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Poison's Kiss

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A teenage assassin kills with a single kiss until she is ordered to kill the one boy she loves..

Marinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It's a miserable life, but being a visha kanya, a poison maiden, is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon.

Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she's really working for. And that is a thread that, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose.

304 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 10, 2017

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About the author

Breeana Shields

5 books416 followers
Breeana Shields is an award-winning author of fantasy novels for teens including THE SPLENDOR, THE BONE CHARMER, and POISON'S KISS.

When she’s not writing, Breeana loves reading, traveling, and playing board games with her extremely competitive family. She lives near Washington D.C. with her husband, her three children, and two adorable, but spoiled dogs.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 482 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,460 reviews9,615 followers
March 27, 2017
MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

I loved this book. ❤


It won't happen right away. The poison will take some time to absorb into his skin where my lips brushed against his, to find its way into his blood-stream. To destroy him.

In one hour, his skin will heat. I can picture him taking off his black jacket, tugging at his yellow shirt, fanning himself with a newspaper. In two hours his nose will begin to run and his stomach will roil. In three hours his chest will tighten, his pupils will constrict, he will feel like he is being squeezed in the jaws of a giant snake. He won't be entirely wrong. In four hours he will have lost control of most of his bodily functions. H will drool. He will soil himself. He will lose his dignity. In five hours he will stop breathing.

I hope whatever he did to deserve this fate was truly horrible. Because in six hours my guilt will be almost too much to bear.

Marinda is not a bad person. She thinks she is doing good in the world by assassinating evil people. She is a visha kanya, a poison maiden who kills only with her kiss. Her handler is an evil man named Gopal who turned her into this at a young age, it actually took 10 years but I won't tell you what all was done to her.

Marinda has a little brother named Mani and she will do anything to protect him. If she doesn't do everything Gopal says, he may hurt Mani. There are some other characters that help with these plans but I didn't really care for them.

Marinda works part-time in a bookstore <-- yay, even though she doesn't have to, but she wants a somewhat normal life. This is where she means the sweet love interest, Deven. They are finding a friendship and he's great with Mani. Until the day comes when she is asked to kill him.

Yeah, noooo. Marinda realizes something isn't right because they only kill evil people and Deven isn't evil. We then enter the quest of revelation after revelation. Lies and deception and the race to save everyone.

I just loved this book and I look forward to the next one. This is one of those books that people either love or hate, at least from the reviews. I'm a lover =)
Profile Image for Rashika (is tired).
976 reviews712 followers
December 3, 2016
This review also appeared on Xpresso Reads

I am not entirely sure what I was expecting when I dove into Poison's Kiss. I was hoping to like it because I was intrigued by the premise but even when I was excited to read it, a small part of me was worried that it would not do justice to my culture. As a story, Poison's Kiss is fine. The romance is way too insta but it is engaging, there aren’t many plot holes and the characters are relatable. The world building is EXTREMELY lacking though. From the small things to the bigger, general things, the world building needs work and this book would have benefited from some Indian beta-readers who might have been able to help fine-tune some of those issues.

The rest of this review will be me breaking down everything that bugged me with the world building so if that’s not something that you want to hear about, please feel free to take your leave.

In the author’s note, Shields says that, “Sundari is not India, [but] is influenced by that culture and its mythology” (pg 290 in the ARC). Which is fair, Sundari is a fictional world but it IS inspired by a real, incredibly diverse one which is why I am so frustrated with the world building in Poison's Kiss.

India doesn’t just have one culture. Fun facts: There are 29 different states and 7 union territories in India. India does not have an official religion so not all Indians are Hindus (I say this because the book is advertized as Indian mythology but in actuality is Hindu mythology and that is IMPORTANT especially right now when there are so many religious struggles happening in the country.) There are also 22 ‘officially recognized’ languages spoken in India. All these things lend themselves to incredibly varied cultures wherever you go and varied beliefs. The land of Sundari is in no way reflective of that and instead mushes together various Indian cultures to create one generalized one. This isn’t offensive in of itself (at least to me, but I don’t speak for everyone) but the lumping of cultures is common whenever people talk about cultures of countries that are not part of the western world and that is more than a little problematic. I would go into more detail but this would turn into a rant about why colonialism is the actual worst. If you do want to know more about this though, please feel free to hit me up.

