Poison's Kiss by Breeana Shields

Poison's Kiss by Breeana Shields

Poison's Kiss by Breeana Shields
Series: The Serpent's Promise
On Sale Date: January 10, 2017
Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy
Random House Books for Young Readers
304 pages
Source: Publisher
My Rating: 4 Stars

A teenage assassin kills with a single kiss until she is ordered to kill the one boy she loves. This commercial YA fantasy is romantic and addictive—like a poison kiss—and will thrill fans of Sarah J. Maas and Victoria Aveyard.

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.

What if a single kiss could kill? Poison's Kiss by Breeana Shields is about a teenage girl assassin, a “poison maiden” who can kill with just a kiss.  

Poison’s Kiss takes place in the fictional fantasy world of Sundari which is inspired by India’s rich culture and stories. In particular, the legends surrounding The Visha Kanya “poison girl” and the Nagaraja, a figure commonly appearing in Indian religions and is known as the “King of Serpents.”

I was immediately fascinated with how Shields took these two elements (serpents and maiden assassins) and shaped them into something new - creating the world for Marinda’s story to unfold.

The story reads easily, in fact as the chapters went by, I found myself flipping faster as danger and twists increased with each page. Not everything is as it seems and a few nice twists made for entertaining and sometimes surprising read. I do wish the book was a bit longer because I think the world building had some really great facets that could have been expanded upon.

As a protagonist, Miranda is easy to like and sympathize with. Using flashbacks, readers witness her terrible upbringing in order become a poison maiden. Her conflicting emotions over her abilities and her deep love for her brother are easily felt. I loved seeing her fierce devotion to Mani and her eventual uncovering of the dangerous twists surrounding her abilities. At times I wished she was a bit more self-aware, yet it did not take away from me admiring her determination.

A Poison’s Kiss does have a touch of romance and it was just enough to keep my romantic heart happy. It’s not really a forbidden romance other than you can’t help but wonder how in the world can a girl, one with a poisoned kiss, ever hope to have romance which made it all that much sweeter and heartfelt.

Snakes, poisons, warring gods, espionage, and romance make for an entertaining read while an inspired Indian setting and lore gives readers a unique fantasy world to escape to.

Recommended to readers who enjoy quick-paced reads, light fantasy and unique settings. For fans of Reawakened by Colleen Houck or Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George.