4.3 6
by Molly Cochran

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Arthurian legend mixes with modern-day witchcraft in this haunting romance by the author of Legacy, which Publishers Weekly said “should please the legions of paranormal fans looking for a sophisticated supernatural thriller.”

Mischief abounds at the Ainsworth School, and evil is lurking. What’s more, Katy has won

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Arthurian legend mixes with modern-day witchcraft in this haunting romance by the author of Legacy, which Publishers Weekly said “should please the legions of paranormal fans looking for a sophisticated supernatural thriller.”

Mischief abounds at the Ainsworth School, and evil is lurking. What’s more, Katy has won Peter’s heart and is now claiming her place in the magical world. Though half the students at her boarding school come from witching lines, the use of magic is expressly forbidden at Ainsworth, so as to keep the witching world hidden from the blue-blooded preppies, aka Muffies, who also walk the halls.

But the Muffies have at least a notion of magic, because Katy catches them staging a made-up ritual—and then fall seriously ill. When Katy is blamed, she becomes desperate to clear her name and finds herself battling all odds to harness her growing magical powers in order to save the Muffies and dispel the Darkness once more.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Kathleen Beck
Katy and her boyfriend, Peter, having defeated the Darkness in Cochran’s Legacy (Simon & Schuster, 2011), look forward to a peaceful year at the exclusive Ainsworth School in Whitfield, Massachusetts. Most of Ainsworth’s students are “cowen,”--ordinary people--but the rest are secretly witches, descendants of the original twenty-seven families who fled neighboring Salem during the witch trials. The witch students are pledged to silence, but it is hard to conceal magical gifts. Katy’s skill is to “read” objects, discerning the stories of the people who owned them. Suddenly things in Whitfield take a frightening turn, as a wealthy relative takes an unprecedented interest in Peter, beautiful but sinister Morgan appears in town, and Morgan’s gift of a ring makes Katy’s enemies suddenly fall ill and die. What is Morgan’s connection with the legendary magician Merlin, and why is a threat to the mythical land of Avalon spilling over into Whitfield? Magical romances are in style, and Katy and Peter’s story is certainly romantic. The author seems uncertain whether this is a serious fantasy or a light tale touched with humor. Somehow the Darkness threatening Whitfield is not very compelling. The connection to King Arthur’s legend seems forced. Morgan and Katy’s struggles with neglectful fathers offer potential but are not explored in depth. Anyone hoping for Hogwarts-style school incidents will be disappointed--Ainsworth might as well be Anytown High. Nevertheless, fans of Beautiful Chaos (Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl) and similar series will enjoy this one too. Buy where Legacy has proved popular. Ages 11 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
When three cowen--nonmagical--girls at the Ainsworth School fall prey to a mysterious illness and Katy takes the blame, it's clear that evil forces have returned to Whitfield (Legacy, 2011). To clear her name, she embarks on a dangerous mission, using her powers to journey between worlds to stop them from claiming any more innocent lives. Little does she know that it will mean facing some of witchcraft's greatest legends. It's a lonely quest, as Katy's boyfriend, Peter, is wrapped up in his own family drama, her friends have written her off, and the close family of witches she came to know in the previous book is almost completely missing in action. Her isolation only worsens as the story progresses, and Katy discovers that even if her loved ones were around, her very presence might kill them. While Katy is a likable-enough heroine, the noticeable lack of meaningful interactions with other characters will frustrate readers attempting to connect to the story on an emotional level. This is especially problematic when it comes to Peter and Katy. Their professions of undying love for each other feel shallow, given they are hardly ever in the same room at the same time. Fortunately, the introduction of Arthurian legend is intriguing, and the last few chapters are real nail-biters. Whether that's enough to keep fans reading the series remains to be seen. (Paranormal romance. 13 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Life has not gotten easier for Katy Ainsworth since readers last met her in Legacy (S & S, 2011). Being a witch in a school that also includes non-adepts has its pitfalls, and Katy quickly finds herself in the midst of a controversy when four of those non-magical students fall into comas, apparently at her hands. Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg, as the real culprit turns out to be Morgan le Fay, fresh from Avalon and just as deceptive as ever. Moving back and forth between eternal Avalon and all-too-present Massachusetts, the novel takes readers on a lengthy ride through teenage angst, love, and bad parent relationships. There are so many threads woven into this plot that they sometimes get lost among the many peripheral scenes and conversations. Still, those who liked the first book will certainly enjoy this one, and fans of Arthurian legend will appreciate this alternative view of the infamous Morgan le Fay.—Sara Saxton, Tuzzy Consortium Library, Barrow, AK

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Product Details

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publication date:
Legacy Series
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 8.42(h) x 1.22(d)
690L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt


I probably went to the only school in the country with a rule against practicing witchcraft.

That wasn’t really as crazy as it sounded. The Massachusetts town where I lived was sort of known for its rumored history of magical residents. Some said it was even more haunted by witches than Salem, our famous neighbor. The story went that while the Pilgrims in Salem were burning innocent women at the stake, the real witches went to Whitfield and vanished into a fog.

Of course, that wasn’t entirely true. Nobody had actually been burned at the stake in Salem. Oh, there had been plenty of murders, jailings, and torture of women who hadn’t done much more than piss off their neighbors. Lots of widows had their property stolen, and one guy got crushed to death. But the burnings were pretty much left to the Europeans. The part of the story that was true was the part about the real witches going to Whitfield.

I knew because I was the descendant of one of those witches.

A lot of us were, although we kept quiet about it. That was because even there, in the town where at least half the population were witches, we had to live among cowen, aka non-magical people. Actually, we thought of ourselves as talented—we could all do different things—rather than magical. But that wouldn’t have mattered to cowen. They had a nice tradition of destroying anything they couldn’t understand. Look at Salem.

At school there were two kinds of students, the Muffies and the witches. Muffies were the kinds of girls you’d find at every boarding school in the Northeast: fashionable, promiscuous, and clueless. Okay, that wasn’t fair. There were plenty of cowen kids at Ainsworth School who weren’t Muffies. Half of them weren’t even girls. But those non-Muffies generally left us alone. It was the Muffies who were always making life difficult.

They sneered at us. They called us names. (Yeah, these were the same people who were legally named Bitsy, Binky, and Buffy.) “Geek” was probably the most popular name for us, since it was pretty much true, at least from their point of view. We generally didn’t have problems with drugs, alcoholism, reckless driving, kleptomania, credit card debt, or STDs. To be fair, we did sometimes have issues with ghosts, apparitions, disappearing, transmogrification, rainmaking, telepathy, demon rampages, telekinesis, and raising the dead. And maybe a few other things.

Hence the injunction against performing witchcraft at Ainsworth. This rule had been in place ever since my ancestor Serenity Ainsworth had founded the school. (I liked to think that one of her pupils had given some Puritan Muffy a pig nose in a catfight.)

The Muffies didn’t know about this rule. They didn’t know that Whitfield was the biggest and oldest community of witches in the United States, or that the geeks at Ainsworth School could summon enough power to make a hydrogen bomb seem like a fart in a bathtub if we wanted to. They thought that Whitfield was an ordinary place and that Ainsworth was an ordinary school.

Or did they?

I’d often wondered if they knew. . . . I mean, how could they not know? On every major witch holiday the Meadow—that was a big field in the middle of Old Town—filled up with fog so dense that you couldn’t see through it. It was the same fog that saved the witches from being grabbed by the Puritans back in the day. When the fog appeared, the witches all tumbled into it like lemmings, but cowen couldn’t—physically couldn’t—enter. And that was only one of the weird shenanigans that went on there. Even the dumbest Muffies must have had an inkling once in a while that Whitfield, Massachusetts, was a little different from wherever they called home.

At least that was my theory about how the whole mess started. With a jealous Muffy.

And an idiot who should have known better than to forget the no-witchcraft rule, since it was her relative who’d made it in the first place.