There are also the little things which I mentioned before, like the inaccurate use of Hindi words. Rajakumari isn’t a thing, its Rajkumari. Janu, which roughly translates to ‘love’ in English is not used as loosely as it is in English. Janu tends to be used for romantic partners, not for an adult addressing a child. Also, people need to stop assuming that the only thing Indians wear are saris. WE HAVE MORE ‘traditional’ clothing than that! Saris tend to be worn by married ladies, not by 17 year olds and there is a reason for that too. It takes like an HOUR to put on a sari (unless you’ve been doing it forever in which case you might be able to do it in 30 mins.)

This book feels a little like its appropriating my culture for the purposes of a story. There is no real homage to the diverse Indian cultures and makes me feel like there was no real research done about the country. The poorly built world only seems to exist as a location to set the story in. The reason I am so upset is because it is not a bad book by any means. There were moments when I really enjoyed the book and the ending makes me want to read the sequel. I just wish there was more research and that perhaps Indian cultures had been treated with more respect.

**Note that I received an ARC of this book for review
Profile Image for Roshani Chokshi.
Author 44 books10.1k followers
Want to read
June 16, 2016
I am so excited about this book!!! I love vishakanyas (duh) and am always eager to see more stories based on Indian folklore. YAY!
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
3,001 reviews368 followers
February 5, 2017
With a description that insinuates that both fans of Maas and Aveyard will love this debut novel, it was hard to not want to pick it up. Add in the eye catching cover and the alluring synopsis and it was pretty much hard for me to resist at all and I didn't find myself wanting to. So with fingers crossed I downloaded this and dove in.

And while this was an imaginative it was also weirdly addicting. Even though it truly wasn't anything unheard of in the world of YA, it was very well written and executed and I found myself quickly turning the pages wanting more as the story went. With slight twists and turns and a romance that was sweet, this really was a fun read and one that I don't regret reading in the slightest.

*ARC copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for Whitney Gardner.
Author 5 books264 followers
December 17, 2016
I just *loved* this book.
Poison's Kiss is a fast-paced adventure with plenty of earth-shattering reveals and a romance that keeps you wanting more. You'll love following along as main character Marinda's story evolves from tragedy into mythology and her world opens up as she learns the truths that have been hidden behind her past, her family, and even her country. Marinda stirs deep sympathies with her life of deceit, subjugation, and suffering, and she has been granted a deadly power which she's not yet strong enough to wield against her real enemies. Instead she draws from the infinite wellspring of love she has for her brother to keep him from meeting the fate that has been ordained for him. It's a serious page-turner that sets up what can only become a truly action-packed sequel.
Profile Image for Cortney -  The Bookworm Myrtle Beach.
822 reviews108 followers
July 29, 2019
I really liked Poison's Kiss! We went to India a few years ago, and I've been low-key obsessed with the culture since then. And the fact that this was based on Indian mythology made it right up my alley.

I liked the setting, the characters, their stories. Excited to read the sequel and to see what happens next with Malinda, Mani, and Devon.
Profile Image for Melissa.
Author 2 books102 followers
July 1, 2016
I received an ARC of Breeana Shields' POISON'S KISS in exchange for an honest review. In this compelling, well written fantasy, Shields tells the tale of Marinda, a visha kanya, or "poison damsel," whose mission it is to assassinate men -- albeit against her will -- with a single, deadly kiss. When Marinda is assigned the murder of Deven, an exceptionally kind and handsome young men who patronizes the local bookshop, Marinda knows that the rules of the game are about to change. A fast-paced story with an engaging, twisty-turny plot. Highly and enthusiastically recommended.
Profile Image for Beth  (YA Books Central).
415 reviews115 followers
February 7, 2017
"A teenage assassin kills with a single kiss....
Until she is ordered to kill the one boy she loves."

The first thing that drew my attention to this book was the gorgeous and seductive cover art of Poison's Kiss. WOW...That cover is AMAZING! and then I read the synopsis and KNEW I had to have this one....and it did not disappoint. I was mesmerized from the first page to the last and cannot wait to read the conclusion!!

The main character, Marinda, is a visha kanya also known as a poison maiden. She was raised and trained to be a lethal weapon against her enemies and her kiss is lethal and kills the victim within minutes. Marinda has served the Raja for as long as she can remember and killing is all she has ever known. In return for working for the Raja, Marinda is paid with medicine that treats her younger brother, Mani, and keeps him alive.

