Author: Bridget Zinn.
Published: March 12th 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend. But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart.. misses. Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her? Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.
This book is all about Kyra, potions master and best friend of princess Ariana, until she tries to murder her. After her failed attempt, Kyra flees and asks help from a criminal. That is how she gets a pet: a little pig. Ariana has disappeared and Kira is trying to find her to finish her job. On her way, she meets Fred and she can’t seem to get rid of him.
This book is great, because it has so many strong points. The first thing is the easy writing-style. The sentences flow and everything breathes the magical feeling of a fairytale. There is a nice pacing and a very interesting plot. This isn’t just a shallow story. We are thrown into Kyra’s life and piece by piece, we unravel her decision to kill her best friend. I loved the mystery and all the twist. When I finally had the feeling I knew everything, Zinn took another turn. She managed to surprise me with her clever ways to make it exciting and thrilling.
And what about the cast! Kyra is brave and incredibly easy to connect with. She is intelligent and I love her way of fighting: the use of her self-created poisons. She tries to be strong, but we get glimpses of her soft side. It was fun to see her change around Fred. What I liked is that there is more to her than you would expect – it all becomes very clear at the end. FRED! This boy captured my heart from the beginning. His humor and charming behavior make him totally swoon worthy. It’s not strange that Kyra slowly starts to fall for him (+ add his attractive appearance. I do love the fact that she described him as “pretty, but not in a perfect way”) There is also Ariana, who has a great sense of humor as well. She seems like the perfect friend and she is a lot of spunk for a princess. And I can’t complete this review without mentioning Rosie, the little pig. She is adorable!
Another thing that definitely adds bonus points is the fact that there is no insta-love. Kyra and Fred spend some time together and yes, they are attracted to each other, but they never speak of “love” instead they talk about “liking each other”. Awesome! They are so cute together.
What makes me sad is the fact that the author died of cancer in May 2011. She’ll never be able to see her success and we'll never get to meet Kyra, Fred and Rosie again.