Goodreads: Poison’s Kiss
Series: Poison’s Kiss #1
Source: For Review
Published: January 10, 2017
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 was intrigued by the concept of Poison’s Kiss, the idea that a girl could be an assassin who kills with a single brush of her lips. Admittedly, I wasn’t expecting a hardcore assassin or an epic story, but rather one that incorporated some minor assassinating with lot of romance, and that’s pretty much what I got. I think it’s a stretch to compare this to bestselling books like those of Sarah J. Maas (though the publisher goes for the comparison with gusto), but it’s a solid YA fantasy and a fun read.
The plot follows Marinda as she begins to question her role as a royal assassin–only after she’s instructed to kill a boy she likes, of course. This seems like a pretty cliche YA move, but I think it’s a nice point in that it shows Marinda questions the motives of her employer when she knows the victim and cannot imagine someone so seemingly good is deserving of murder.
Frankly, the love is instalove. I think both characters have really compelling qualities on their own, but their romance could have a lot more build up. They go from thinking “Oh, he seems like a nice guy/girl” to head-over-heels in love so quickly that I didn’t feel invested in the romance at all. The relationships between Marinda and her brother and Marinda and her friend/coworker are much more complex. In fact, Marinda’s relationship with literally everyone else she knows in the book is more convincing and realistic.
The plot in general is well-paced and exciting. It took a couple of turns I genuinely did not see coming, which I always appreciate in a novel. I also thought the end sets up the story perfectly for a sequel. Readers get enough closure from book one to feel as though they’ve read a full story, not the first third of one, but the action leads readers right into expecting epic things from book two.
Poison’s Kiss isn’t necessarily my favorite read of 2017, but it’s entertaining, and I like the Indian-inspired setting.