The Poison Throne by Celine Kiernan Reviewed by Judy Béres

512 pages
first published October 13th 2008 by Orbit

Poison Throne is the first Chapter in Celine Kiernan’s Moorhawke trilogy. Wynter and her father Lorcan returns to their beloved Kingdom after 5 years of absence; to found that their haven of a land became a place of ignorance; fear and suspicion. The always justiful King Jonathan has lost his grip on he throne; his rightful heir Alberon has gone to exile while his half-brother Razi is forced to replace him. Wynter struggles to understand what lead to the unpleasant events of disregarding ghosts and the talking of cats; while Razi is being torn between meeting the demands of his father and staying loyal to the Kingdom and his brother. While whispers rise about a possible upcoming rebellion with Alberon’s leading and a deathly machine from the past; Wynter, Razi and their friend Chris must decide what they’ll be willing to sacrifice for the greater good; the future of their Kingdom.


Poison Throne is an amazing read; I can’t remember the last fantasy book that captured my mind so much. I won't say that I was hooked from the first chapter because it took 2 or 3; but as the story unfolded I found myself addicted. Celine’s characters are way out of the ordinary; they're different and complex and actually present real life feelings and ambivalence. The book is set in a sort of alternate 15th-century Europe; and the writer gives us plenty of background information about the surrounding countries, their culture and the political relations among them just like Kristin Cashore did in Graceling and in Fire. Wynter point of view of the world is perfect for the book, it combines her naivite with the curiosity that a young rebellious female has. Her big brother Razi is the grown up and Christopher has the pretense tomcat personality with the hidden brave and sensitive side. I recommend this book to anyone who’s looking for a book that can transport the reader to another world; and been looking for something similar to Kristin Cashore’s or Morgan Howell’s books; a story full of hidden magic and secrets that will lead to a fantastic evening read.

Judy Béres

First Reviewed: 22nd Oct 2019

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