Poison
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Poison

4.4 45
by Chris Wooding
     
 

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In "a novel almost unparalleled for density and invention" (Horn Book), YA phenom Chris Wooding introduces an electrifying heroine...and an unforgettable story.

Poison has always been a willful, contrary girl, prone to being argumentative and stubborn. So when her sister is snatched by the mean-spirited faeries, she seeks out the Phaerie Lord to get her back.

Overview


In "a novel almost unparalleled for density and invention" (Horn Book), YA phenom Chris Wooding introduces an electrifying heroine...and an unforgettable story.

Poison has always been a willful, contrary girl, prone to being argumentative and stubborn. So when her sister is snatched by the mean-spirited faeries, she seeks out the Phaerie Lord to get her back.
But finding him isn't easy, and the quest leads Poison into a murderous world of intrigue, danger, and deadly storytelling. With only her wits and her friends to aid her, Poison must survive the attentions of the Phaerie Lord, rescue her sister, and thwart a plot that's beyond anything she (or the reader) can imagine. . . .

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Booklist 8/05
Wooding, Chris. Poison. Sept. 2005. 288p. Scholastic/Orchard, $16.99 (0-439-75570-0).
Gr. 6–9. Although Wooding's second stand-alone youth fantasy has its share of violent deaths and other terrifying episodes, the title refers not to a deadly toxin but to its eponymous violet-eyed heroine. Quick-witted, fierce, and fed up with living in a community where residents view misfortune as inevitable, Poison fights back when her baby sister is spirited away by “phaeries.” She faces obstacles both physical and mental. In one pivotal scene, she meets her own creator, an all-powerful storyteller whose revelations prompt ruminations about self-determination and the nature of reality. Some readers won't appreciate the shift from familiar quest-story action to quiet, more metaphysical upheavals, and Poison doesn't emerge triumphant in the way that many will expect. Still, Wooding's serpentine plotting and lush, imaginative writing have something to offer to both the more mature audience of The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray (a 2004 Booklist Top Ten Fantasy for Youth) as well as slightly younger genre fans. Try this particularly on readers who enjoyed Angie Sage's Magyk (2005). –Jennifer Mattson

HB 9/05
Chris Wooding Poison
273 pp. Orchard/Scholastic 9/05 ISBN 0-439-75570-0 $16.99 g
(Middle School, High School)
Wooding's first novel, The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray (rev. 11/04), was electrifying and deeply atmospheric; his second is even more so. When the self-named Poison's little sister is stolen by a ghoulish monster called the Scarecrow, she sets out to confront the Phaerie Lord to demand her sister's return. On her way she encounters the dangerous rotting man, Lamprey; the terrifying and cannibalistic Bone Witch, who guards the entrance to the fairy realm; and other antagonists including the malevolent part-spider, part-woman Lady Asinastra and the devious Scriddle. Such charismatic and well-imagined foes might have upstaged a lesser hero, but Poison's force of character -- courageous, self-reliant to the point of loneliness, and stubborn -- keeps her in the foreground and makes her ingenious ploys seem entirely credible. A plot thread in which Poison discovers that they are all only characters in a story bogs down in metafiction for a while, but Wooding pulls out of it and redeems the conceit by the end. In a novel almost unparalleled for density and invention, each scene of danger sings with tension. Lovers of adventure, horror, and suspense should keep an eye on this talented author. ANITA L. BURKAM

SLJ 9/1/05
WOODING, Chris. Poison. 273p. Scholastic/Orchard. Sept. 2005. Tr $16.99. ISBN 0-439-75570-0. LC number unavailable.
Gr 7-10–Pale and thin, with long black hair and violet eyes, the sullen, moody girl named Poison is an appropriate heroine for this over-the-top gothic horror fantasy. The 16-year-old has never been out of the Black Marshes, one of the remote backwaters settled by humans in a Realm ruled by phaeries and inhabited by a cast of foul creatures that includes trolls, daemons, and a particularly nasty Spider Woman. When her baby sister is kidnapped and a changeling is left in her crib, Poison sets off for the Realm of Phaerie to rescue her. Her old friend and confidant, the elderly Fleet, who is acquainted with the world outside the Marshes, equips her with directions and money. But her greatest asset is her knowledge of old stories from the books in his library, for her quest leads her into adventures that seem to repeat familiar fairy tales. By the time she confronts Alethar, Lord of Phaerie, Poison has picked up an appealing cast of sidekicks who lighten the relentlessly horrific situations. As thunder and lightning crash, and rain pours down, the plot twists and turns toward an ending that may not surprise careful readers. Suffice to say that Poison is definitely the hero of her own story. Her destiny serve

