Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Just Reviewed Celine Kiernan’s “The Poison Throne” at SBR . . .

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. . . and folks, I couldn’t be more disappointed if I tried.

Look.  Celine Kiernan can obviously write.  Parts of THE POISON THRONE were diverting, absorbing, interesting, etc., despite the fact that I saw all the weaknesses in sharp relief — the lack of plot organization.  The overabundance of deus ex machina plot devices (if you don’t know what a deus ex machina is, it basically means that the author felt it needed to happen, so she forced it to happen rather than let it flow out of the plot naturally).  The lack of sense being shown by most of the participants . . . and the fact that the King, Jonathan, of a kingdom that’s never named, is now the biggest bully the world has apparently ever seen, even though when Wynter was young (she’s now the ripe, old age of fifteen), King Jon was a good and gracious ruler.

None of that makes any sense, nor does the tame romance between carpenter’s apprentice Wynter and the Heir’s best friend, Christopher, considering that Wynter is young and virginal while Christopher is older, lusty, and has had his two middle fingers torn out for no reason.  (There’s a whole lot of things that happen in THE POISON THRONE for no reason other than that the author wants it that way, which is why I mentioned deus ex machina plot devices.)

This is the first book I’ve ever given a D-plus at Shiny Book Review, and in some ways I hated to do so as it’s obvious that Ms. Kiernan can write.  But my goodness!  This book is an epic failure when it comes to young adult reads, because it shows that Wynter, herself, is unable to positively affect the outcome no matter what she does, even though she is a young woman of gifts, intelligence, and talents above the average.

Here’s the link to the review:

Hope you find it useful.

Written by Barb Caffrey

May 31, 2012 at 10:56 pm

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