Author: Celine Kiernan
Title: The Poison Throne
‘Young Wynter Moorehawke returns to court with her dying father. But her old home is cloaked in fear.’
It took me ages to realise that this was part of a trilogy. I was most of the way through, fully gripped when I realised that there was no way the story could come to its completion in the few pages that were left. I was right.
Wynter Moorehawke has a long, long road ahead of her by the end of this book, but don’t let it stop you.
A world not unlike our own, but with enough of a fantasy element to keep the book suitably escapist. The cats speak, ghosts are known and often welcomed and society is crumbling under the shaky rule of once kind, generous and noble King Jonathan.
One of his sons is missing, the other must take the throne. Whether he wants to or not.
The relationships between these primary characters are introduced in a highly satisfying dribble that forces you to keep turning the pages to find out more. Wynter’s father; strong, witty and wilful declines in a way that tugs on the heartstrings, if only because you feel the same fear he does. Has he given his young daughter enough training to deal with the troubles ahead? Will she be strong enough? Are her friends true enough?
I only picked up this book because I liked the name of the author, but the writing style, plot and feel of the piece is certainly going to send me hunting for the other two books of this trilogy.
Wynter, unlike some young female protagonists is strong enough and smart enough in her own right. She has a stubborn streak that lifts of the page, and manifests in her dedication to her father and best friend. And growing feelings for the third of the group.
I plan to following this trilogy for the characters. Yes, the kingdom is slowly falling to ruin and this war machine that has caused so much terror is obviously important, but I’m far less interested in them that what is going to happen to the people. That is where this book wins out for me; because I’ve really connected to the characters. Its their stories I want to hear and if, by chance, it takes me through the rest of the plot, then I’m willing to follow along with it.
I can’t remember the last time that happened with a book; more concern with the characters than the plot, but this, to me, is a perfect example of how a book should be written. Characters is charge of the plot, not the other way around.