Marinda has never doubted her job nor has she ever been given a reason to question her orders.....until she meets Deven. Shortly after Marinda begins to build a friendship with Deven...she is told he is her next assignment. She must kill Deven or risk defying the Raja and her brother no longer receiving treatment for his deathly illness. What choice will she make? Defy the Raja? Save Deven? or continue to be the killer she was trained to be....

"But Deven makes me feel reckless. And just for one day I want to know what it feels like to be the girl he thinks I am."

I literally loved everything about this book. Poison's Kiss is full of romance, suspense, action, and unforgivable betrayal. There are so many secrets that have been kept from Marinda and she is faced with so much emotional turmoil while still trying to save the ones she loves.

I also loved the Indian folklore that is intertwined within the story and even enjoyed reading how the author, Breeana Shields, researched and learned all the different myths and legends that she used as references within Poison's Kiss.
Poison's Kiss is addictive, riveting, and beautifully written. It is pages full of mystery and suspense and I couldn't wait to turn the page to find out what happened next.

"Love Is Lethal"
Profile Image for mith.
750 reviews258 followers
April 13, 2017
you can read this review HERE as well!
I AM A LYING LIAR. who lies. i said "soon" but clearly my "soon" differs from the actual meaning. anyhoo.

hoo boy. hoooooo boy.

look. i desperately wanted to like this book--as far as i know, it was based on indian mythology, how cool is that?! but it was just.... so bad..... and poorly written.... and boring..... how many ellipses can i add to get my point across in this review? let's find out.

(partially kidding on that account) but for real. FIRST THINGS FIRST: ROMANCE. basically a form of insta-love. i mean, they knew each other for maaaaaaaybe two days? three max? and BAM. she's willing to take STUPID risks for him; he's willing to ANYTHING for her. it's the same old, same old.

and that's not my ONLY complaint, either. their interactions were TERRIBLE and so cringey. the dialogue between them was so uncomfortable to read, to endure.

that brings me to THING TWO: THE DIALOGUE. baaaaaad. it was baaaaaaad. it felt clunky, and as i should have said, awkward. it's the type that gives you second hand embarrassment, and maybe you'd expect that from a cheesy romance novel (who doesn't, though? i live for those), THIS WASN'T A CHEESY ROMANCE NOVEL. at least, i'm pretty sure it wasn't supposed to be--indian mythology if i do recall (and I DO. I DO RECALL). point is: the dialogue was not well developed. yikes.

which would bring me to THING THREE: DEVELOPMENT. there seemed to be NONE whatsoever in regards to our (not so) lovely characters. they were boring and flat and quite honestly, a bit stupid, in the beginning and in the end.

THING FOUR: BAD! FEMALE! FRIENDSHIP! if you've been reading my reviews (read: rantings) for a while now, you should know that i am HUGE on female friendships. i love strong lady relationships, be it a cute romance or someone who just has the heroine's back, and the fact that this didn't have either was a downer. now, i know all books don't have this, but when it's said that the heroine only has one real friend, you kind of expect some sort of strong relationship. or, at least i do.

but what i got was Marinda (it feels weird capitalising her name after failing to do so for everything else yikes) either being jealous of her "friend", Ilya, or extremely critical of her. it was a TERRIBLE friendship, if you can even call it that, one that was full of lies and bitterness. frankly, i found it to be melodramatic too.

THING FIVE: MARINDA. she needed an entire section to herself. i'm sorry but i did not like her AT ALL. not only was she a terrible friend, she was hypocritical, whiny, annoying, and a bit obsessive/possessive. it was unnerving. she also had a tendency to make the same mistakes--i.e., trusting people when she was apparently raised never to trust people, time and time again. on the basis of little to no proof to about everything they said to her. she'd cry about how UNFAIR it was when someone lied to her despite the fact that she lied or told half truths most of the time. she was jealous on Ilya and possessive of Deven (the love interest) despite the fact that she only knew him THREE DAYS. she went out of her way to someone who could have EASILY told their leader dude what Marinda was up to for the sake of the guy she knew for THREE DAYS. it was so annoying. she was so annoying.

OVERALL. no. no no no. i'm SORRY, i genuinely am. i know this is a debut so i shouldn't be so critical of it, but no.
my rating is down there if you managed to read this entire review (read, again: rant).
EDIT: i've just finished drafting up my review so it should be up soon. it also resulted in a lower rating, down to 1 star.
i really did not like this book.
it was okay... but i wasn't really into the romance or the writing. 2.5 stars.
Profile Image for Emily Murphy.
Author 3 books396 followers
September 8, 2016
They say good writing is easy reading--this one will go down like a cup of tea, sweet and strong, and a plot that just keeps darkening as it steeps. I soaked up the rich, lush, beautiful writing. Marinda is a complex heroine drawn with an exceedingly skilled hand. I loved the different shades of relationships in this book--especially the complicated, uneasy friendship at its core. Shields is able to wield short, simple sentences that are stunningly poignant and as pointed as daggers (or, I guess, as is more appropriate, fangs). The plot twists and turns, growing more and more tense as it coils, but the action didn't sacrifice my emotional ties to the characters.

I thought this book was very enjoyable and also very well done--I'll be waiting for the sequel with great anticipation.
Profile Image for Rosalyn Eves.
Author 9 books657 followers
October 24, 2016
I had the chance to read an early copy of Breeana Sheild's lovely debut, Poison's Kiss. Marinda is a visha kanya--a poison maiden whose can kill with a kiss. Though Marinda hates her role in the death of so many anonymous men and boys (albeit men and boys she's been told are threats to the kingdom), she doesn't see any other choice, not if she wants the medicine that keeps her little brother alive.

But that was before Marinda got to know one of her marks--and this time, she'll have to decide exactly how willing she is to follow orders or follow her heart.

Marinda's relationship with her brother was well-drawn, and her background was heart-breaking. I thought her interior conflict was believable, and I loved the complicated relationship with Deven. The pacing was fast and enjoyable, and I'm looking forward to seeing where the series goes in the next book!
Profile Image for Katie Nelson.
Author 2 books52 followers
July 30, 2016
I was lucky enough to read an early copy of this book!

Set in a fantasy world similar to India, this book is a delight. I loved being immersed in this unique world and following the story of Marinda, an assassin who can kill with just a kiss. Marinda was such an interesting character. She fiercely loves her younger brother, and believes she is serving the raja, even if she doesn't always feel right about what she does. Her story was so complicated, and I felt conflicted right along with her.

As the story progressed, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out what would happen. A thrilling fantasy that will keep you up late at night, wondering what will happen.
Profile Image for K.K. Pérez.
Author 1 book47 followers
June 27, 2016
A thoroughly compelling read that I finished in one sitting! Get ready for lots of twists and turns and heart pounding!
Profile Image for Danielle.
Author 5 books69 followers
July 26, 2016
I devoured this book in giant gulps like the sweet maratha fruit Deven gives to Mani. It's fun and fascinating and totally compelling but WHY OH WHY is the sequel not available yet?!?! *weeps*
Profile Image for Jasmine Pearl Reads.
158 reviews114 followers
February 7, 2017
This novel is based from an Indian folklore. This is my FIRST time reading something about that and I REALLY loved it. Anyway, this was also my first fantasy read of the year and I’m not disappointed. NOT at all. Why didn’t I read this sooner? Ew, Jasmine.

Poison’s Kiss was an all-in-one book. All the feels were there. Marinda’s life was quite devastating and miserable. Her kiss could kill anyone. She’s created to be a visha kanya *it sounds so beautiful, admit it* and she’s ordered to kill strangers and enemies of the kingdom her whole life until she met a guy named Deven. Trust me, Deven will be everyone’s book boyfriend. He’s probably one of the best characters EVER. You might think “Oh, it’s probably just another cliché story of a helpless girl falling in love with a boy”, but it’s not. There are, of course, twists and turns that will make you want to read the next chapters… until you finish the book. It happened to me. Every chapter left me hanging and wanting for more. Her writing style was simple, yet engaging. I really loved it.

I cannot wait for the sequel. Hands down to Breeana Shields. You made me want to read more fantasy books this year. Is it too early to say that Poison’s Kiss might make it on top 17 books of 2017? I’m pretty sure it will! Make sure to add this to your TBR because it’s really fantastic!
50 reviews
August 1, 2016
This was a read-in-one-sitting kind of book. I picked it up, devoured it, and then thought about it afterwards. Marinda has experienced so much to become a (reluctant) assassin, and the work she does tortures her, although she wants to serve the Raja. Her conflicted emotions are so natural and understandable, and they're complicated by her desire to protect her sickly brother at all costs. Throw in the handsome suitor who sees through her carefully constructed front, and you get all sorts of intrigue, nail-biting, and swooning.

