A Fierce and Subtle Poison
? Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry is a tale of magical realism set in Puerto Rico. Lucas is the young son of a hotel owner entranced by the stories the senoras tell of Isabel, the girl with green skin and grass for hair, who stays locked behind the walls of her home and feeds on poisonous plants. She’s said to grant the wishes of anyone brave enough to toss one over the wall.
Lucas wants to believe in Isabel and her magic and one day after receiving mysterious messages he decides to see if the stories are true.
But Isabel is also entangled in the mysterious disappearances of several island girls, and soon Lucas finds himself caught in the web as well. With time running out he must solve the mystery of both Isabel and the island girls.
? Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry is an interesting read, it moves slowly like a lazy hot summer day. Mabry manages to weave magic in such a frank but unassuming manner that it feels as natural as the characters’ breath. While none of the characters made a particularly strong impression on me, I did find myself enjoying the story and much like Lucas, wondering what happened to Isabel long after the story was over.
Algonquin Young Readers