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Poison Tree

Review

Poison Tree

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes returns readers to her Den of Shadows fantasy world with this engrossing read featuring two powerful young women. Both are struggling against their dark past, and are trying to find who they want to be in the future. At the same time, some people are trying to pull them back to their old ways with violence.

The book begins in the immediate aftermath of a bloody vampire battle that happened six years ago. Tiger shapeshifter Sarik is unable to save her younger sister, but vampire Jason helps her get out. Then Christian, a Triste, is saved by a female warrior, Alysa. These four are the key players in this book, which then moves ahead to present time.

"Atwater-Rhodes brings depth and diversity to her fantasy characters, along with unique twists to genre conventions. Readers will immediately be drawn into the struggles of the vivid, three dimensional cast, even if it takes a couple chapters to understand their world."

Now, Alysa is applying for a mediator position with SingleEarth Haven #4. Although there are big holes in her resume, she’s been an IT worker there for the past two years and is hired. On her first day, she witnesses three SingleEarth people get attacked with bows. She helps save them and even gives some of her blood to Jason.

She and Sarik, who is now another mediator at SingleEarth, go to Onyx to meet with a faction leader who they think is responsible for the attack. Instead, they run into Christian, who is now a different faction leader. He follows Alysa and realizes the bows are her weapons, and they determine that someone is trying to frame her. Several plot surprises will keep readers turning pages right to the end of this story.

Atwater-Rhodes brings depth and diversity to her fantasy characters, along with unique twists to genre conventions. Readers will immediately be drawn into the struggles of the vivid, three dimensional cast, even if it takes a couple chapters to understand their world.

Elements of all her works are here, from warriors, shapeshifters and vampires to the familiar themes of love and loyalty, which are strong in all her books. Sarik’s young charges are especially fun characters as they question what loyalty is and then prove their own loyalty to the princess. Readers will want to find or revisit all the books in the Den of Shadows series after this strong, exciting adventure.

Reviewed by Amy Alessio on September 21, 2012

Poison Tree
by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes