“This Poison Heart”

I recently finished a duology by author Kalynn Bayron. The first book is “This Poison Heart” and the second is “This Wicked Fate”.

It is a YA fantasy where the main character, Briseis, has an unusual gift she inherited from her birth mother and a creepy estate she inherits from her aunt requiring her to move from Brooklyn to rural New York. The estate comes with unusual gardens and a fully stocked apothecary. It seems to be the perfect opportunity for her and her adoptive parents to start over.

Her parents are a lesbian couple who are fully supportive and fiercely protective of Briseis despite being in way over their heads. Her love interest is a 17-year-old girl who is older than she looks. In fact, the entire cast of characters are almost all unique and not at all what they first appear to be.

It’s a classic hero story with all the required elements told in an engaging and exceptional way. There is plenty of danger and intrigue with betrayal, greed, and murder. It is also filled with magic, adventure, love, redemption, and a little divine intervention.

You’ll learn some interesting botanical facts about poisonous plants and get a fascinating retelling of some Greek myths too.

I listened to the audio book version and really liked Jordan Cobb’s narration. It is available at the library and its hugely popular so you may have to wait a bit to get it. The author lives and works in Colorado Springs and is a recent winner of the Randall Kenan Award for Black LGBTQ fiction.

I highly recommend this series even if YA fantasy is not your normal genre because we all need to support our local black and queer artists and because its a really good read.

Enjoy my friends.

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