Title: An Affair of Poisons
Author: Addie Thorley
Release Date: February 26 2019
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Genre: Historical Fiction / Fantasy
Goodreads Rating: 4.61 (of 79 ratings)
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☠️ SUMMARY ☠️
After unwittingly helping her mother poison King Louis XIV, seventeen-year-old alchemist Mirabelle Monvoisin is forced to see her mother’s Shadow Society in a horrifying new light: they’re not heroes of the people, as they’ve always claimed to be, but murderers. Herself included. Mira tries to ease her guilt by brewing helpful curatives, but her hunger tonics and headache remedies cannot right past wrongs or save the dissenters her mother vows to purge.
Royal bastard Josse de Bourbon is more kitchen boy than fils de France. But when the Shadow Society assassinates the Sun King and half the royal court, he must become the prince he was never meant to be in order to save his injured sisters and the petulant Dauphin. Forced to hide in the derelict sewers beneath the city, any hope of reclaiming Paris seems impossible—until Josse’s path collides with Mirabelle’s, and he finds a surprising ally in his sworn enemy.
She’s a deadly poisoner. He’s a bastard prince. Together, they form a tenuous pact to unite the commoners and former nobility against the Shadow Society. But can a rebellion built on mistrust ever hope to succeed?
☠️ REVIEW ☠️
Disclaimer: I received this ARC courtesy of Page Street Kids through Fantastic Flying Book Club. I am grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC for my readers, but this will not influence my final rating. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and based solely on the book.
Mirabelle‘s passions lay in the curatives she concocts for her mother’s Shadow Society. Though she is equally skilled at boiling up a deadly poison, her true love is seeing the benefits of a hunger tonic in the hands of the homeless.
Meanwhile, Josse is the king’s bastard, and he never lets himself forget. He loves his half-sisters more than anything in the world but cannot extend that love to himself.
Mira and Josse are both flawed characters. They blame themselves for mistakes they have made in their past, and keep themselves from happiness because they “don’t deserve it.” Mirabelle is quicker to own her guilt: she assesses her skills to find ways to help the people she has hurt. This endeared her in my eyes. Josse was much slower and it felt like every time he accepted a flaw, he quickly took another step back. He lashed out at others, blaming them for his weaknesses. After a bit, I stopped being compassionate and got frustrated. I wanted Josse to grow as a character, but not while he was tearing other characters down.
A few plot points in this book were harder to swallow than others. Josse leaving his sisters behind for over a week because he fears his brother’s wrath is one of them. The character’s motivations were not always clear to me, and at times followed the plot more than their characterization. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the fragile relationship between Mira and her sister, Margot. La Voisin’s mask of strength was another strong aspect in An Affair of Poisons. I relished the moments this deadly woman showed tiny cracks in her armour, betraying the humanity underneath.
The characters of An Affair of Poisons work towards an ending that signals a strong “you are who you choose, not what you were born into” moral. There is a cause worth a rebellion!
rating: 3 crowns
content warnings: murder (graphic), mass killing, assassination
☠️ FAVOURITE QUOTES ☠️
📎 And the citizens of Paris voice no objection. On the contrary. They cheered in the streets and stitched banners of emerald, cerise, and plum-coloured rags in support of Mother, their champion.
Mira, about her mother
📎 I see you! I want to shout. You are just as desperate for approval as I am.
Mira, about Josse
📎 “(…) It’s madness to think one person could make a difference, anyway.”
“Is it, princeling?”
Mira, to Josse
📎 “Can’t you see he’s trying? Would it kill you to give him a chance?”
“Why should I when the same courtesy was never extended to me?”
“Wasn’t it?” she says quietly. “Or did you choose not to take it?”
Mira and Josse, in conversation
☠️ MEET ADDIE THORLEY ☠️
Addie Thorley spent her childhood playing soccer, riding horses, and scribbling stories. After graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in journalism, she decided “hard news” didn’t contain enough magic and kissing, so she flung herself into the land of fiction and never looked back.
She now lives in Princeton, New Jersey with her husband, daughter, and wolf dog. When she’s not writing she can be found gallivanting in the woods or galloping around the barn where she works as a horse trainer and exercise rider.
Click here to see all the AN AFFAIR OF POISON blog tour stops.
The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Welcome Post
The love for An Affair of Poisons doesn’t end here! Fantastic Flying Book Club has organized a tour with promotion posts, dream casts, and playlists. See all the tour info here (especially if you’re still on the fence about this historical fic. adventure).
☠️ PRE-ORDER CAMPAIGN ☠️
Addie is hosting a pre-order campaign by giving away several bundles on her website.
Click the bolded text to get all the deets! (open intl’ and for teens unable to pre-order)
☠️ GIVEAWAY ☠️
PRIZE: A signed copy of An Affair of Poisons, a signed bookplate, and a bookmark.
ENTRY DATES: March 5th 2019 to March 19th 2019.
Quick! Your mother has poisoned the King and you’re directly involved. What do you do?