I loved Poison's Kiss and can't wait for the next installment!
Profile Image for Patricia.
Author 1 book25 followers
January 10, 2017
Beautiful writing, riveting plot, engaging characters - Breeana Shields manages to combine all three in her engaging debut. Shields captures your attention from page one - with gorgeous description and an empathetic character. She carries it through the twists and turns of this page-turner, as Marinda struggles with her duty, her self, and her fate. A story of deceit, betrayal, friendship, and ultimately love, Poison's Kiss will stay with you long after you finish the book and leave you longing for the sequel.
Profile Image for Tomoe Hotaru.
248 reviews850 followers
February 7, 2017
27 Jan. '17
goodreads | more reviews
I actually pinpointed the main issue I had with this book while writing this review. Reading this made me feel like a white man walking down Lower Manhattan Chinatown, pretending I was in Beijing. And being lauded while I'm at it, for taking the time to explore a different culture.

The plot alone -- which is based on an Indian folklore -- makes it automatically jump out from the normal dredge.

And that's the problem. In the end, it felt like Indian culture was used as little more than a marketing ploy . Something to grab a reader's attention and win accolades for being diverse, representative, different. And that made me a bit uncomfortable while reading this book.

So, what? White authors can't use non-white cultures? Does this mean Asian authors can't use European history as inspiration? Can a Japanese author use Korean mythology?

No, that's not what I'm saying at all. It's all in the execution.
See, this book could've been great . There was so much potential for the setting and worldbuilding to be spun into a place rich in culture and diversity. Unfortunately, it just fell flat.

The plot lifted from Indian folklore. Clothes, various foods, and several words were used from Indian and/or Hindi culture - but other than the fact some words and concepts were lifted off the Indian/Hindi heritage, everything else: the characters, the setting, were just like every other white/eurocentric novel out there.

Now, I'm not saying the author should have made everything into a fictional depiction of India. I'm not saying the characters needed to be greeting each other with the Namaste, or society broken into the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras castes.
I completely understand that Indian culture was used here as inspiration, and a book does not have to depict the culture it takes inspiration from in a way that mirrors exactly its real-world counterpart .

But it does have to present --a-- culture. I did not feel this was the case for Poison's Kiss, whose world was so bland weren't it for the throwaway Indian words: saris instead of a dress, a raja instead of a king, a garuda instead of a roc, etc. etc. It's not India, but it is India. Except the people think and act like Westerners.
The love interest walks her home like any regular British gentleman ought to do - I'm not saying Asian people don't do this, but this is such a typically Western concept of what being a "gentleman" looks like, it hurts.

More examples? The protagonist justifies killing off a guy because he didn't give money to a child beggar. Which means he's evil, right? What a privileged, first-world view of how poverty works. Don't get me started on this, but if you're curious:

They eat shortbread and samosa; the protagonist goes hiking in black pants and boots, and in other days wears a sari; Iyla goes around kissing in public and this is normal behaviour for a young girl. The protagonist is a young, 17 year-old girl and lives alone with her younger brother and there aren't any side-eyes about this.
She takes a shower in a safehouse and at this point I'm like, huh? In which part of the world, and in which era, am I?

And if the world could as well be any other eurocentric or bland, culture-less entity, then you're simply lifting another people's culture and using it to benefit yourself . It's a quick, lazy way of adding the facade of culture in your book ... by taking from another culture that is not your own, and selling a story that can be lauded as "representative" or "diverse" or even just "different" when actually no, it's not representative or diverse or different. Just ask the countless people across India and South Asia (even Southeast Asia, I daresay) whom many of them must have heard a rendition of the "lady who can kill with a kiss" mythology.

I'm not saying the author is a bad person, or that she sat in a dark corner, twiddling her thumbs and asking herself Geeeee ... how can I benefit from a minority group this afternoon?
I'm not even saying that she should not try again in the future. Just ... be mindful of how different cultures work, and make that reflective in the cultures you use in a story.

I also kept in mind that this reads more as a middle grade book, so that made me less uncomfortable than I otherwise would've been (still pretty uncomfortable, though).

