have a new book boyfriend! I so love when an author can create characters that pull on my emotions like Jet. The themes of doing greater good than self, friendship, family, and learning self acceptance make this fantasy novel a well-rounded tale. The author never skimped on the depper issues or showing the emotional turmoil. She twisted the plot in surprising ways for me and that always makes me love a book even more. The world building is some of the best I've ever read and the magic seemed like it really existed and was easy to understand. I highly recommend this book for fantasy lovers and anyone who loves character-driven stories.
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July 9, 2020
The Kinder Poison follows Zahru, a sympathetic protagonist who has the power to commune with animals. As amazing as that sounds, being a Whisperer places her in the lower ends of social status—far removed from royalty. But one mistake lands her in the middle of. The Crossing, a deadly race that ends with Zahru as the human sacrifice. This story is rife with rich fantasy, vivid world building, intrigue, morally gray characters, friendship, romance, and even humor. Overall, it was a fun read that entertained on many levels, leaving me eager to read the sequel. I would definitely recommend this book to readers of fantasy who enjoy political intrigue set within a monarchy entrenched in magic.
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About the author

Natalie Mae is an ex-programmer, a dark chocolate enthusiast, and an author of young adult novels. She has also been a freelance editor and a Pitch Wars mentor, and she feels it notable to mention she once held a job where she had to feed spiders. When not writing, she can be found wandering the Colorado wilderness with her family. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @ByNatalieMae, and online at

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