Publishers Weekly
Smart and sassy Poison, the eponymous 16-year-old heroine of Wooding's (The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray) dark fantasy is told, "Some of us are born in the right place, and some of us have to go look for it." The erstwhile Foxglove (she renamed herself to spite her stepmother) does not fit among the complacently miserable people of the Black Marshes, a fetid swamp where daily existence is dicey. When her baby sister is swapped for a changeling on Soulswatch Eve, Poison is unwilling to accept fate, and heads out to find the Phaerie Lord to demand her sister's return. Like Dorothy, she picks up a retinue on her journey: a kindly merchant, a dimwitted but sunny witch's maid and the novel's most likeable character, Andersen the cat. This unhappy band narrowly escapes one scary scrape after another, including a creepy brush with very big spiders. Readers who have made note of the many allusions to the tropes and archetypes of fantasy laced throughout the narrative will be on sound footing when, late in the story, Poison literally meets her maker, a human ruler of the Realms whose power lies in the written word. The abrupt turn from the familiar quest story to a more meditative discourse on authorship, free will and destiny is awkward, but the ultimate resolution satisfies. Unlike Dorothy, Poison finds she doesn't need to go home to find a place for herself. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The author of this dark fantasy gives us such powerful descriptions of the elaborate world he has created that one might have to look back through the book to realize that it is not enhanced with actual illustrations. The Village of Gull subsists in the Black Marshes, a dank, dangerous part of the Realm where humans have been driven to seek refuge by events of the past. The people are dispirited and expend all of their energies eking out a meager, colorless existence and avoiding the various hideous pitfalls found in the Marshes itself. Despite the ugliness of daily life, Poison, the elder daughter of Hew, has found some stimulation in the books provided by Fleet ("wise mentor" of this fantasy). After reading a number of them she denounces them as "all the same," "ridiculous," and "that isn't what life is like!" Fleet challenges her thinking about the stories and asks her to rethink her position on her own village, as she has "already decided it is not worth reading past the cover." Events begin to move at a dramatic and chilling pace when Azalea, Poison's little sister, is taken by the Phaerie King. Poison, who has so named herself to agitate her stepmother, vows to go to the Land of Phaerie and secure Azalea's return. The trek that follows is filled with gruesome creatures, phaeries, talking animals, witches, and other compelling characters. Befriended by an unusual cat and a reluctant companion named Bram, Poison defies the elements in the Realm that are vying for power and control of the fate of all humans. The theme of how and why our "stories" are written is strikingly presented in this intriguing book. Readers should be prepared for a thought provoking read wrapped in all of thecomponents of a true tale of dark fantasy capable of raising the hairs on one's neck. 2005, Orchard Books/Scholastic, Ages 12 up.
—Sheilah Egan
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-Pale and thin, with long black hair and violet eyes, the sullen, moody girl named Poison is an appropriate heroine for this over-the-top gothic horror fantasy. The 16-year-old has never been out of the Black Marshes, one of the remote backwaters settled by humans in a Realm ruled by phaeries and inhabited by a cast of foul creatures that includes trolls, daemons, and a particularly nasty Spider Woman. When her baby sister is kidnapped and a changeling is left in her crib, Poison sets off for the Realm of Phaerie to rescue her. Her old friend and confidant, the elderly Fleet, who is acquainted with the world outside the Marshes, equips her with directions and money. But her greatest asset is her knowledge of old stories from the books in his library, for her quest leads her into adventures that seem to repeat familiar fairy tales. By the time she confronts Alethar, Lord of Phaerie, Poison has picked up an appealing cast of sidekicks who lighten the relentlessly horrific situations. As thunder and lightning crash, and rain pours down, the plot twists and turns toward an ending that may not surprise careful readers. Suffice to say that Poison is definitely the hero of her own story. Her destiny serves as a fitting metaphor for the self-absorbed alienation that accompanies adolescence. Poison's story should please crowds of horror fans who like their books fast-paced, darkly atmospheric, and melodramatic.-Margaret A. Chang, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In this exciting fantasy by the author of The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray (2004), the kidnapping of her sister propels a teenaged girl out of her rural village determined to bring the baby back. On the day she selected an adult name, teenaged Foxglove chose Poison to spite her stepmother-an indication of the cranky, impatient and often rude hero she is. Given the dangers she faces on her quest, her stubborn grit turns from the drawback it was at home into an asset. As she journeys, Poison attracts helpers: a middle-aged carter, a dithery housemaid and an intelligent cat. This fantasy, set in various realms-human (lowest in the pecking order), phaerie and arachnid-utilizes many fantasy and folkloric tropes in original and often amusing ways. The story moves forward at a quick pace; characterization and world-building add to the strength of the gripping plot, while an ambivalent but satisfying resolution tops off a compelling read. Sure to appeal to fans of Holly Black and Charles de Lint, as well as other writers of dark fantasy. (Fiction. 13+)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439755719
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
09/01/2006
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author


