THE MOOREHAWKE TRILOGY:
The Poison Throne by Celine Kiernan
No Kingdom Was Ever This Intriguing!
Wynter Moorehawke is a fifteen year old girl. She is a Lady, she is a qualified apprentice in a man's profession and up until five years ago she was the King's Cat Keeper. But for the past five years she and her father have been in exile up North. Now, after so long they have been called home to the south. But it is not home as she remembers it.
Upon returning home Wynter discovers there are many changes in her home kingdom. Small things at first, slightly amiss; like the cats for one thing, and the ghosts for another, as neither seems willing to talk to her as they had before.
Wynter soon realises she has returned to a kingdom in chaos. King Jonathan's once civilised and peaceful kingdom has drastically changed with the reintroduced gibbets and cages, neither seen since the dark days, many years before Wynter was born. King Jonathan also has one son missing, and another unwillingly forced to take his place.
There is the constant threat of danger as sides are taken and the very real risk of imprisonment, torture and death. There are also the whispers of the 'Bloody Machine', but Wynter is at a loss as to what it is, what it has to do with the drastic changes to the kingdom, and what it could possibly have to do with her father.
Wynter finds herself in a precarious situation as she discovers there are those willing to threaten her safety for the submission of power from those she is close to. But there is also the stranger Christopher Garron to worry about. Christopher obviously does not fit in, and despite her friends faith in him, she is not sure he is altogether trustworthy.
Ultimately Wynter has a decision to make, she must choose between her father, her friend and her kingdom. It is a choice that will lead her to deceive those she loves and leave her alone in terrible danger.
There are real moments of tenderness, friendship, intrigue and tension in this story as terrible choices must be made and the consequences lived with. The character are portrayed as vivid, complex and instantly likeable. The story is such that it leaves you desperately wanting more, and hoping it will not be a long wait to discover Wynter's fate in the continuing stories.
The Moorehawke Trilogy
Price (AU): $19.99
Recommended age: 15-18
In a word: Intrigue
Re-read it: probably
Star rating: five out of five