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The Poison Song

(The Winnowing Flame Trilogy #3)

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  687 ratings  ·  141 reviews
From Jen Williams, three-time British Fantasy Award finalist, comes the electrifying conclusion to the Winnowing Flame trilogy. Exhilarating epic fantasy for fans of Robin Hobb.

Jump on board a war beast or two with Vintage, Noon and Tor and return to Sarn for the last installment of this epic series where the trio must gather their forces and make a final stand against the
Paperback, UK edition, 576 pages
Published May 16th 2019 by Headline
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Average rating 4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  687 ratings  ·  141 reviews

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Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The Poison Song was truly an outstanding conclusion; someone needs to find an antidote to cure the severely underrated state of this series ASAP.

After twelve books, I'm gratified that I finally finished a new book that I can rate 5 stars easily. Here we are, the third and last book in The Winnowing Flame Trilogy. Now that I’ve finished binge reading this trilogy within a week, I can safely say that Jen Williams seriously deserves a much larger readership. C’mon, this last book was a bloody amaz
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the stars for this. ALL.

First, a warning. This review is spoiler free for this book, but not The Ninth Rain or The Bitter Twins. Look away now if you haven’t read them. Or better yet, go buy them and come back when you’re done. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

For those that have read the first two of the series, you’ll know that things are looking dire for pretty much everyone. Except maybe the Jure’lia, who are busy varnishing the land and killing as many of its human inhabitants as possible
Em Lost In Books
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-19, 2020, 4-star
I didn't realize how much I missed this world until I started reading this. Every thread converged beautifully, happy ending for some memorable characters and others were not so lucky.

A very entertaining series and a great finale. Highly recommended.
TS Chan
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Update for US readers who are interested. The ebooks are available on Google Playstore.


The Winnowing Flame Trilogy has earned a perfect 5-star rating from me and deserved ALL of it. The Poison Song not only lived up to its astoundingly good prequels, but it also delivered an exquisitely emotional and satisfying conclusion.

I've always refrained from mentioning plot points in my reviews for concluding books to avoid inadvertent spoilers.  Instead, I will explain why I believe
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Actual rating: 12 pathetic stars. And a half.

Bloody shrimping hell of the stinking fish.

That bloody shrimping ENDING.

Jen Williams, thank thee very much, you just killed me most deadly dead. Come to think of it, you're so nefariously ruthless, you might as well adopt my murderous children and take over my Vicious Overlord job while I learn to knit or something. Because, seriously, when it comes to inflicting excruciatingly traumatizing emotional pain to puny humans? I'm a complete amateur compar
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
The Poison Song is the light at the end of the grimdark tunnel; its fantasy with heart.

Don't you just hate it when a story you love comes to an end? Whilst I am sad to take my leave from this trilogy, I am simultaneously overjoyed that it has staked its claim on my favourites shelf. In all honesty I was already planning where to put it after the second book, and it was not unexpected, as I loved the author’s Copper Cat trilogy too. She consistently writes fantasy of the highest echelon and I
Bethan Hindmarch
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ugly-crying too much right now, will review soon!
Maja Ingrid
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone who wants amazing fantasy
Shelves: fantasy, the-faves

I kinda envy the people who are discovering this trilogy, or Williams’ other trilogy The Copper Cat now, because I would love to rediscover the amazing worlds she’s able to create.

Now I can’t believe this journey is over already. The Winnowing Flame trilogy has been a delight to read. Also very painful and my heart is broken and I’m crying.

I love the world William’s created here. It’s huge and imaginative with lots of different people inhabiting it. And dark shit too. I really wishe
Elena C.
Read for the 2019 MacHalo Splendiferous Book Bingo Thingie: Fire & Brimstone.