Chris Wooding began writing at the age of 16, and his first novel Crashing was published when he was 19. Since that time, he's written dozens of novels in several genres, notably the award-winning The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray; Poison; Storm Thief; the Malice series; and the graphic novel, Pandemonium.

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Poison 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book at a book fair in 9th grade because the cover (the physical book cover is different than the Nook Book cover) looked cool and interesting and I liked the color purple. I turned it over to read the back and was even more interested. So I bought it for the $8.99 or so that it was marked as forthe fair and I began to read the story. I instantly fell in love with Chris Wooding's ability to paint a vivid picture of everything around his characters just by using words and describing every detail. Not only did I fall in love with his attention to detail, I became attatched to Poison and her companions she meets on her jouney. Later at the age of 23, I decided to pick up this book and take the adventure all over again. I could read this a thousand times and still be captivated by Chris Wooding's artistry with his words.
toryasaurus More than 1 year ago
Best pharie-tale since Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen      I first bought this book as part of a variety set from my elementary school book fair in the 4th grade and when I started to read I immediately put it down, bored. In the 6th grade I found myself browsing my shelves and saw it tucked away, entirely forgotten, so I decided to give it a second chance. Best decision of my life (as far as books go). I can no longer count how many times I have re-read this marvelously underrated book. It's not particularly lengthy or challenging to read with regard to language, but the plot is so captivating and the characters so interesting/dynamic, you'll find you can't put it down once you start.       The story follows a girl named Poison who finds herself of a quest beyond what she could have ever imagined, having grown up in a small marsh-town. Her adventures are episodic in an almost Odyssian fashion in that there is no obvious or brute solution to the problems that Poison faces. Chris Wooding gives an amazing amount of depth to even minor characters. It is an incredible book.      Many of these official reviews list this as being 6th-9th grade in reading level, which I only agree with in terms of difficulty. Considering the content of the novel, it's actually quite violent and gruesome, I would recommend this book for 8th graders and older.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the best of Chris Wooding's books. I enjoyed reading every single page of it. That is not to say that his other books lack, because I believe Chris Wooding hasn't wrote a bad book yet. Poison is well worth the money. I look forward to reading it again in the near future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story is a well written hero's journey for a girl on the brink of womanhood. Self named Poison leaves her home to find her baby sister that has been stolen from her crib. She faces incredible challenges and learns that even though her fate may seem preordained that it is her willfullness and choices that determine her future. I would reccomend to preteen readers, and of course adule lovers of great children's literature!
ToadStoolxX More than 1 year ago
Thats the best I can honesty say. Wow. The ending is extremely unpredictable, the characters have good and an alive personality traits, the story telling is well done, and the plot is very pact for only one book. I guess my biggest problem is that I wish the book was made into a series then only one book because of all the story lines that take place inside this world, but for a 273 paged book, I say that he pulled it off very well. The worlds are beautifully done as a well, like I said before it makes me wish there was more books to better understand and explore them better. Highly recommend this book to read.
taquasia More than 1 year ago
This book is about a contray girl,prone to being argumentavie and stubborn so whenshe discovers that her little sister has been tajken by this phaeries. My favorite character was posion because she is a smart and powerful girl.I liked the book because it relates to life.You should read this book because maybe youbwill enjoy the book how i enjoyed it.
owlluver15 More than 1 year ago
