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Poisoned Blade

(Court of Fives #2)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  2,604 ratings  ·  298 reviews
In this thrilling sequel to World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott's bestselling young adult debut Court of Fives, a girl immersed in a high-stakes competition holds the fate of a kingdom in her hands.
Jessamy is moving up the ranks of the Fives--the complex athletic contest favored by the lowliest Commoners and the loftiest Patrons in her embattled kingdom. Pitted again
Paperback, 468 pages
Published July 3rd 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published August 16th 2016)
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really liked it 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,604 ratings  ·  298 reviews

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Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
I’d like to start out by saying I’m a fan of this series and am really excited about Buried Heart coming out in July 2017. That said, I didn’t enjoy Poisoned Blade quite as much as Court of Fives.

What initially drew me to the series was the high-fantasy feel and element of competition. Poisoned Blade had very little focus on the games, which I found a bit disappointing. Rationally, I realize the entire plot can’t revolve around the games and still be a well-rounded story, but I was hoping for at
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-releases
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliott
Book Two of the Court of Fives trilogy
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 16, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

Jessamy is moving up the ranks of the Fives—the complex athletic contest favored by the lowliest Commoners and the loftiest Patrons in her embattled kingdom. Pitted against far more formidable adversaries, success is Jes's only opt
“Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”

----Mark Twain

Kate Elliott, an award-winning American YA author, pens the next book in her series of Court of Fives called, Poisoned Blade and this time the story gets deathly, complex and extremely mind-blowingly edgy as Jes, the champion of the Fives, is caught between the war of her divided kingdom as well as the strive and the challenge to save her dear mother and her sisters, all the while being under constant superv
Sherwood Smith
This is one of my favorite books of 2016, which makes it very hard to talk about, especially spoiler free. When one enjoys a book as thoroughly as I did this one, it’s too easy to blat an eye-glazing burble of superlatives.

So let me begin with what I didn’t like, which is the present tense narrative. I have to admit it rarely works for me, though when it does, it’s very effective. But in a story like this, where Jes is beginning segments “A month later, I’m going . . .” and “A few weeks later I
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-read
4.5 stars

I really enjoyed this one. I thought the storyline was kept a bit tighter than it was in the first book, as well as the pacing, and the ending was so exciting! The last book will definitely see some hearts being broken, possibly mine.
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I was surprised how much I enjoyed this one. Last year’s Court of Fives and I didn’t hit it off very well, despite my excitement to read Kate Elliott’s first Young Adult novel. Happily though, this sequel improves upon almost every single issue I had, and I was really glad I decided to give the series another try.

In this world, the Fives is a popular game involving an intricate obstacle course: each adversary moves throu
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This was a much better read! Part of it was that I went for the audio version, which worked very well with the present tense - this had sometimes annoyed me in the first book. Secondly is that Elliott weaves a very intricate tale with so many threads, each pulling and pushing the plot in totally different ways, that you can't help but be carried along, wondering all the while what on earth is going to happen! In case you ask, this is a good thing :O)

The abyss between the Saroese Patrons and
2.5 stars?

After finishing Court of Fives, I was really intrigued to see where the story went next. As I settled into this book, I was thrilled that it picked up right where CoF ending...and then I sort of lost interest.

I didn't care for Jessamy in this book. She's so indecisive about some things and waivers over everything until the very last minute. I found I that couldn't root for her the way I did in book one.

My main complaint is that there are subplots upon subplots upon subplots. And then
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
4.5 stars. How many twists and turns can one plot have, seriously? Great, complex fade from Elliott as usual.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Really enjoying this trilogy. This book is better than the first one so I have high hopes for the third one.
Jun 17, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Oh dear. This is so sloppy. At this point, Jessamy isn't an impulsive character. She's so stupid that she should be dead five times over; there are only a certain number of times you can raise the stakes and claim they're a matter of life and death only to have Jessamy blunder about, never the worse for it. It's not characterization anymore. Instead, there's a string of inconsistencies that weakens the entire story.

And the plot. Sighhhh. I mean, here's Jessamy who manages to talk everyone into
Jaime (Two Chicks on Books)
Omg!!!! I think this was better than book 1!!!! I NEED book 3 now!!!!
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm mostly mad at myself for waiting so long to read this series. Read it!
Melissa McShane
I put off reading this book for no reason other than a reluctance to be swept up in the world again. Strange, I know, but the first book was so intense I felt I needed some space. Now that the third book is out, it's probably past time to read it.

And now that I have, I'm finding it hard to articulate what made it so good. Once again Jes is, on occasion, infuriatingly stupid. On being told that she will endanger her mother and siblings by approaching them because she's being closely watched by Lo
Okay, I forgot to add this one for some reason! ARCs, why do I always forget you? WHAT AN OVERSIGHT.

I loved this book and the politics and the DRAMA and the way that Jes's confidence on the Fives court gets her in trouble when the game is politics, life, and death. It's SUCH a good, nuanced book that rewards close reading and deep thinking about issues of power, race, and colonialism.

Here's my B&N review:
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
This was pretty disappointing. Further thoughts to come but this was a plodding story where the characters act willingly ignorant (and against previous characterization) for plot reasons ((view spoiler), so I was not happy.
Danielle (Love at First Page)

Two things:

1) Booooooring.

2) Is the author really setting up a triangle in the third book? Hahahahaha fml.

Honestly wishing I never started - nor spent my money on - this series.
Nov 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fantasy
Title: Poisoned Blade (Court of Fives, #2)
Author: Kate Elliott
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy

This review can be found on my Blog, TeacherofYA’s Tumblr, or my Goodreads page

My Review:

This is the sequel and second book in the Court of Fives series:

Does this cover jog your memory if the first one doesn’t? Hopefully it will.

