Poisoned Book Review

I’m lucky enough to be part of the blog tour for Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly. Thank you so much Blue and Hot Key Books for giving me the opportunity!

Beautiful Sophie, with lips as red as blood, skin as pale as snow, and hair as dark as night, is about to come of age and inherit her father’s throne. But Sophie’s stepmother wants rid of her – beautiful she may be, but too weak and foolish to reign. And Sophie believes her, as she believes all the things that have been said about her – all the poisonous words people use to keep girls like her from becoming too powerful, too strong.

When the huntsman carries out his orders of killing Sophie, she finds a fire burning inside her that will not be extinguished, and sets off to reclaim what was taken from her.

Jennifer Donnelly turns her feminist eye to this most delicious of fairy tales and shows Snow White as she’s never been seen before.


I LOVE a retelling, it’s one of my weaknesses but I’ve noticed recently that it can be tricky to find a retelling that does something different and unexpected. Jennifer Donnelly has achieved this. I honestly could not have predicted some of the elements of this story, which is unique whilst having clear nods to the story of Snow White that we know and love.

This was a fast – paced book that I found difficult to put down, there’s lots of action that kept me hooked (perfect if you are in a slump like I was!) I loved looking out for, and trying to spot the nods to Snow White and other fairy tales – there are quite a few!

I throughly enjoyed Donnelly’s writing style, it holds the magical style of fairy tale whilst also threading a mature voice that suited the age of the main character, Sophie. Donnelly included rich descriptions that brought the world she describes to life.

The characters are well developed, Sophie is a strong main character who feels deeply. I even felt my heart breaking for her step mother, something the original tale never managed to achieve! I also enjoyed the rich background that is given to the characters which is not all dumped on us in one go, instead it unravels slowly throughout the course of the book.

There is also even more fantastical elements to this story than the original tale, we have spider housekeepers and clockwork hearts alongside crows with nefarious schemes! I’m hoping that my guess is correct and that there are some hints as to the next book that might be coming – I’ll certainly be picking it up! Now I’m off to go and read Stepsister which is staring at me from my bookshelf..

Do you enjoy retellings? If so, which is your favourite?

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