The Queen’s Poisoner Review

Hello All!

I’m back with another book review. I recently finished The Queen’s Poisoner by Jeff Wheeler, the first book in his Kingfountain Series, and was very impressed by this gem of a book.

So, what’s the plot? After betraying the king, Lord and Lady Kiskaddon are forced to hand over their young son, Owen, as insurance for their future loyalty. Owen is sent to the king’s palace where he soon realizes the king may be waiting to kill him. He allies himself with a mysterious woman who is the queen’s poisoner and finds himself in the middle of vicious politics and hushed-up secrets.

This book had no problem shying away from the typical high-fantasy tropes and forging its own story. I found it to be incredibly original and, for the most part, absorbing. The world building was well done and detailed enough to satisfy me. What is shown of the magic system points to it being fairly limited, but while magic is present, it never dominates the story. The characters are also developed nicely. While I could have stood for a few of them (mainly Owen and the queen’s poisoner) to be a little more fleshed out, all of the characters were solid, especially the villain. How Wheeler made the main villain so dynamic and “grey” is one of my favorite aspects of the book.

Another thing I loved was that it was inspired by the events of the War of the Roses. The novel is imaginative and enjoyable, but it also has a very grounded feel to it. It’s not about crazy, over-the-top adventures, but it still is dramatic, and I think this is because historical events influenced it. Though there is a slight lull in the middle, the rest of it kept building the layers of the plot at a good pace. The story is clean and nuanced, which really makes it shine.

Overall, I enjoyed it and definitely want to check out some of Jeff Wheeler’s other works, starting with the sequel to The Queen’s Poisoner. As someone who’s always on the lookout for authors who can write solid books that elevate the reader, it makes me excited to discover one who holds such potential. I highly recommend this book for any fantasy lover looking for a refreshingly unique read. 4.75 out of 5 stars.

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