I'm trying to remember the last time a series finale felt this perfectly satisfying - plot-lines and characters' arcs all brought to such an emotional, fulfilling conclusion (although, often enough, a heart-wrenching one: keep some tissues at hand, folks), the worldbuilding familiar by now like my own neighborhood but still full of many nooks and crannies left to explore, the sense of impending doom an ending which is a
Well. That was a bloody satisfying read! I was breathing heavily all through the dramatic finale and yes, there were a few tears at the end. What a trip! I adored the war-beasts especially Helcate and even Celaphon at the end. Vintage, Tor, Noon , Hestillion were fully developed characters, at the core of the story while the other characters were also just as richly described and understood: Aldasair and Bern, Chenlo, Okkar and Tyranny. This was a truly original and imaginative trilogy, a mostly ...more
Milda Page Runner
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I missed the light-hearted feeling and humour of the previous books.
Also I loved little excerpts from Vintage's letters/journal at the beginning of each chapter in the first two books. Here they are replaced by pages of the diary of agent Chenlo and they didn't do much me.
Otherwise it's an excellent conclusion to the series. Worldbuilding and characterisation are top notch.
Laura Hughes
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Epic and emotional, The Poison Song is the perfect conclusion to the Winnowing Flame trilogy. If you haven't read this series yet, you're missing out. Seriously.
J.P. Ashman
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic finale to a fantastic fantasy series.

Very well wrapped up; poignant and satisfying, humorous in all the right places, with plenty of action and intrigue. A 'must read' fantasy trilogy that does not trail off toward the end. Highly recommended.

Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am soooo sad that this journey is over, I felt a genuine loss when I closed the cover at the last page. I enjoyed the ride so much!! This series is an imperative read for those of us who love to get vested in the lives of the characters, who cheer for whatever endeavor they endure to get to where they're going, who cry when things don't go as planned. All of the emotions are packed into this text until the inevitable climax and the ending finally comes. I love them all so much, and I hope one ...more
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm so MAD right now because this story ENDED and we won't get to read any more about Sarn. This was yet another incredible book from Jen Williams, a perfect conclusion to the trilogy even if it did make me sad (and ANGRY).
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-the-book
Can't believe I have finished it! This entire trilogy is the bomb! It has such lovable characters, f/f en m/m romance. The romance is genuine and not the focus of the plot. It is part of the tight knit group of people we get to know that love each other as friends/ found family and lovers. Vintage is a 40 year old woman who loves adventure and knowledge and is full of humor. She is so well spoken and stays focused at the task at hand, she knows how to make hard decisions during stressful times w ...more
Cameron Johnston
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I fell in love with fantasy because it offered big ideas to contemplate, intriguing characters, and strange worlds to explore - and The Poison Song delivers all three in spades. I got that strange, bittersweet feeling of loss after finishing this excellent series, and that is the biggest compliment I can offer.

This is a fitting end to a truly epic series: full of weird monsters, sacrifice, friendship, and nail-biting danger. There are so many things I could talk about but I dare not spoiler any
Timandra Whitecastle
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An emotional ending to one of the best fantasy trilogies I’ve read in recent years.
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
*****5 Best Book of 2019*****

Wow...what an end to a fantastic trilogy that I started out not really enjoying but after reading the second time around, I found that the author totally mesmerized me and had me investing 100% of the characters.

I laughed...I cried...I got pissed...I cheered and that final battle scene....damn...that was better than Game of Thrones Battle of the I could actually see this one in my imagination.

What an imagination this author has with all of the creative
I've spent the past six months (a) unwilling to take this off my currently reading shelf because I love love love looking at the cover, and (b) thinking I was going to write a brilliant review of this brilliant book.

But the review it's getting is:

This trilogy was hands-down my favorite read for 2019, and what I've been recommending to everyone in RL who asks me about my recent reading and also enjoys fantasy/SF. I can't give it a higher compliment than that.

