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3.99  ·  Rating details ·  5,950 ratings  ·  466 reviews
A brilliant, twisted, spirited anti-fairy tale from the amazing Chris Wooding

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
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Orchard Books (first published March 21st 2003)
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Julia Not really. Stolen children is a common plot device in children's fantasy. Poison and Sarah both go on a quest to save a sibling, but the events of th…moreNot really. Stolen children is a common plot device in children's fantasy. Poison and Sarah both go on a quest to save a sibling, but the events of the story are pretty different, as is the resolution. And no David Bowie!(less)
Jailene Salas Its not creepy, i loved the plot twist. It's worth the read and no you'll be fine going to sleep. (:…moreIts not creepy, i loved the plot twist. It's worth the read and no you'll be fine going to sleep. (:(less)

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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,950 ratings  ·  466 reviews

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Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
What a strange and cool book. It starts out sounding like so many other fairy tales, with a younger sibling kidnapped by fairies. (In this book, Wooding calls them phaeries. I honestly don't think I can keep that up, so I'm not going to try.) Purely as a fairy story, it absolutely hits the mark. Wooding is drawing heavily from the concept of fairies as malevolent, and it works quite well. There's some excellently creepy imagery, particularly in the Bone Witch chapters.

About halfway through the b
Ms. B
Dec 09, 2020 rated it liked it
What if what you think your goal is turns out not be your goal? That's the premise in this story about Poison who is searching for her kidnapped sister, Azalea. Fans of fairy tales and epic quests who are looking for standalone titles will want to give this one a try. Well done, Chris Wooding. That ending was perfect! ...more
Apr 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It is midnight and I just finished this book. Let me tell you, this book absolutely blew my mind. I don't think I have read any other teen book that had a story like this. The ending was deep and the imagery was powerful. Their was no faulty flitty love story to it like most teen books, but instead a rich imagination of strong people, troubles, questions, and answers. This is definitely something that I would read again - and I don't often reread books. It had its ups and downs, along with heavy ...more
A wonderful quest novel with a female heroine who does not *GASP* have any romantic entanglements, but who does encounter several bone-chilling antagonists (it's a toss-up between the Bone Witch and the Spider Queen for Most Terrifying Character Ever Encountered by Me in a Young Adult Novel) and makes deep and lasting friendships. And for bibliophiles like me, Poison is also a book about books and stories and the importance of writing our own. I first read this 10 years ago (as an adult) and am ...more
May 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Ali by: My Lit teacher
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was a surprisingly good book. I have never read a book by Chris Wooding before, and although I had to slog through the first chapter, the book really picked up pace from that point on.

Poison lives in a swamp with her step-mother, father and baby sister. Poison is an outcast, she can never understand why the people of the swamp village put up with living the way they do, she can't understand why someone doesn't change things. When Poison's sister is stolen by the Phaeries it is the last stra
C.R. Sedore
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Chris Wooding brings a whole other earth to our subconscious. He writes a detailed world where humans are scarce and Faeries rule most of our realm. Then Chis added a place for an adventure to begin in a few different realms besides the faerie realm. This adventure fantasy had everything you needed and a fantastic twist I'm sure no one can foreshadow. There are rise and falling of action and a wild climax. The ending fits perfectly.

I found he fluffed the conversation between poison and Myrrk to
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This. Book. Was. Amazing!
I could barely put this down. What a unique concept, and how well it was carried out!
I read this book with my English class, but I finished it way ahead, because teacher's just can't read fast enough out loud.
I loved that this book was Metafiction, and I feel like I need to read more Metafiction now, because the whole idea is so WONDERFUL.
I am so excited right now that I can't even write a very good review, but I will say this:



Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy & fairy tale readers
One of those fine YA books appeal at both youth and adult levels, Poison follows the titular character on, of course, her quest. Smart, self-aware, cranky and perverse, she's Not Your Typical YA Heroine. The appropriately self-named Poison finds unlikely and unlooked-for friendships along the creepy road she sets herself to travel, is smart enough to be frightened when any marginally intelligent creature would be and remains herself as she does a bit of growing up along the way. There are no ...more
Jun 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
So not my cup of tea. The writing was not bad but it was written for an age group of I'd say 8-12. The writing is more along the lines of a classic fairy tale and not really a great one. The books was really very predictable. ...more
Dec 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book so much!!!!
Victoria Hooper
Poison, by Chris Wooding, is the story of a sixteen year old girl called Poison whose sister is stolen by phaeries. Poison, unwilling to accept her sister’s disappearance or the changeling left in her place, sets out to find the Phaerie Lord and demand her sister’s return. Poison soon finds herself pitted against weird and terrifying fairytale creatures. When she faces the mysterious figure of the Hierophant, the most powerful of the Lords, she finds herself in a fight to control her own fate, a ...more
Paula  from Reading Lark
This is high fantasy; don't pick this up if you don't like to read about other worlds, fantastical creatures and the like.
It's been a while since I've found a book that's as quotable as this one: "Some of us are born in the right place, and some of us have to go look for it."
". . .life was a precarious thing, and the only truly solid ground was that which you built yourself."
"Books are dangerous things sometimes, Poison. . .they feed your imagination."

Poison is a young girl from an isolated vill
Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is probably my favorite book ever. I did an English project on it one time and even learned a new a wonderful word. Because of my love for this book I now try to incorporate "phantasmagorical" into everything i can keeping it in context. Just about everything about this book was lovable. She was very easy to relate to, and as she journeyed(possibly because i read it so many times but) I feel as if i can sense her fear, excitement, misery, and peculiarity.

This book is phenomenal the charac
Sarah Key
Feb 26, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2008-or-before
This book wasn't predictable at all. As a matter of fact, the author told you everything in the story as he wrote. You never had to predict anything, he laid it all out for you on the pages. Uninteresting. ...more
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I absolutely adore this book. The plot is well thought out and structured, and like all of Wooding's books, the writing is substantial. I highly suggest reading it, if you like fantasy/adventure stories.
Falynn - the TyGrammarSaurus Rex
I loved this story. It starts out as a fairy tale with a contrary young girl searching for her sister who has been taken by the fairies but it turns into a paean to standing up for what you believe in and to found family, and a meta discussion of writing, creativity and even theology.

I listened to it as an audio book, which it is well suited to, and the narrator did a fantastic job of giving the characters unique voices. And it was genuinely scary in parts, especially the Scarecrow and the Bone
Karen Barber
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
A tale within a tale.
Poison has never felt like she fits in with her marshland-dwelling father and stepmother. She questions things and causes them untold trouble with her refusal to accept an easy life. When her stepsister is switched, Poison refuses to accept the fate of her family and sets out to rescue her sister from the phaerie lord.
What follows is a grim tale of a quest beset by danger, full of unusual creatures and experiences. As I read this I couldn’t help imagine Jim Henson puppets g
Sep 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Amazing! In ways that I don't have time right now to explain, but I just wanted to get it out there READ THIS BOOK.
Okay, here we go. When I started out this book, I thought "why me?" In the tiny list of books we were allowed to read for my English class, Poison was the only fantasy one there while the others were Grapes of Wrath and such that I was not yet prepared to delve into. So, I thought it would be a better choice than anything else. As I began the book I was thoroughly disappointed.

Rose  Heartfilia
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Wendy

Damn frustrations. I keep searching.
It's been a long time ago but I can remember that the events were not expected.
I loved Poison her character and the way she behaved and just the whole story.
I hope I can read it again and find someday my own book.

Update 8/10
The real review

So it must have been six or seven years ago that I read this book. I always wanted to have it and a few months
When Poison's younger sister is kidnapped by the Phaeries and a changeling left in her place, Poison sets out to find the Phaerie Lord, Aelthar, and rescue her sister, Azalea. Things aren't quite as simple as Poison might hope but she does have the help of a few friends. Loved Bram (he was so sweet), Myrrk was funny, however little he was in the book, I ended up liking Fleet, and Andersen!! He was awesome. Can I has one of him? Aelthar is tricksy cruel and has no love for humans. Poison realizes ...more
Once upon a time there was a young lady who lived in a marsh, and her name was Poison.

Once upon, fourteen-year-old Jessica was at the Scholastic Book Fair at her local school, and she was perusing for books. Her mother had even given her about ten bucks to spend on stuff, which, as anyone who's bought a book knows, isn't a whole lot for them. But, then she spotted a book that was all purply (and purple is awesome), and it caught her eye, so she picked it up and read the back, and lo behold,
Nov 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, metafiction
Woah, this is amazing! This is one of the best written, most enjoyable, most captivating, and coolest books I've ever read. It's one of those books where not only is it fun to read, it feels good to read. There's something fulfilling about reading this book.
One of my favorite parts of this book was how Wooding wrote it. He used such exquisite detail, so that I could picture it perfectly. Yet, the descriptions never got boring. My favorite part about reading this book was imagining it. I loved i
Miss Clark
Sep 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to Miss Clark by: Grace
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michaela Osiecki
Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Chris Wooding has done it again! This is the third novel of his that I've read and I adored it. His writing style borders on snarky fairy-tale narration, which is perfect for the content of his work.

As a character, I really connected with Poison. She's a lot like I was as a teen, miserable and longing for something greater. Her ragtag group of companions seemed right up my alley too - gruff but lovable Bram, cheerful Peppercorn, and of course Anderson the cat. I mean, who doesn't want a super sm
Lyndsey Sobieralski
Nov 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I've ever read and the first in awhile that is not part of a series. The main character, Poison, is headstrong, resourceful, and really fun to read about. I love her overall attitude as well. The world that this book is set in is...a little complicated but not in a bad way. The setting of the world is very...grand in an almost awe-inspiring way. The story starts a little slow but picks up really fast. All of the other main characters including Bram, Peppercorn, and ...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Dec 14, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teen fantasy fans
Shelves: fantasy, youngadult
Poison is on a mission, a mission to rescue her sister, stolen by fairies. Or faeries. Phaeries. Whatever. I loved how ornery Poison is, determined to get her sister back no matter what obstacles she is faced with - long journeys, scary witch houses, metafiction, she is more than equal to them all.
However, I'm not sure I am. The ending had me throwing the book across the room in disgust. I don't want to be ripped out of the narrative. Can someone tell me what the point is? How does this ending
Mar 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
Poison starts out as a typical "quest" tale. Poison's sister Azalea is taken by phaeries and a changeling is left in Azalea's place. Poison sets out to get her sister back. And I was bored. I'll be honest, the first 100+ pages of this book bored me. Quests are a dime a dozen in middle-grades and YA novels. I wanted something that set Poison apart from other books. And then Poison entered the realm of the Phaeries. The last 100+ pages were full of action, adventure, and intrigue, and this typical ...more
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I don't normally leave reviews, but I'd go so far as to say that this is one of the most underrated books I've ever come across. I read it when I was twelve years on old on a long car trip, and to this day it remains objectively the best young adult novel I've come across. Of course, postmodern and metatextual takes of on folklore and myth have been done to death, but Wooding did something particularly special in how he threw together a dark fantasy work centering on the myth of changelings. It ...more
Lisa Brown
May 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
A dark fantasy about a girl who takes on the name Poison to spite her stepmother. When her baby sister is taken by phaeries, she sets out on a journey to get her back, only to begin an adventure she never could have imagined. I really enjoyed this book, and although it had some very creepy parts, I loved the strong main character, as well as her growth throughout the story. It was very well written and creative, as well as clean - which is sometimes rare in YA books.
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Chris Wooding grew up in a small town in Leicestershire, where not much of anything happened. So he started to write novels. He was sixteen when he completed his first. He had an agent by eighteen. By nineteen he had signed his first book deal. When he left university he began to write full-time, and he has been doing it professionally all his adult life.

Now thirty-nine, Chris has written over twe

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