There were other problems beyond the whole cultural-lifting. The protagonist was inexcusably stupid for someone who supposedly surrounds herself in books. All the twists at the end of this story would not have been a twist if Marinda had just bothered to pick up a bloody history book and read for herself instead of taking the word of the evil handler whom she hates so much.
I mean, you would think that for someone who supposedly loved her brother so much, she would try to do some actual research on his illness and any alternative medicines? Instead of wandering aimlessly through a market, asking people for different medicines?
You would think that the people she works with, whom supposedly cares about her and supposedly knows a lot more, would've told her what was wrong with her brother?
Anyway. The point is - a lot of the plot points were a little forced and hinged on Marinda's inability to make proper, logical judgements.

But I'm being harsh on that front. Some readers might be able to suspend their disbelief long enough to see how Marinda was duped all along - hence making the entire storyline believable. If you can get past that, the actual plot itself was all right , and there were twists to keep you surprised and entertained.
So please, if you're thinking of reading this book, don't be discouraged by my review and/or rating . I think, especially for younger readers, those still new to the fantasy genre, or people who are looking for an easy/light spice of fantasy, this still might be the book you need.

26 Jan. '17
I don't have any particularly strong emotions -- whether positive or negative -- about this book. It's an OK read, with some issues. Review to come.
Profile Image for Cale Dietrich.
Author 7 books752 followers
September 28, 2016
I’m a huge fantasy fan, so I had super high hopes for Poison’s Kiss, and it totally exceeded my expectations! This is a great book: it’s swoony, unputdownable, and freaking epic.

The protagonist, Marinda, has had an incredibly difficult upbringing: she is a visha kanya, which means she is literally poisonous – and she has been forced to use these abilities to work as an assassin. I loved her as a character, and I really felt for her in her struggle – her internal conflict over what she is often forced to do (kiss boys and poison them) created such tension and sympathy for her. And when she is told to kiss the totally adorable Deven, that intensity ramps up so much that I couldn’t put this book down – I needed to know what happens to this pair. If you’re looking for a fantasy book that will make you feel all of the things, this is totally the one for you.

Aghh it’s so hard not to write this review without spoilers, but this book is super twisty – and the reveals are all handled so well. During the last third, the mythology of the world comes in in a MASSIVE way that was so awesome and epic I so wish I could talk about it here. But it was seriously amazing, and I wasn’t expecting it at all, yet it made total sense, which I think is a testament to how great a writer Shields is.

I have a feeling this is going to be really big – it’s well written, super fun, and has great characters. YA fantasy fans, in particular people who love the THRONE OF GLASS books, are going to love this one so much.
Profile Image for These Violent Delights (Robin).
366 reviews76 followers
October 24, 2017
Oh my god, this book was amazing. I haven't read a book in a while that kept me on my toes the whole entire time. The characters were well written and same goes for the plot. I really really want book 2 now! I kind of hate myself for reading it so soon cause now I have to wait so long for the sequel.

So glad I am starting off 2017 with such great reads!
Profile Image for Ivka.
373 reviews115 followers
March 24, 2017

Myslím, že všetci potrebujeme občas trochu pobaviť, takže sa neostýchajte a doprajte si obsah tejto knihy:

Nemáte za čo. 5/10, lebo to bolo väčšmi zábavné než aby ma to hnevalo.
Profile Image for Bren fall in love with the sea..
1,574 reviews272 followers
January 1, 2021
“That's how you know something is ready to be devoured, when it gives just a little under pressure. It's the same with people.”
― Breeana Shields, Poison's Kiss

This book is breathtaking. The cover art is magnificent. So is the story within.

Snakes, Mythology and a great fun read!

So this is about about Marinda, the visha kanya, whose kiss is poison. She works for the government and it is her job to kill by kissing, anyone the government wants her to. However, when the boy she falls for is added to the kill list, she begins to question everything.

I LOVED the whole mythological aspect to this story. The whole idea is riveting and makes for an intelligent and dazzling novel filled with Mythology, snakes, romance, mystery and suspense.

I never got tired of reading and read this in one sitting. The pacing is great and so is the world building. Our protagonist wants to do the right thing. But..in this world....can she?

This is part of a series but I think there is only one other book not two. I have the second one on my TBR list..any day now. Hope it is as riveting as the first. Four amazing stars.
Profile Image for SyaSya Syed Nasir.
366 reviews35 followers
August 6, 2018
I'm so happy! After a month of facing my nightmare - reading slump - I finally back on track. This book is so good!

