A Fierce and Subtle Poison

A Fierce and Subtle Poison Book Cover A Fierce and Subtle Poison
Samantha Mabry
Young Adult Fiction
Algonquin Books
April 12, 2016

Spending the summer with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico, seventeen-year-old Lucas turns to a legendary cursed girl filled with poison when his girlfriend mysteriously disappears.



“A Fierce and Subtle Poison” is a wonderful tale of magical realism and fantasy based heavily upon the stories and superstitions found in Puerto Rico.

If you’re looking for a book with typical romance, this one is not for you.  The focus is more on the mysterious nature of a girl and a boy’s search to find himself.  I absolutely loved the look into how Puerto Ricans view the rich Americans who are taking over and destroying the natural beauty of their homeland.  For his part, Lucas, the main character, does have a love of the place and the people.  It’s nice to see hope for change.

The characters are very well-developed, and the book reads at a fast and easy pace.  It’s easy to get lost in the world and believe in magic again.  I can’t say much else without giving away some important things, but I can say the ending is satisfying and leaves room for a sequel without needing one to make the story feel complete.  It’s a really fun ride.

“A Fierce and Subtle Poison” does have some themes that might not be appropriate for younger middle graders, but anyone older who loves a good fairy tale will enjoy this book.  I highly recommend it.

This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Underage Alcohol Abuse, Violence, Brief Mentions Of Animal Death (Not Graphic)

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