I can tell you right now, I won’t be surprised if people haven’t read the first one. I did and it was pretty forgettable, to be honest. I
A synopsis of this book.

Everyone older and wiser than Jess: JESSAMY NO.
Everyone: NO NO NO.
Amaya and Bettany: AMAYA AND BETTANY YES.
Everyone: Oh god please do not do the thing.
Sisters: I will continue doing the thing even more energetically.
Court Politics: Suprise, I am worse than you imagined.
Sisters: Oh wow and my imagination was pretty bad.
Creepy magic: I also am here lurking.
Sisters: I guess it would be wise to hide now.
Court intrigue and creepy magic: *exists*
Sisters: KI
Mia SN
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book BLEW ME AWAY. I was already very impressed by Court of Fives -- Elliott does a masterful job dealing with complex social and political issues while keeping emotions intense -- and I was curious how she intended to top her first book. Well, she totally delivered! Poisoned Blade has even more emotional heft, even more epic action and political intrigue -- and it's such a delicious treat to see more of Jes's sisters, especially brilliant, charming Amaya. If you're a fan of Elliott's writi ...more
Nov 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, owned
I'm running on fumes, so this is, once again, not so much a review as a collection of my disjointed thoughts. You're welcome! Also, this is going to be mildly spoilery.

I'm still hesitant about the grading. I might change it to 4 stars later on, upon reflection, but the first 80% of this novel was definitely a 3-star book for me, and then the final sequence makes up for a lot, but I'm not sure if it's enough for 4 stars.
(view spoiler)
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second part of this trilogy carries on in the same vein as the first. A civil war still looms, overlords still do what they feel on any whim and Jes seems to get what she wants, do what she wants and get away with it.

Now I'm not advocating that she get hurt or lose a limb but surely she could suffer a little before her happy ending.
Jesse Nicholas
Oct 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-books, fantasy
The Good

Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliott continues right after the end of Court of Fives. Jessamy has saved her mother and sisters from the being tombed by Lord Gargaron and she has won her spot at the Garon stable at the expense of Lord Kalliarkos. With even more sneaking around the plot begins to thicken as characters's true motives come into light.

With war on the horizon, Jessamy must stay on her toes as she is constantly reminded that people like her will never be safe and free. Elliott contin
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is an epic ton of intrigue in this one. If you like intrigue, this may be a book you’ll enjoy. Jes walks right into the thick of things several times (her timing is either very lucky or very unlucky) leaving her being one of the few people able to piece together an impending coup. (Or is she?) These plots put not only her father, but also Kalliarkos in danger so she feels forced to act. I love her boldness, even though it inevitably leads her into trouble.

The characters are well-developed,
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although Court of Fives wasn't that well received here on goodreads, I defended the book and left a largely positive review after the second half of the book redeemed most of the issues that made me almost give up during the first half.

Unfortunately, Poisoned Blade is very much a "it was okay" 2.5 stars at best. It may be that in the meantime, I'd read Marie Rutkoski's The Winner's Trilogy and a lot of the world building that I admired in Court of Fives was just done so much better by Rutkoski.
Abby Turner
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great follow up to Court of Fives, lots of action
Erin Arkin
Poisoned Blade is book two of the Court of Fives series by Kate Elliott and I admit, I was super excited when I got my hands on a copy of this at ALA this year. When I finished book one, I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen with Jes and Kal. If you haven’t read Court of Fives, you might want to hold on reading this review. While I will do my best not to spoil anything with Poisoned Blade, I can’t promise the same for the first book.

Poisoned Blade picks up immediately after the e
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy, 2016
*Excuse me while I shake off my fan-girling* Right, I’m back. Kate Elliott is amazing and Poisoned Blade is a fabulous follow-up to last year’s Court of Fives . Jes is back, but she’ll have to be sharper and wiser to survive not just moving up the ranks of the Fives, but being part of the household of her family’s nemesis Lord Gargaron.

I adored Court of Fives and its rich world and complex social and political structure, elements that remain in Poisoned Blade and are only deepened. Not only do
The good news? this is another book with a strong intelligent young woman of color. and it passes the Bechdel test with flying colors, as Jes has many friendships/ interactions with other women, no matter how much time she also spends thinking about boys. This book reflects a lot, in an organic sort of way, about the roles of men and women and different nationalities. it doesn't feel preachy or heavy handed. just real.
The bad news? this book just didn't grab me like Court of Fives did. I felt l
Brenda A
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic-con-2016
Kate Elliott and I don't get along well. I can't even articulate what exactly I didn't like about this book; I guess the easiest thing is to say that I was bored while reading. It felt like it took far too much time telling us about things that, while they had merit on the story, took too long to get to the point. Our main character's love story was long in the making. So was all the treachery. In most cases I would argue that this is a good thing--that keeping the tension going is what keeps a ...more
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As a child in rural Oregon, Kate Elliott made up stories because she longed to escape to a world of lurid adventure fiction. She now writes fantasy, steampunk, and science fiction, often with a romantic edge. It should therefore come as no surprise that she met her future husband in a sword fight.

When he gave up police work to study archaeology, they and their three children fell into an entirely

Other books in the series

Court of Fives (3 books)
  • Court of Fives (Court of Fives, #1)
  • Buried Heart (Court of Fives, #3)
“I am trapped, and for once in my life I see no path through these Rings. Four” 0 likes
“As he takes his place I know that just as the crowd sees him and his sister standing on either side of their cousin, reminding everyone they are royal cousins, the crowd also sees me within arm’s reach of the young lord rumored to be my lover. Guard your victor’s ribbons carefully and you can do very well for yourself, Gargaron told me. As” 0 likes
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