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Meet the Author

Molly Cochran is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-five books, including Legacy, Poison, and Seduction. Her first novel, Grandmaster with Warren Murphy, was a New York Times bestseller and Edgar Award Winner. She also authored the international bestseller The Forever King with Warren Murphy. She lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

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Poison 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
MyUrbanFantasies More than 1 year ago
(myurbanfantasies.blogspot) There were a few things I was worried about before reading Poison. Thankfully my fears were unfounded. The whole boarding school with magical students has become a little cliché. I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the book takes place outside the school. I was also worried about the Darkness coming back. I was afraid that there were going to be harbingers again and blah, blah, blah. That doesn't happen. My biggest fear was the Arthurian influence. The story of King Arthur has been told so many times that I was worried it would overpower the story. What Molly Cochran wrote is simply amazing. This is not the same overused reference to King Arthur and the Round Table. Cochran approaches King Arthur's story from a completely different angle. The genius of her writing though is that she takes all that Arthurian influence and subtly layers it into the Legacy world. Cochran makes it fit beautifully and the Arthurian influence ends up enhancing Poison instead of taking away from it. Poison takes place a couple of months after Legacy. Katy and Peter are still together. They do not get to spend as much time together as either one would like. This strains their relationship a little and does not bode well for Katy's abandonment issues. I was happy to see that Katy is now friends with Becca Fowler, especially after what happened in Legacy. I've completely given up on Katy and her dad's relationship. I'm sure somewhere inside him he loves Katy, but his behavior in Poison was ridiculous. The man needs to grow a pair and be smacked upside the head. Seriously. What kind of man lets anyone convince him that a steak and a piece of ass is more important than helping his daughter? It's called priorities. Rescuing your daughter is always on top moron. I did not like Hattie as much in Poison. The woman was all kinds of mean towards Katy. And, do not even get me started on Verity. I did not think it was possible to like her even less than I did before. Surprise. I was wrong, again. How Verity does not understand such a simple concept as loyalty is beyond me. I have no idea why Katy remains friends with her. Katy is such a strong character is Poison. She goes through a multitude of trials. It must have been horrible to feel that completely alone. As a result of these trials Katy goes through an amazing transformation, and I'm not just talking about her powers. She starts out looking at the world through teenage goggles. It's about how everything affects her. As the book continues Katy's outlook slowly shifts. The goggles slowly come off and she sees the world from a completely different view. Example: At first she is upset with Peter because he is spending so much time with his uncle. From the goggle point of view the only thing Katy sees is the time Peter is spending with him, is time he could be spending with her. Over time she realizes that Peter needs the job with his uncle to get into Harvard. He needs a career where he can take care of Eric if something happens to Hattie. Katy realizes that just because they love each other, does not mean they need to spend every waking moment together. It was an amazing journey to watch. My absolute favorite part of Poison is the end. For obvious reasons I cannot tell you why, but we're talking about crocodile tears here people. I am impatiently waiting for the next book in the series.
StephWard More than 1 year ago
'Poison' is the second book in a thrilling and fun young adult paranormal series that continues to follow leading lady Katy Ainsworth as her magical abilities cause more problems at her boarding school in Whitfield, Massachusetts. Things become much more complicated when the Muffies - mean preppie girls who aren't witches - are targeted by advanced witchcraft at school. Katy keeps getting caught in the crosshairs and becomes determined to find out who is really behind the dark doings at the school in order to clear her name. She finds more than just mean girls playing pranks though, and must face off against the Darkness once again. This is a wonderful second installment in a highly entertaining and exciting YA paranormal series. Katy is a great main character for the series. She's smart, a talented witch, devoted to her family and friends - but she also has a mischievous side that often gets her and her big mouth into trouble. Katy's character grows again throughout the book as she has to mature further in order to defeat the Darkness once again. The use of slang and fun dialogue throughout the book created an atmosphere that was easy to lose myself in. The plot wasn't entirely unique, but was full of adventure, thrills, and even some romance. The romance wasn't a huge part of the story, so I didn't feel like it overshadowed the main storyline of the book (which I liked). The writing was a great example of how talented the author was. I found myself easily identifying with the characters and I could imagine being inside the school alongside the characters. This is a book and a series that fans of witches and YA fantasy/paranormal fiction should definitely not miss out on! I'm already eagerly awaiting the next installment to see what Katy and her friends will get tangled up in. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Perdita9 More than 1 year ago
Witches at a boarding school -- Gee, where have I seen that before? Unfortunately Cochran does nothing new with the material. Katy is a powerful witch but receives no training or mentoring from a town teeming with witches. In fact, she's so socially isolated, she can't even turn to an adult or a friend for help when Morgan LeFay comes to town. This book isn't bad, but there's nothing original in it and the story is very derivative of Cochran's other work.
Haddy More than 1 year ago
Loving this series! Highly recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is AWESOME
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An amazing read!!!