Author: Breeana Shields
Series: Poison's Kiss #1
Publication: January 10th 2017 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC sent by the publisher
Genre: Young Adult, Indian Mythology, High-Fantasy
Marinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It's a miserable life, but being a visha kanya—a poison maiden—is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon.
Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she's really working for. And that is a thread that, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose.
This rich, surprising, and accessible debut is based in Indian folklore and delivers a story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
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Where do I start with Poison's Kiss? This took me by surprise. I didn't know what I'm getting myself into but I loved every single element in this novel.
Marinda is trained to be an assassin. Her body is full of snake's venom that she can kill by just a kiss. When the Raja ordered her to kill a very important person, she didn't do it for she knows this person, this person helped her sick younger brother Mani. She had brief encounters with this person and she finds him kind. Marinda is unable to kiss someone she's starting to like. Ironic as it is, Deven is such a good person Marinda don't understand what he did wrong to deserve death by a visha kanya. This is where she finds out what makes her brother so ill. This is also when she learns the truth behind the group she serves.
Here's my bulleted thoughts on this amazing story:
- Marinda and Mani I adored how vulnerable Marinda from the beginning. Vulnerable in a way that she's doubting her beliefs. She's obviously raised to become an assassin but she's at war between what she's trained to fight for and what feels right to her. I loved that she allowed herself to be subjected by emotions at the right circumstances. Her character's growth is gradual and nothing felt forced. The relationship of Marinda and Mani is also one aspect of the book that I loved so much. The bond is so realitically emotional. They give each other strength and they ground each other. Like, I wouldn't know what I' do if something bad happens to my brother so I can totally connect to Marinda. I'd do whatever it takes just to give my brother a comfortable like. And Mani is a kid you can easily love.
- Deven Deven is book boyfriend worthy. He isn't afraid to express how he truly feels. I liked that he gets angry (unlike other characters I've read in other books). He can easily forgive but you have to be worth it. The way he also cared for Marinda and Mani is something that truly melts the heart. His character is so uplifting and positive that you won't regret rooting for the guy.
- Iyla She's my second favorite character after Lila from ADSOM because her strength and bravery are admirable. After all that she's gone through and the suffering she had to endure, she really has the heart of a true warrior. Girl power to the mightiest level.
- Visha Kanya This is such a rich Indian Folklore I can't get enough of! Poison maiden? IM IN. India is one of the many countries with such rich culture. Posion's Kiss is just the tip of the iceberg and I want more. More. More.
- Snakes Snakes aren't my favorite thing in the world and I don't think I will ever like them. This is me to snakes like how other people are to spiders. I cannot. I cringe whenever I look at the cover. But there's always an exception to the rule. This time, it's Poison's Kiss. It is so good that I forget there's actually a snake at the front cover.
- Author's voice
I can sense the kindness of the author from the voices she used in this novel. That made me love it even more.
All I can say is it's your typical good versus bad (Naga versus Garuda) plot but with the *twisted* twist! The manipulation is UGH-MAZING! It's just mind-blowing!
I don't know about you guys but I literally cannot put this book down! The story is just so damn good you get sucked right in! With a pacing as perfect as this, you can't blame me if I demand for the sequel right away.
Also, I am linking Mishma's review of Poison's Kiss! Her review has an in depth views in the mythologies mentioned in the book!
Breenana Shield's debut novel is an outstanding piece I cannot recommend enough! It is unbelievably scary and dark but mystical and unique. Poison's Kiss is easily one of my favorite reads of 2017!
Thank you so so much, Penguin Random House for the ARC!
"“I didn’t know kissing could be like this–like creating instead of destroying, like beginnings and not endings. Like melting. Like love.”"