The Queen’s Poisoner
by Jeff Wheeler
I got this book through my Amazon Prime membership. It was one of this month’s freebies, and it looked interesting, so I picked it up. Honestly, I have had very poor success with those free books, so my expectations weren’t high, but I found myself liking it enough that I’ll keep my eye on the series.
The book started out slow, but it was intriguing, so I kept at it and before I knew it, I was completely engrossed. The story begins with a noble betraying his king, but for good reasons. The cruel king needed to be deposed, and abandoning him in battle seemed like a good time to do it. Unfortunately for the noble, the attempt on the king’s life was unsuccessful, and one of the noble’s sons was executed and another was demanded as a hostage.
It is this second son, Owen, that we follow throughout the book. Jeff does a good job describing the world through an eight-year-old child’s eyes…especially a child who was torn from his family and thrust into an unfamiliar world. At his new home, Owen makes a number of friends who all desire to see him stay alive. But it wasn’t until the arrival of another child that he breaks free from his timid shell. His friendship with Evie gives him the courage he needs to enact a plan to make himself valuable to the king. But the plan doesn’t go quite as plan as their clever ruse becomes more real than they had dreamed.
All in all, the book was quite enjoyable. The myriad of characters were unique, each having their own tone, which I take to be an indicator of a good author. The magic system is different from anything else I’ve read, which adds to the allure. And partly because it was influenced by real events, there was a good sense of realism to the book. All that being said, it fell in the middle of my ratings. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t fantastic either. I might read the rest of the series as it comes out, as I’m intrigued to know what happens (the next book is to take place 7 years later).
( ) definitely won’t read again
(x) might read again
( ) definitely would read again
( ) wouldn’t recommend
(x) might recommend
( ) definitely would recommend