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The Kinder Poison

(The Kinder Poison #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  2,086 ratings  ·  575 reviews
Perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Holly Black, this enthralling fantasy adventure follows a teenage girl chosen to be the human sacrifice in a deadly game between three heirs who will do anything for the crown.

Zahru has long dreamed of leaving the kingdom of Orkena and having the kinds of adventures she’s only ever heard about in stories. But as a lowly Whisperer, h
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published June 16th 2020 by Razorbill
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
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Cait (Caitsbooks)
*Thank you so much to Penguin Teen for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!!*

Quick Stats:
4.5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 4.5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4/5
Review in a Nutshell: The Kinder Poison surprised me with it's humor and addictive qualities.

“All good stories start with bad decisions.”

The Kinder Poison is a fantastic debut novel. The world-building is interesting and immersive, with fascinating mythology and a fun magic system. Fun is pro
Claude's Bookzone
Oct 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
Well I think I missed the memo on this one so here it is for others:

Memo - This isn't an exciting action adventure fantasy.

This is more of a story about relationships, that happens to be set in a fantasy world, in which people need to get from A to B, and do lots of arguing, self reflection, falling in and out of 'like', lamenting about their relationships with their parents, and more arguing. There are a couple of scuffles, a few magicky wee moments and some good old sibling rivalry. I think i
Athena (OneReadingNurse)
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you so much to Bookish First and Razorbill for my finished copy of The Kinder Poison!  It is a gorgeous hardcover and for my fellow book sniffers, has that great sawdust smell 😂

Tons of sibling rivalry, a magical and dangerous race, a taste of political intrigue, and some interesting family dynamics are all aspects that drew me to - and kept me interested in the book while reading.

The sibling rivalry is the base for the entire plot, so lets start there.  One of the three has to make it acro
Abbie | nerdyabbie
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“All good stories start with bad decisions.”

And thus begins the tale of an epic, thrilling adventure that follows Zahru, a young girl desperately seeking adventure, who becomes the human sacrifice and pawn in a deadly game of cat and mouse between three heirs 👑

The World

This was such an enthralling adventure. Everything from the color, warmth, and complexity of the world, to the characters, to the strength and compassion of Zahru - it was all so breathtaking! I felt like my imagination couldn’t c
Ria Visweswaran
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you are a fan of the Darkling from Shadow and Bone, Maven from Red Queen or Warner from Shatter Me, this is a must-read.

I’m trying not to sound like a rabid fangirl, but this is the YA fantasy/romance I’ve been looking for all year!

I will say that I think the comparison to Red Queen is very accurate so keep that in mind. I’ll also confess that I almost wrote this book off in the beginning, but it vastly improves. Here are a few things about The Kinder Poison that might initially annoy you, a
Rachel Kathryn Wright
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love when books are character driven, and this one was so good. The siblings Jet, Kasta, and Sakira were all very interesting and had great backstories. While the main character Zahru, didn’t have an interesting backstory and I felt all of the other characters were more interesting. And the magic system I hope to see more of it in the next book because it was really interesting especially the powers that Maia has. The world building was good but I wanted more from it. Overall, this is one of m ...more
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you FFBC, Edelweiss and Razorbill for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Kinder Poison
By: Natalie Mae

Some years ago, I loved a movie called Hidalgo about a horse race across a brutal and deadly desert. The Kinder Poison's synopsis immediately took me back to that time, and I knew I had to read this book.

The heroine, Zahru, wants so much more than life has given her. In a world of magical powers, she can speak to anima
♠ Tabi⁷₈⁷ ♠
Jun 06, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: edelweiss
the younger me that religiously rewatched The Black Stallion Returns and Hidalgo wants this book now

5 shining stars to this wonderful book. This is a debut novel and I cannot begin to explain how much I absolutely LOVED this book. This was everything I loved and some more.

"ALL good stories start with bad decisions."

This book drew me in with the first sentence itself. It follows the story of a girl named Zahru, a common stable girl with a heart of an explorer. She has spent all her life in this small forgettable town and hatches a plan to sneak into the royal banquet for one night. What follo
Mac (bookshelfpalace)
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Penguin Teen for sending me an e-arc copy of the book.
If you like rivalling royalty and books that centre around a battle for the throne, I highly recommend picking up The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae.

This book is about a race across the desert called, “The Crossing.” All of the heirs take part in this race, and at the end they need to perform a human sacrifice to ascend to the throne. As Zahru gets caught up in the feud between the heirs, she is forced to become the human sacrifice.
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is more like 4.5 star

Wow. I literally went for the book blindly and i didn't have any expectation despite the hype and i have to say i enjoyed it so much.
This book has a unique and new magic world which i want to explore more about
And the book has a mixture of red queen and cruel pribce vibe so fans of this two series will like it which i did.
Then again bring me the 2nd book

So this reread was absolutly random. My frien
Athena of Velaris
“All good stories start with bad decisions.”

This book was a lot of fun, and I'm honestly shocked that it isn't super popular. Following Zahru, a girl accidentally chosen to be the sacrifice in a deadly tournament in which three royals compete for the crown as they race across a dangerous desert, The Kinder Poison had an intense plot, compelling writing, and an interesting world. A minimal amount of politics mixed together seamlessly with adventure, romance, friendship, and self discovery.

"Do you
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Read the full review at

Thank you to Penguin Random House and Netgalley for providing me an ARC of this book!

I got this book about a week back and I really like the concept of the book. It follows the main character, Zahru, who was chosen to be the sacrifice of a royal kingdom. There are three heirs to the throne who must race across the desert to kill her in order to ascend to the throne. This world is full of magic, including both “lowly magic” such as talking
Ashlee » libraryinthecountry
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
this was so good! that ending shocked me!

definitely one worth staying up until past midnight to finish. 🙃
Christine Manzari
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing and I’m absolutely obsessed.
Jessica Reads It
Confession - Did I buy Kinder Poison because of the gorgeous cover? Oh yeah........ In my defense, the book cover is quite spectacular and, the choice of colors- royal purple and bright gold scream, "Bookstagrammable".

While my initial intentions were slightly superficial, Kinder Poison simply bewitched me with its splendid cast of characters and its superbly written plotline. It had me guessing right up until the very end, with stunning betrayals, and revelations that expose a web of lies, de
I may reduce it to 2 stars
I shuld have just read Scythe......instead I did this to myself
This book was painfully boring nd ahhh I hate every character
They are the most boring people ever....
The romance was blehh
Idk how this book has 5 star ratings
Some parts were okay and that is the only reason I kept gng...I wanted to see how it ended
Guess which was my fav part......

I will write a review when I regain some of my brain cells
Rameela (Star)
Jun 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021
Initial Thoughts: This was so wild and fun and the first line just had me hooked. Talked about relatable YA fantasy characters. The way she kept saying this is a terrible decision and then still did questionable things? Yeah, same, Zahru!
Joanna Bennett
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rating: 4.5

I had seen the cover circling for this one on every social media I have. The purple and gold together are amazing and it just has that dazzle that captures the eye. Even though I was a bit hesitant about picking it up, I’m glad I signed up for this blog tour because within in the first chapter I immediately fell in love with this story!

Zahru relies a lot on others. She tries to be brave and tries to be optimistic about the situations she gets in. She is kind, caring, and truly wants t
Trisha Tomy
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tb-oct-2020
I really liked it, but hated the romance.

Let me tell you, this would've been a solid 5-stars had it not been for the romance. And other people might have liked this book for that very reason, but I'm not other people.

Other people, are people who like love triangles. And like them between two brothers.

And let me tell you something about me: I hate love triangles, with very few books making the 5-star cut for me. And between brothers? Absolutely hate them. And if the girl keeps changing her mind e
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
the main character can talk to animals that is literally the cutest shit 🥺

imma start off by saying that i despise love triangles, but this book is so much more than some dumb back-and-forth between two princes. and it‘s so entertaining too?? i don’t think i was ever bored. like, it’s a more character driven story rather than something that’s action-packed, so i guess it depends on ur personal taste, but still.

zahru might start off as ur typical meek heroine but she grows so much throughout the
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell
I keep seeing people with ARCs of this and I am slavering at the mouth with want
Jun 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, on-kindle
Many thanks to Razorbill and Edelweiss for giving me an ARC!

I was excited to read The Kinder Poison. The blurb made it sound stronger than Red Queen, focused on the strong female angle. I had read Red Queen and found it lacking in depth and coherence. I hoped that this one would give me more hope.

After finishing this book I can say that if you enjoy Red Queen you will enjoy this one for the same reasons. IF you didn’t enjoy Red Queen, then you won’t enjoy this book.

I find it crazy these days tha
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Actual rating 3.5 stars
I had no idea what to expect when starting this one, but it definitely wasn't the whirlwind of emotions that I just went through...
Full review to come
Jay G
Aug 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel:

*I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review*

In the land of Orkena, everyone is born with a magical ability they eventually grow into. Zahru is a Whisperer, meaning she can talk to animals. Unfortunately for Zahru, this is not a necessarily interesting ability, and therefore, she doesn't live an extremely luxurious lifestyle. Every 10 years, the
Lori Goldstein
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to get an advance read of THE KINDER POISON, a sweeping fantasy with a unique system of magic that guides one's destiny and place in the world, and yet Zahru wants more. But when that more comes in a way she couldn't have imagined, she must take a hard look at who she is versus who she wants to be. With strong characters, beautifully written description, a slow burn romance that will keep you enthralled, and a touch of humor, THE KINDER POISON has me anxious for the sequel! ...more
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
kastazahru are the villain/hero ship of my dreams
May 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: duology, ya-books, fantasy
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

TW: violence, death, mentions of parental death, mentions of child neglect/emotional abuse
Rep: LGBTQ+ (side characters), racial diversity

The epilogue was probably one of my favorite chapters in the book and it definitely made me ask that pivotal question, “what happens next?” This was a pretty standard YA fantasy novel, nothing really set it above and beyond for me, but I did enjoy the story and plan to read the sequel, The Cruelest Mercy. Initially, I thought al
Katherine Paschal
This was fantastic and completely unexpected. I need the next book like yesterday, what a cliffhanger. Does it make me a bad person that I still root for the bad boy who is basically a monster??
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
OMG OBSESSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everyone needs to read this and I need the sequel ASAP!!!!!!!!!!

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Natalie Mae is an ex-programmer, dark chocolate enthusiast, and author of THE KINDER POISON series. She has also been a freelance editor and Pitch Wars mentor, and feels it notable to mention she once held a job where she had to feed spiders. When not writing, Natalie can be found wandering the Colorado wilderness with her family. Visit her online at nataliemaeboo

Other books in the series

The Kinder Poison (2 books)
  • The Cruelest Mercy (The Kinder Poison #2)

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