Review: Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields

Posted January 12, 2017 by Lillian in Reviews / 9 Comments

I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Review: Poison’s Kiss by Breeana ShieldsPoison's Kiss by Breeana Shields
Series: Poison's Kiss #1
Published by Random House on 2017-01-10
Length: 304 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2017, 2017 New Release Challenge, COYER Blackout

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.

I am so in love with this book!!! Poison’s Kiss by debut author Breeana Shields has topped my list of favorite books. I know 2017 just started BUT this may wind up being my favorite read of the year. The author does a marvelous job of combining Indian mythology with her own brand of fantasy. It is done SO well that I found myself looking up the original mythology just because I wasn’t ready to let this world go.

The book follows Marinda, a young woman with a deadly kiss. She is a visha kanya or poison maiden. As a child she was slowly introduced to poisons until she herself became toxic to others. Now she is an assassin for the Raja or at least that is what her handler would have her believe. Marinda has one purpose, kill those that oppose the Raja. She is a lethal assassin, one that can easily slip in and with one kiss kill those that she is assigned to. The problem is she has a conscience which makes her character easy to empathize with.

Marinda isn’t just a poison maiden. She has dreams and wants that feel hopeless to her. If one kiss from her is deadly, how can she have love? Her own brother is dying and in the back of her mind she always questions if it is her proximity to him. Let’s also not forget the guilt she carries for all the people she has killed. It’s really an awful existence. She’s naive to the world around her, only knowing what her handler deemed she know. Her one reprieve is a bookshop she apprentices at a few days a week. But even that becomes a nightmare when her next target becomes a boy she knows.

My breath feels lodged in my throat, because I want to shake him off and at the same time I never want him to stop touching me. No one ever touches me. Not like this, all affectionate and casual and unafraid. 

Deven is a kind young man, too kind in Marinda’s eyes. He barely knows her yet he shows her kindness by caring for her brother, offering comfort. It is easy to see why Marinda likes the boy, it is even easier to understand why she pushes him away. As the blurb mentions he is her target, I don’t feel like I’m spoiling too much 😉 Marinda cares for him, and for the first time she questions her handler. She makes a choice to save Deven and that choice turns her world upside and sets the plot in motion.

Overall I really enjoyed this fast-paced read. The author’s blend of fantasy and mythology creates a beautiful, realistic and haunting world for Marinda. And Deven *swoon* His kindness alone is enough to make the reader root for him which is why it is easy to forgive the insta-love typical of YA books. If you’re a fan of fast-paced adventures, fantasy and of course a mix of romance, I highly recommend you grab a copy.

About Breeana Shields

Breeana Shields is the author of the recently released young adult fantasy, POISION'S KISS (Random House BFYR) and its forthcoming sequel, POISON'S CAGE (Random House BFYR, Spring 2018).

When she’s not writing, Breeana loves reading, playing board games and spending time with her husband, three children and an extremely spoiled miniature poodle. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where it drizzles, rains or pours nine months of the year, but then transforms into paradise during the other three. She’s willing to make the trade-off.

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