The Poison Throne is the first in a trilogy (The Moorehawke Trilogy) by Celine Kiernan. I bought it for my daughter, who may or may not have read it, but she didn't go out and get the second and third books that I'm aware of, so it must not have done big things for her in any case. It didn't do BIG things for me either, but it was entertaining. And its refreshing to read about a strong female character who has emotions, but still has a job and is self-reliant, even as a teen. This is a fantasy story what takes place in ye olden tymes. With a twist.
The majority of this first volume seems to be a setting of the scenery, an introduction to the characters, as well as an understanding of who means what to whom, and who, you know... doesn't. The rest is all just a big ol' mystery, right down to the title of the book. poison? what poison. where's the poison at? did someone leave it in the metaphor cabinet? This is not one of those first volumes that you can read on its own and then get to the others whenever; this book doesn't stand on its own, there is too much left to happen, and I just got the 'Tune in Next Week' message at the end. So I'll tune in and read the others, but I'll read something else first.
The story centers on Wynter Moorehawke who is trained to be a carpenter, and is quite advanced in her trade, altho still a protege to her master and father. Wynter and her father return from a long stay away from their kingdom, only to find that their kingdom isn't the same as they left it. Inner castle politics, infighting and family battles rage beneath the surface, but the Moorehawkes learn very little about the reasons behind the unrest, try as they might throughout the story.
There are secret passages, talking cats, and sneaking ghosts about the old castle. Plenty to keep the interest of one who likes an old timey story, set deep in the fantasy fiction camp. We'll see where this one goes.