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This Poison Heart
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This Poison Heart
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Darkness blooms in bestselling author Kalynn Bayron's new contemporary fantasy about a girl with a unique and deadly power.Briseis has a gift: with a single touch she can grow plants from tiny seeds to...
Darkness blooms in bestselling author Kalynn Bayron's new contemporary fantasy about a girl with a unique and deadly power.Briseis has a gift: with a single touch she can grow plants from tiny seeds to...
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Description-

  • Darkness blooms in bestselling author Kalynn Bayron's new contemporary fantasy about a girl with a unique and deadly power.

    Briseis has a gift: with a single touch she can grow plants from tiny seeds to rich blooms.
    When Briseis's aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York, Bri and her parents hope that surrounded by plants and flowers, she will finally learn to control her gift. But their new home is sinister in ways they never expected-it comes with a mysterious set of instructions, a walled garden filled with the deadliest botanicals in the world, and generations of secrets. There is more to Bri's sudden inheritance than she could have imagined, and she is determined to uncover it.
    From the bestselling author of Cinderella Is Dead comes an enchanting story about a young woman with the power to conquer the dark forces descending around her.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 26, 2021
    In this smart and atmospheric sophomore effort, the opener to a planned duology, Bayron (Cinderella Is Dead) presents the trials of adopted Brooklynite Briseis, a Black teen with the ability to control plants. Bri’s powers are greater than even she knows, until a dangerous accidental brush with water hemlock reveals that she is impervious to poisonous plants. Just as Bri and her two moms face the possibility of losing their flower shop to gentrification, Bri receives an inheritance from her late birth mother’s sister: a house and 40 acres in Upstate New York. Yet summer in Rhinebeck reveals that there’s more to Bri’s inheritance than a sprawling mansion: she soon encounters a fully stocked apothecary, a garden full of deadly vegetation—and countless strangers seeking access to it—and secrets about her birth family and her own powers. Bayron weaves science and Greek mythology into a captivating lore that lends weight to this fantastical contemporary story. She conjures entertaining and realistic dialogue and attentive characterization, while incisive descriptions and sumptuous prose evoke a wonderfully gothic atmosphere. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jamie Vankirk, Rainbow Nerds Literary.

  • Kirkus

    May 15, 2021
    A teenager explores her magical connections to greenery and gods. Briseis Greene is a Black high schooler with magical powers that she hides from most people save her adoptive mothers, Thandie and Angie. She has an innate connection to plants and is even able to grow them from seeds using just her mind and hands. Bri is curious about the source and extent of her powers, but after some mishaps, she is more fearful of the potential harm she could bring by tapping into them, so she refrains from exploring further. When she is surprised by news of an extensive estate near Rhinebeck that she has inherited from the recently deceased Circe Colchis, her late birth mother's sister and someone whose existence she was previously unaware of, the three of them move from Brooklyn to upstate New York. Bri quickly grasps that her new home and the biological family she never knew have many more secrets in store for her--and in those secrets may lie answers to questions that she has had all her life. In this intriguing and well-paced novel, Bayron conjures a world filled with magic and mystery. Readers will share the protagonist's curiosity about her powers and eagerness to uncover her history. Fans of retellings will enjoy this modern tale that reimagines stories of Greek gods and goddesses. Major characters are Black. Brings much-needed inclusivity and contemporary flavor to the teen fantasy genre. (Fantasy. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    June 1, 2021
    Grades 9-12 *Starred Review* Briseis has a supernatural gift. Whatever seed or plant she touches grows into full bloom, and she's immune to the various poisons plants hold. But Briseis hasn't yet mastered her skill, often leaving her and those around her in precarious situations. So when Bri's family gets a call saying that her birth mother's sister has left her a home in upstate New York, they take it as a much needed break from the stressors of city life. What at first seems like a fairytale opportunity for Briseis to make friends, find love, and reopen her birth-family's apothecary soon becomes a mindboggling quest for answers as she grapples with realizations about her lineage and gift. The lush landscapes Bayron paints remind readers of beauty found not only in large acreages of land but even in bustling cities. Beyond the physical beauty it imparts, the greenery of this novel also creates an intimate space that delicately holds the weight of the issues Briseis grapples with, such as friendship, queerness, adoption, secrecy, and gentrification. Despite Briseis' struggles, it is refreshing to see the love and support of her moms throughout the story, breaking the mold of the traditional family model. This Poison Heart masterfully weaves a unique story grounded in the depths of Greek mythology and Black girlhood, ideal for lovers of folklore or those who enjoy the thrill of a well-paced and unanticipated adventure.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Kayla Ancrum, author of THE WICKER KING A verdant read as rich as the greenery within it, This Poison Heart will wrap its vines around you and never let go.
  • #1 New York Times bestselling author E.K. Johnston Bayron takes an old story, turns it on its head, and makes it her own with a stunning display of pacing, character, and legacy.
  • Julian Winters, award-winning author of RUNNING WITH LIONS Thrilling and magnetic, This Poison Heart pulses with true Black girl magic and endless mystery.
  • Brigid Kemmerer, New York Times bestselling author of A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY, on CINDERELLA IS DEAD Kalynn Bayron does more than re-write a fairy-tale . . . She breaks it apart and rebuilds it into a wholly original and captivating story where girls finally decide for themselves who lives happily ever after.
  • Publishers Weekly, starred review Bayron weaves science and Greek mythology into a captivating lore that lends weight to this fantastical contemporary story. She conjures entertaining and realistic dialogue and attentive characterization, while incisive descriptions and sumptuous prose evoke a wonderfully gothic atmosphere.
  • Booklist, starred review This Poison Heart masterfully weaves a unique story grounded in the depths of Greek mythology and Black girlhood, ideal for lovers of folklore or those who enjoy the thrill of a well-paced and unanticipated adventure.
  • The Bulletin of the Center of Children's Books Bayron strikes just the right balance of mystical and modern, bringing elements of mythology and spirituality to Bri's family roots while situating her securely in a relatable adolescence.
  • Kirkus Reviews Bayron conjures a world filled with magic and mystery. Brings much-needed inclusivity and contemporary flavor to the teen fantasy genre.
  • Locus Magazine I'm a big fan of tropes and love seeing how marginalized authors take them in new and interesting directions, something Bayron does very well here, and a big part of that is due to how well-developed her characters are. . . . . It's a fast-paced mystery with a clever twist on the myth of Medea. The story is full of queer Black girl magic, and I can't wait to see where Kalynn Bayron takes it.
  • School Library Connection The twists and turns of this fantasy tale will keep readers engaged . . . . Readers will be inspired.
  • Booklist, starred review, on CINDERELLA IS DEAD Flipping the Cinderella tale on its head, Bayron's take challenges patriarchy with kick-butt heroines and a counter-story that will forever change how readers perceive fairy tales.
  • SLJ on CINDERELLA IS DEAD Readers looking for dystopia, queer romance, LGBTQ inclusiveness, and women sticking it to the patriarchy will be pleased.
  • Shelf Awareness on CINDERELLA IS DEAD A queer dystopian fantasy that questions written history and societal expectations.
  • Publishers Weekly on CINDERELLA IS DEAD Bayron's deconstructive reimagining of the classic fairy tale is ambitious, replacing the happily-ever-after with a tragic legacy and a defiant, feminist tone.

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