The Poison Throne (Moorehawke Trilogy) by Celine Kiernan

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The Poison Throne (Moorehawke Trilogy) by Celine Kiernan

Buy The Poison Throne (Moorehawke Trilogy) by Celine Kiernan at or

Category: Teens
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Madeline Wheatley
Reviewed by Madeline Wheatley
Summary: The Poison Throne is set in a fantasy version of medieval France. The story is told through the eyes of fifteen year old Wynter Moorehawke, Protector Lady, whose excitement in returning home after some years away gradually gives way to horror at the changes in the kingdom.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 512 Date: April 2010
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 978-1841498218

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In The Poison Throne what had been a benevolent kingdom has become characterised by repression and torture (which the book graphically describes). The magical aspects of the kingdom, its talking cats and ghosts, have been suppressed, while Alberon, the heir to the throne, has vanished. Wynter, along with Alberon's half brother Razi and his friend Christopher are increasingly at risk as they attempt to deal with this situation.

The opening chapters build a strong sense of character and place. Any cat lover will delight in Wynter's traditional greeting to cats All respect to you this fine day, mouse-bane and the cat's reply All the finer for you, having seen me. I would have liked to see more of the cats. Wynter's position as former King's Cat-Keeper and experienced carpenter's apprentice helps to draw a picture of a complex, capable character. Character traits are well expressed throughout the book. Wynter thinks of newcomers to the court as the most dangerous of idiots, ambitious but ignorant which paints a wonderfully clear picture in a brief phrase. Even the violent King avoids the status of a one dimensional villain, as scenes with Wynter's father reveal his conflicted nature.

The early chapters are well paced, and plot development sufficiently full of twists to keep the reader interested. Unfortunately, I found the later chapters rather less compelling. This was due to what felt like an overload of hysterical shouting and exclamation marks, of the For Christ's sake! Take the bloody thing! variety. The wailing, weeping and protracted leave-taking somehow seemed to slow the pace and instead of increasing my sympathy for the characters made me loose it completely. Hmm, am I just too old for this emotional excess?? My sixteen year old daughter loved it!

The good news as far as my daughter was concerned was that this book is the first part of a trilogy (marketed as a cross-over young adult/fantasy title), and she is keen to read the rest of the tale. My own reaction was more mixed, but having looked at other reviews of the book I do seem to be in a minority. What do you think?

Thank you to the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If this book appeals then you might also enjoy The Way Of Shadows (Night Angel Trilogy) by Brent Weeks and Voices (Annals of the Western Shore) by Ursula K Le Guin.

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Buy The Poison Throne (Moorehawke Trilogy) by Celine Kiernan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Poison Throne (Moorehawke Trilogy) by Celine Kiernan at


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