Title: A Poison Dark and Drowning
Author: Jessica Cluess
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: Kingdom on Fire, book two
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
Jessica Cluess really impressed me last year with her series debut, A Shadow Bright and Burning. I loved the way it was billed as Jane Eyre mixed with the magic of Harry Potter, and it was one of my favorite books of 2016. So when I was browsing at my local library, the cover caught my eye when I pulled it off of the shelf, and when I realized that it was the sequel, I immediately took it home. It stayed in my stack for a while, and then I began to read it. I was so excited when I picked it up, because even though it’s been more than a year since I read it, I was thrust right back into Henrietta’s dark, glittering, dangerous world. Normally, sequels make me nervous; all too often, they get overhyped and then I end up with the bitter taste of disappointment in my mouth for days. But A Poison Dark and Drowning more than lived up to my expectations, and I can’t wait for the sequel! How am I supposed to wait until it’s published?!
Henrietta ‘Hettie’ Howell has officially been instated as a sorcerer by the Queen of England. But the war between the dark, demonic forces of The Ancient Ones has only intensified; as the body count climbs, she begins to discover a whole slew of secrets about everything she thought she knew: her superiors, the prophecy that foretold her being the chosen one, and even her heritage. But even more pressing than that, her troubling feelings for her childhood best friend, Rook, whose last encounter with the Ancient Ones have left him forever changed. As Henrietta digs deeper, she discovers that the key to winning the war may be nearby, and her fellow warriors, stoic, hard to read Blackwood, and the relentless flirt Magnus, trying to win his way back into her good graces. They will face down evil, forge new, powerful alliances, and uncover what Henrietta has been searching for all along: the truth.
This sequel was absolutely wonderful! I was a little nervous when I first started, because for a minute, I couldn’t remember what was going on; it took a little bit for my memory to catch up with the narrative. But once I remembered the last book, and the book really started going, I couldn’t put it down! The pacing was breakneck, the prose gory and gorgeous all at once, and I was absolutely spellbound. I was rooting for Henrietta throughout the book, and my heart broke for her as the violence and death kept mounting. But even more than that, the relationship between Henrietta and Rook was so sweet and tender and… Gah! Just gah! Full of romance, action, magic, dark secrets, and political intrigue, and a killer cliffhanger, I loved A Poison Dark and Drowning! Filled with characters both new and familiar, this sequel had everything I wanted, and now, I just can’t wait for the next book! One of my favorite books of 2017! The bottom line: The sequel to the runaway hit A Shadow Bright and Burning, I loved A Poison Dark and Drowning—I only wish that I didn’t have to wait for the next one! Next on deck: A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge!