Review: The Poison Throne

Posted: November 23, 2010 by in Books We Don't Like (2/5 single_star) Meta: Celine Kiernan, Fantasy, Young Adult

To all those looking for my review of this book, I have two words for you:

talking cats


Oh, hold on, my phone’s ringing…

((beep, beep, boop, eep, eep, boop, oop))


((…ring …click))

Hey, Steve. How’s it going?


Cool. So yeah, I just finished reading that POISON THRONE (Amazon) book you guys gave me and I’m throwing a complete blank on how to write the review for it because just about nothing happened in the whole thing. I–

((wah, wah, waah?))

Yeah, really. Nothing. Well, nothing interesting anyhow.

Like walking into an expensive department store and only finding second-hand clothing. Ugh. Well, it does have a few ghosts in it and some talking cats that–


Yeah. Seriously. I didn’t even know people wrote fantasy novels with talking cats in them any more. Talk about an eighties flashback. Y-M-C-A, anyone? Village people? Yeah. Anyhow, I was wondering if you could give me some help with this one. I just don’t know what to do about it.

((wah, wah, wah-wah))

So, it’s about this fifteen year-old girl named… uh… just a sec…

((flipping pages… more flipping of pages…))

Wynter Moorhawke. Spelled with a “y”. Oh yeah. She’s been away from the King’s castle for four years with her father, studying up on how to be a carpenter. They come back to the castle and everything has changed. First off, the King has told everyone to kill all the talking cats and has forbidden anyone to talk to the leftovers. Apparently this Wynter girl was the go-to girl for all catdom before she left and so she’s all sad that none of ’em will talk to her anymore. Then there’s the ghosts, but no one’s supposed to talk to them either…

((wah, wah?))

((laugh)) Yeah, two for two. Here’s a fantasy element… please don’t talk about it. Oh, and here’s another one… but don’t mention it either. On pain of death. So, there she is with no cats and no ghosts to talk to and she meets up with this old friend, Razi, who happens to be the prince, though he really just acts like another teenager. He’s picked up this friend, Christopher, since Wynter has been gone, and this kid likes to play around with all the working-girls in the keep. So Wynter and him hit it off real well. There’s a lot of back and forth between the three of them and how they become friends. Then Wynter’s dad gets sick (yes, she calls him dad–that was odd), and Razi’s told he has to step up and be the Crown Prince now because his older half-brother decided to abdicate and raise a rebellion instead. There’s nothing about why he’s rebelling though. Then this bit comes up about something called a Bloody Chair, which Wynter’s father made when he was seventeen, and from what I can tell, this chair has some kind of fantastical powers that have been protecting the kingdom, but it’s just about impossible to figure anything out for sure because–


Bingo! They can’t freaking talk about it! Aahhh!!! ((laugh of intense frustration))

((wah, wah, wah-wah-wah))

The sword?

((looks at book cover)) No idea. She never even picks up a sword.

((wah-wah, wah))

Kind of. I mean, she has to deal with the current king being uber-paranoid and doing a bunch of unfortunate stuff, but other than that I don’t see much of a connection to a throne either.

((wah, wah-wah?))

You know that’s funny. She doesn’t sacrifice anything that I can see. Not friend. Not father. Not kingdom. Why’s that stuff on the front cover? Who knows. The story as a whole kinda seems to be converging on this Bloody Chair thing, even though it’s only briefly referenced a few times . But for a whole trilogy to be wrapped around one idea? Ugh. I guess I’m just used to more complicated stuff. Am I being too hard?


Okay, good. It’s too bad, because the author writes really well. Great flow, distinct characters, decent progress from chapter to chapter. It just doesn’t go anywhere.

To all those looking for my review of THE POISON THRONE, I have two words for you: talking cats.


Yeah. So, what do you think?

((silence)) ((wah, wah-wah, wah))

((chuckle)) Are you serious?


What, just type it up and–


All right. Later.

***Printed with permission of Elitist Overlords to the best of this reviewer’s memory***

  • Recommended Age: 14+, though there's lots better stuff out there to read
  • Language: Some, fairly frequent at places
  • Violence: Talked about, but very little directly experienced
  • Sex: Some coupling, implied in one scene and briefly overheard in another

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