Saturday 17 September 2022

Book Review: The Poison Season by Mara Rutherford (YA Fantasy)

Title: The Poison Season
Author: Mara Rutherford
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Publication Date: 6 December 2022
Pages: 246
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: ARC via NetGalley

Outsiders are always given a choice: the Forest or the lake. Either way, they’re never heard from again.

Leelo has spent her entire life on Endla, coexisting with the bloodthirsty Forest and respecting the poisonous lake that protects her island from outsiders who seek to destroy it. But as much as Leelo cares for her community, she struggles to accept that her younger brother will be exiled by his next birthday, unless he gains the magic of enchanted song so vital to Endla.

When Leelo sees a young outsider on the verge of drowning in the lake, she knows exactly what she’s supposed to do. But in a moment that will change everything, Leelo betrays her family, her best friend, and Endla by making an unthinkable choice.

Discovery could lead to devastating consequences for both Leelo and the outsider, Jaren, but as they grow closer, Leelo realizes that not all danger comes from beyond the lake—and they can only survive if Leelo is willing to question the very fabric of her society, her people, and herself.


The Poison Season was a delightful YA fantasy with a fairy tale feel. The world building was nicely done, and Leelo was a captivating character who held my interest throughout. The pacing of the tale was good, and it kept me turning the pages. There were a few aspects for which I would have liked a more detailed explanation, but that is a very minor complaint in an otherwise highly enjoyable story. I definitely recommend it to YA fantasy fans. It gets 4.5 stars from me.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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