Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Kinder Poison (The Kinder Poison, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Kinder Poison (The Kinder Poison, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Kinder Poison

(The Kinder Poison #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,940 ratings  ·  546 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
More Details... Edit Details

Win a Copy of This Book

  • The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae
    The Kinder Poison

    Release date: Jun 15, 2021
    Enter to win a paperback copy of THE KINDER POISON by Natalie Mae, just in time for the release of its sequel, THE CRUELEST MERCY! No PO boxes please.

    Format: Print book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 5 copies available, 2330 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: May 15 - Jun 14, 2021

    Countries available: U.S.

  • Friend Reviews

    To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

    Reader Q&A

    To ask other readers questions about The Kinder Poison, please sign up.
    Popular Answered Questions
    Mia Natalie has said in interviews it’s inspired by a mixture of ancient cultures including Rome, Greece, and Egypt.
    The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne CollinsChain of Gold by Cassandra ClareOne of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManusA ​Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa TahirImagine Me by Tahereh Mafi
    YA Novels of 2020
    803 books — 2,985 voters
    These Violent Delights by Chloe GongAll the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn  GraceAll Your Twisted Secrets by Diana UrbanWhere Dreams Descend by Janella AngelesThe Outlands by Tyler Edwards
    YA Debuts 2020
    152 books — 615 voters

    More lists with this book...

    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 4.03  · 
    Rating details
     ·  1,940 ratings  ·  546 reviews

    More filters
    Sort order
    Start your review of The Kinder Poison (The Kinder Poison, #1)
    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
    ♠ Tabi⁷ ♠
    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

    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.
    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
    Apr 15, 2021 rated it liked it
    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
    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
    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: on-kindle, arc
    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
    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
    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
    May 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
    Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

    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!!!!!!!!!!

    The Kinder Poison is the first book in the Kinder Poison series by Natalie Mae. I loved The Kinder Poison fiercely! It is one of my favorite books of 2020 for sure! The Kinder Poison is a young adult fantasy with a slow burn romance…my favorite kind! It really has it all- great characters, a really interesting world, competition, a unique magic structure, fantastic writing and world building and have a mentioned the romance? Yes! I totally loved it all and I am desperate for the sequel! Fingers ...more
    Alex Foux
    Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I've only managed to snag the first few chapters so far (crossing my fingers that I am approved for an ARC) but I am already OBSESSED.

    I am in love with the author's writing style and I was chuckling before the end of the first page. The main character's, Zahru, inner dialogue is riotous and really resonates with the way I talk to myself in my own head. Plus, she can talk to animals?! Excuse me, we have ALL dreamed about having this ability at some point or another.

    The CHARACTERS. I have yet to c
    Morgan Boyd
    Nov 30, 2020 rated it liked it
    I liked it, but you cannot write an angsty, brooding, misunderstood prince and NOT expect a redemption arc. Is he the villain? Yes. Did I still fall for him? Also yes.
    Dini - dinipandareads
    Thanks to NetGalley and Razorbill for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thanks also to the FFBC for including me on this blog tour! 4.5 stars (rounded up).

    Ok, wow. I think The Kinder Poison might be one of my favourite YA fantasy reads so far in 2020! I went into this book with very little expectation and in all honesty, didn't even re-read the blurb to refresh my memory of what it was about until I got to the 40% mark -- not that I needed to because this book had me hooked from the be
    Stephanie - Books Less Travelled
    *Thank you so much to FFBC Tours and Penguin Teen for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!!*

    Stars: 4.5/5
    Characters: 4/5
    Setting: 4.5/5
    Writing: 4.5/5
    Plot and Themes: 5/5
    Favorite Character(s)?:
    Several, but Kasta, Zarhu(surprise!), and Maia top the list!

    “All good stories start with bad decisions.”

    It's no secret I love being able to fall in-love with debut stories, more so when it happens to defy the odds and becomes one of my 'Top Reads" of both that year, but also one of my absolute
    « previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

    Readers also enjoyed

    • Ninth House (Alex Stern #1)
    • Queen of Coin and Whispers
    • With the Fire on High
    • Red at the Bone
    • A Countess Below Stairs
    • The Priory of the Orange Tree
    • Other Words for Home
    • Paris Never Leaves You
    • The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1)
    • Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2)
    • We Set the Dark on Fire (We Set the Dark on Fire, #1)
    • Date Me, Bryson Keller
    • The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, #3)
    • Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake, #2)
    • Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #1)
    • Fighting Words
    • Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic
    • Beach Read
    See similar books…

    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)

    Articles featuring this book

    If you love discovering great stories from new voices, then the past few months have been quite a treat in the world of young adult fiction!...
    48 likes · 40 comments
    “All good stories start with bad decisions.” 1 likes
    More quotes…