Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The Poison Season by Mara Rutherford

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.



Things that grab my attention...when the antagonist is an ancient forest that requires blood to survive. This book was not what I expected.

The atmosphere of Endla is almost like religious zealotry when it comes to their thoughts and feelings of the Wandering Forest. Protect the forest, and the forest will protect them is what they believe. For some, the sacrifices they make to live the life they are used to becomes too much.  Leelo's emotional struggle was so raw when her brother is sent across the poisonous lake to the mainland because he doesn't have magic. Then followed by moral decision when she finds an outsider on the island shortly after.  Does she do what she's been taught to do, and kill him, or does she listen to her heart and help him survive? What I don't think she expects, is the very sweet, and slow way both her and Jaren fall for each other. 

If you're looking for a sweet, emotional fantasy read with a clean slow burn romance be sure to add this one to your list! 

The Poison Season is available on Amazon and Bookshop beginning December 6th!

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

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