Everything about it was excellent.
Anna Stephens
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My heart is broken, but somehow in a good way.
The sheer level of detail and breadth of ambition in this trilogy - and this book - is astonishing. As exciting, irreverent and disturbing as the first Winnowing Flame books, The Poison Song is the perfect conclusion. I particularly loved how Jen Williams wasn't afraid to take large portions of both The Bitter Twins and Poison Song to explain sub-plots which, of course, further the main plot, though not at first glance. The tying together of all the
Annemieke / A Dance with Books
I struggled to write this review of The Poison Song because there is so much of my heart in this series. In these characters that it is hard to form the words to do this book justice.

Jen Williams is an amazing author who can just completely suck you into the world. Before reading you take one big breath of air and you keep holding it until you need to stop reading or you finish the book. (Yes I went there) Because you are at the edge of the seat. The characterization is so good. You laugh, cry
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition





Full review to follow

I received a free copy and general devastation of my feelings from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Sam Hawke
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well, this was just absolute fucking PERFECTION. It is everything I want in fantasy. Inventive, immersive worldbuilding, tension, action, adventure, humour, and oh my GOD the characters are just incredible. I don't think I've been so heavily invested in characters in... actually in maybe anything that wasn't written by Robin Hobb before. My hopeless brilliant babies, I love them all so much.

With the extent I loved the Bitter Twins, there was always a risk that the third book wouldn't be able to
Elspeth Cooper
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I take my hat off to Jen Williams for this trilogy. She said in the acknowledgements that she set out to challenge herself with these books, and I'd say she succeeded: she has taken all her strengths - rounded, credible characters; relentlessly inventive worldbuilding; warmth; wit - and dialled them up to 11. Everything presented to the reader here is richer, harder, more visceral, and I'm not gonna lie, I wept copiously through the final chapters. Dammit, that victory was *earned*, the hard way ...more
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
After reading the second book, I wasn't so sure if I wanted to buy the third one. Especially as it cost twice as much. Fortunately for me, my brother had purchased the entire series, after reading the first one, and so I was able to borrow it.

At the ending of book 2 Noon set out to take revenge on the Winnowry, where she showed great restraint. After that the starting point of the story is this:

- The Jure'lia are in disarray after Bern messed with their memories (though it is never explained why
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the better books I've read of this year, and definitely the best book in my opinion of this trilogy. The last part was full of action, and it was very hard to put it away. Character development throughout the series was very well done, and they all really improved coming from the first book! A must -read this series for every fantasy lover!

Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
*copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review*

The Poison Song is the finale to Jen Williams’ ‘The Winnowing Flame’ trilogy. The previous two books were great fun to read, whilst also having a lot of heart, so the conclusion had rather a lot to live up to. Fortunately, this is a book which delivers the goods: characters who matter, who feel real, in a backdrop of action, adventure, and saving the world.

The characters sit at the heart of the text here, and if you’re coming back to the series after
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The last and final book of the Winnowing Flame Trilogy started fully where I wanted the book to go, but then after about one chapter the author did it again and followed unconventional threads. So, in the end, this book left me drained, but also has me in awe – it was so much more authentic than I would have believed possible.

“She has recently come to the end of a period of crying, simple exhaustion leaving her empty and marooned on the shore of her grief.”

So, I think I have to digest a bit
I have been having all kinds of emotions regarding this book and committed the absolute crime of not shouting about the many, many things I loved about it. So! This book has:

* my favourite female character of all time, who also happens to be a villain
* absolutely delightful f/f romance
* so many amazing female characters it makes me wanna scream
* a diverse cast of characters that I want to hug, all at once, and never let go, because I adore them all so much
* found family trope (the good and bad v
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SF/F Read Alongs: [Sept/Oct] The Poison Song 11 16 Oct 09, 2019 02:41AM  

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Jen Williams, fantasy writer and Lego obsessive, is the author of The Copper Cat Trilogy and The Winnowing Flame series. She is represented by Juliet Mushens, and is partial to mead, if you’re buying.

Other books in the series

The Winnowing Flame Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Ninth Rain (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy, #1)
  • The Bitter Twins (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy #2)

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