Sunday, January 22, 2006
Wooding, Chris. 2005. POISON. New York: Orchard Books. ISBN 0439755700 [Suggested Grade Levels 7-12]
Raised in the isolated village of Gull, Poison, a dark-haired, violet-eyed sixteen year old, refuses to accept the life for which she was raised. When her beloved baby sister Azalea is kidnapped by Scarecrow and a changeling left in her place, Poison leaves the Realm of Man for the Realm of Phairies in order to confront the Phaerie Lord and bring her sister home. As she makes her way through the Realm of the Phaeries, Poison and the devoted friends she makes along the way must confront a variety of strange and dangerous creatures. When Poison, not knowing her sister was returned a week after Poison left home, finally reaches the Phaerie Lord, Aelthar, she is sent on an even more dangerous journey which will ultimately challenge Poison’s life. Finally in order to prevent Aelthar from his true aim of destroying humanity and replacing the human Hierophant, Melcheron, with one of his own choosing, Poison accuses the most powerful Lord of murder and finds the evidence to support her claim. When Poison named herself originally to spite her stepmother, little did she know Aelthar himself would be murdered by poisoning. As the new Hierophant, Poison will rewrite the story of Melcheron’s life and her own as well.
Wooding has written a dark, chilling, disturbing fantasy novel which can be read on many levels. On the surface, POISON is a coming of age quest, but Wooding also uses the story to propose the possibility that we “write” our own lives and that some will write many tales but “no tale can be read until it is finished.”
Have readers create a topographical map of Poison’s travels along the lines of the “Here There Be Dragons” maps of old including a drawing of each creature she encounters.
Books about fantastical quests:
Pullman, Phillip. THE GOLDEN COMPASS. ISBN 067987942
Stanik, Robert. IN THE COMPANY OF DRAGONS. ISBN 1575450895
By Terri Moore