This Poison Heart

by Kalynn Bayron

Part of the This Poison Heart Series

Children's & YA Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of This Poison Heart

Dazzling contemporary YA fantasy brimming with botanical magic, mythic magic and Black Girl Magic

What a blooming brilliant concept - an adopted Brooklyn teenager with an uncanny gift for giving life to plants inherits an old mansion from her birth family and becomes embroiled in an ancient ancestral curse. The book’s botanical and mythic insights are endlessly fascinating and interwoven with green-fingered dexterity, and the plot is 100% page-turning as it conjures a fast-blossoming story that twists with the grip of snaking vines.


Bri’s inherited house, with its massive grounds and apothecary, is in quaint, curious, countrified Rhinebeck. On arrival, she follows a trail of clues left by her aunt Circe and discovers a deadly Poison Garden. Then she reads a letter from Circe declaring that “fate has a way of catching up to us. You must decide if you can continue this work, because you are the only one that can.” Turns out it’s no coincidence that Bri’s full name (Briseis) and those of her birth mom and aunt (Selene and Circe) are powerful women from Greek myth.


Alongside the uncoiling magical mystery, I adored the loving banter between Bri’s moms, and the intrigue of her friendship with local boy Karter. Then there’s super stunning, super rich Marie, a girl with mysteries of her own and a driver called Nyx - a name that might also set bells a-ringing.


This Poison Heart is contemporary YA fantasy at its finest and confirms Kalynn Bayron’s talent for coming up with killer concepts and spinning new gold from timeless old tales (I also adored Cinderella is Dead). What’s more, the epic ending leaves scope for a sequel - I truly hope that’s the case.

Joanne Owen

This Poison Heart Synopsis

Ever since she can remember, Briseis has had power over plants. Flowers bloom in her footsteps and leaves turn to face her as though she were the sun. It's a power she and her adoptive mothers have spent her whole life trying to hide. And then Briseis inherits an old house from her birth mother and suddenly finds herself with the space and privacy to test her powers for the first time. But as Briseis starts to bring the house's rambling garden back to life, she finds she has also inherited generations of secrets. A hidden altar to a dark goddess, a lineage of witches stretching back to ancient times, and a hidden garden overgrown with the most deadly poisonous plants on earth. And Briseis's long-departed ancestors aren't going to let her rest until she accepts her place as the keeper of the terrible power that lies at the heart of the Poison Garden. Cinderella Is Dead author Kalynn Bayron brings a message of proud inclusivity to this empowering fantasy about a young woman finding the strength to challenge everything she has been told is true.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781526632791
Publication date: 29th June 2021
Author: Kalynn Bayron
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 400 pages
Primary Genre Children's & YA Fiction
Other Genres:

What To Read After This Poison Heart

This Woven Kingdom
A Curse So Dark and Lonely: The Complete Cursebreaker Collection
Defy the Night

Kalynn Bayron Press Reviews

A delicious mix of intoxicating fantasy and coming of age, steeped in Greek mythology and peppered with references to the Jordan Peele films Get Out and Us - Observer New Review

Praise for Cinderella is Dead;

A wholly original and captivating story where girls finally decide for themselves who lives happily ever after - Brigid Kemmerer 

Challenges patriarchy with kick-butt heroines and a counter-story that will forever change how readers perceive fairy tales - Booklist starred review

Ambitious, replacing the happily-ever-after with a tragic legacy and a defiant, feminist tone - Publisher's Weekly Online

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781526632791
Publication date: 29/06/2021
Format: Paperback

View All Editions

About Kalynn Bayron

Kalynn Bayron is a debut author and a classically trained vocalist. She grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. When she's not writing, you can find her listening to Ella Fitzgerald on loop, going to the theatre, watching scary movies and spending time with her kids. She currently lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her family.

More About Kalynn Bayron

More Books By Kalynn Bayron

This Poison Heart
This Poison Heart
View All Books By Kalynn Bayron

Share this book