I used to judge the book by its cover but after a while, I decided to buy the book - still haven't decided when to read it.

I should read it earlier. I am happy and now I need the second book.

The characters are super amazing. I love Marinda, Deven, Iyla, and Mani. Even though there were certain scenes where I felt annoyed - such as when Iyla being such a bad friend to Marinda - but...it was good. I hope Marinda won't put so much trust on Iyla after knowing how she is behaving and her motive. I just can't wait to see how these gorgeous people gonna handle the Naga in the second and the final book. I really need the second book now!

The plot is so good. The pacing is superb! I don't have anything to complain about them. Even the writing makes me wanna read more and more and I totally absorb into their situations. It feels like I was with them, in their adventure and I get all the feelings Marinda feels.

Read it, readers! I highly recommend it! 😎
Profile Image for Gwen Cole.
Author 6 books207 followers
October 22, 2016
Once again, I hit the ARC jackpot. I devoured this book. With a fresh world, wonderful characters, and beautiful writing, it was impossible not to. Sometimes an awesome concept will fall flat once you start reading but this was NOT the case with POISON'S KISS. It was everything I was hoping for and more, and I can't wait to read the sequel!
Profile Image for Tricia Levenseller.
Author 19 books12.6k followers
September 26, 2016
Loved this book by Breeana Shields! The mythology is killer! The romance is sweet and full of tension. And the snakes! So many snakes. The relationships and dynamics in the book are set up perfectly to give the story the high stakes and tension it needs. I cannot wait for the next book!
Profile Image for Sara.
Author 4 books234 followers
October 12, 2016
Wait, wait, wait. I'm sorry, HOW long do I have to wait for the sequel?

This book blends folklore and fantasy with absolutely gorgeous writing, unforgettable characters, and a story that kept me turning pages. I can't wait to find out what happens next.
Profile Image for Alexandra Ott.
Author 6 books75 followers
September 20, 2016
POISON'S KISS is such a fascinating, compelling fantasy. I devoured it quickly because I just couldn't put it down. The twists! The reveals! The heart-pounding suspense! I also love the characters; Marinda's sibling relationship with Mani is so emotional, and her chemistry with Deven is great too. There are so many great, complex secondary characters, and no one is quite what they seem at first. I'm so excited that there will be a sequel! Definitely recommend for fans of fast-paced fantasy adventure.
Profile Image for Nicka Cassandra.
149 reviews126 followers
April 27, 2017
After reading a 5 star book I immediately picked up Poison’s Kiss without reading the synopsis. I had no expectation whatsoever about this one, me being quite picky when it comes to my fantasy reads! But to my surprise I didn’t regret picking this one up, it was AMAZING!!!!

Beautifully crafted story based on an Indian folklore- visha kanya- poison maiden! It’s a great addition to my favorite fantasy series. I literally live for anything folklore may it be Russian, Victorian etc. It makes me more curious on how the author will work his/her magic in writing the whole story and add his/her own spin to it. And there it was, Poison’s Kiss! I loved Marinda’s character, she’s an assassin for the Raja and her secret weapon is her kiss that was poisonous that could kill anyone she kisses without escaping the venom. Her undying love for her brother Mani was everything. You could see how vulnerable she was when something happens to him. And let’s talk about Deven, he is now my NEWEST book boyfriend, can we just appreciate how direct and how he wasn’t afraid to show his feelings.

Right from the very first page, I was drown to the author’s writing style. I can picture everything in my head when I was reading this, it’s quite addicting! I couldn’t put this book down I just wanted to know what’s going to happen next!

I’ll definitely keep an eye out for the second installment! You should too 😉
Profile Image for Rebecca Ross.
Author 8 books3,855 followers
October 27, 2016
I was so excited to have a chance to read this ARC! I sat down one afternoon with POISON'S KISS and quickly found that I. Could. Not. Stop. Reading! Shield's writing is magical--it flows right off the page--and the world is so beautiful and immersive that for a day, I truly felt like I was a visha kanya.

And then there is DEVEN. *swoons*

I need the sequel *cries because it is so far away*
Profile Image for McCall Hoyle.
Author 4 books323 followers
April 30, 2017
Shields is definitely an up-and-coming voice in YA fantasy. POISON'S KISS is a genius debut based on Indian folklore. I devoured it in record time and can't wait to read more of Mirinda's story in the 2018 sequel.
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