I've read this book 3 times already and I love it each time. It starts off with her sister being taken away and goes on from there. Each chapter gets better and better. The ending is a surprise. The book has many twists and turns. I would love to see this turned into a movie or graphic novel.
XYellAtMeX More than 1 year ago
I read this thinking that it would be a story about a witch or something. This was not what I was expecting AT ALL!! But in a good way. There were so many things that i absolutely loved about this book, like the way that the characters evolve through out the story or how Chris Wooding kept throwing things at the reader, which frankly I wasn't expecting at all. Personally, I thought that Poison was a stubborn brat of a child, but if you look at her in a deeper sense for what she was going through, she was acting better than any teenage girl would. The ending was a weird thing I thought, but it was okay for the aspect of the story and how Chris Wooding writes his stories. I would recommend this to anyone who doesn't mind twists and the unusual.
Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
Poison by Chris Wooding 12-13-10 Poison is a girl who does not listen to many people and does the exact opposite of what she is told by her stepmother to do and enjoys the sweet satisfactory of her stepmother's anger and frustration towards poison. But one day the all of that changed when poison's dear sweet little sister gets kidnapped by faries. Poison has to go from the marsh village in which she lived in her whole life to a new world filled with unknown creatures and places she would only read about. She does not know what lies ahead for her but she is ready for anything just so she can get her little sister back safe and sound.
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Emu50192 More than 1 year ago
THis book is really good i read it freshmen year in high school and loved it and for the past 4 yrs i have been searching for it and finaly found it at barnes and noble. sense freshman year i have read it 10 times and could tell you the stoy by heart. this book is really good for teens who's real world isnt all that fun. this is the type of book you want to turn out all the lights but one and read. it is a fantasy horror not that much was scary but it still will hook you
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MitulPatel More than 1 year ago
Poison has always been a country girl and stubborn.Poison's mother died, and now she has to live with her step mother Snapdragon. Snapdragons very mean to Poison.On the day that poison was to give her name Poison's step mother said she is poison to the family!So then she named herself poison.Every one thinks she is a creep because her eyes are vilot. One night Poison's sister gets abducted by the phaeries(fairies). Poison is determined to get her back!but the only way to get her back is to find the Phaerie (fairy) lord! By leaving home she finds great adventures. She may not know what lies ahead of her on her quest but it may be bad. Poison makes friends with new people and they go with her. She will go through many evil creatures in the mysterious world she is in. What knocked me off the fan express for this book was the ending. Poison began to write about her adventure. I would have liked a more action type of ending. As if she fought one of the evil lords or something more exciting. I would have given this book a seven out of ten. Even though I loved this book and am eager to read another one of Chris Wooding's books.
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The_Shadow412 More than 1 year ago
my favorite book of all time. poison's sister gets stolen by the scarecrow. poison goes to the phaerie realm to get her back. poison answers riddles from lamprey, escapes from the bone witch, takes a quest from the phaerie lord, and steals a knife from the lady of cobwebs. her friends bram, peppercorn and anderson, and fleet help her. my favorite character is the cat anderson, wish i had a cat like him. the hierophant is such a cool character because they write the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am currently reading this book and so far I am completely entranced by it. Everything from the writing style to the characters to the plot is genius. Yes, it is true that the story may not be completely original, nor the characters, but who cares? Its a great translation of the cliche plot, although I wouldn't even go as far as to say it is cliche, nonetheless, great book and I will review it again once I am finished, but for now I am addicted and completely impressed with Mr. Wooding, for he has done it again.