Series: The Book of All Things #6
Publication Date: April 25, 2023
Synopsis: He’s the calm in her storm.
Disappear into this entrancing tale of the forbidden love between a young poison mistress and her brother’s best friend.
Edriss Blackwood has always been alone. Neglected. Abandoned. She converts this angst into action, wielding her vibrant imagination as both sword and shield, slashing through the malevolence slowly destroying her homeland.
Her one light in the darkness is her steadfast protector, Lorcan James.
It all began by a riverbank a decade ago when he found his best friend’s little sister, broken and alone. What started as a matter of honor blossomed into an unshakeable bond between two passionate souls, forged in love, trust, and fierce loyalty.
There was only rule: don’t fall in love. Too bad hearts don’t play by the rules.
But the very thing that brought them together—honor—is what will tear them apart. Their friend Arwenna, extorted by the men waging war against Edriss’s family, convinces a reluctant Lorcan to secretly pretend to be her lover, an elaborate, twisted ruse she claims is the only way to keep Edriss safe. The truth, however, is much more sinister.
Edriss licks the wounds of her shattered heart by wading deeper into the war tearing the Westerlands apart. Reckless, and with nothing left to lose, there’s no limit to what she’ll do to bring down the men responsible.
But one young woman alone cannot stand against pure evil.
If Lorcan can’t find a way to win back her faith, both Edriss and the Westerlands will be irrevocably consumed by the flames.
The Poison and the Paladin is another fabulous story in The Book of All Things series. This is such an immersive series, and Cradit created an intricately developed world with a complex political system, a variety of cultures, and a rich history. I’m always so impressed by the level of detail in the world-building, the way the author brought the world to life, and how she builds upon it as the series progresses.
Edriss is my favorite kind of FMC. Strong and smart, Edriss speaks her mind and stands by her ideals. I liked her arc and how she finds a voice in her family and in the political sphere. She is a valuable asset to her brother and other allies, but she is often underestimated. There is one person who sees her worth, though. Lorcan, Edriss’s loyal and brave bodyguard and lifelong friend, is a complex and conflicted character, and I absolutely adored him. He’s a sweet, cinnamon roll – and such an unbelievable friend. He is honorable to a fault, and his selflessness and devotion to his country are admirable. Of course, these decisions don’t always lead to his happiness, and it causes a lot of issues in his relationship with Edriss.
Ahhhh – the slow-building and deeply burning romance between Edriss and Lorcan is angsty and complicated, and there are a zillion reasons they should be together, but it’s impossible for either to imagine a life apart. Lorcan and Edriss have been in love with each other for years, but they both refuse to reveal their feelings. He’s her bodyguard, and her brother made it very clear Lorcan was not to sully her reputation. So, Lorcan and Edriss are the closest of friends. They share everything with each other – everything but their love for each other. And when Edriss becomes betrothed to someone else, and Lorcan begins a relationship with another woman, it seems as if life is tearing them apart.
Though each book in this series is a standalone, there are several characters in the story that are also in The Raven and the Rush. I loved that! The story takes place after Evra has become king, and things aren’t going smoothly for him. Lies, blackmail, betrayal, a country in turmoil, and a ton of political intrigue and maneuvering cause complications for his country, his life, and the lives of those around him. It’s interesting to see how he, Rhosyn, and Rhosyn’s sister have fared and how they deal with all of these new and difficult situations.
With rebel threats, witch hunts, and enemies posing as allies, Edriss and Lorcan become embroiled in dangerous and potentially deadly situations. The plot is so well-layered, and there’s never a dull moment in the story. The steam level in this one is similar to The Raven and the Rush, but I would recommend checking out the content warnings before reading the book. This is a dark fantasy, and there are aspects of the story that could trigger some readers.
Special thanks to Sarah M. Cradit for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The romance.
- The world-building.
- The political intrigue.
Grief is the way we hold onto love.
Would he rather be known as the man who broke the heart of the only woman he’d ever loved… or the one who couldn’t help falling in love with the most incredible human he knew.
Never make yourself smaller for anyone.
Tears were strength when she felt she had none. They were an outlet for her grief and fear but also the overflow of her joy. What a gift it was to have more joy than she had the capacity to harness.
Powerful women only terrify weak men.
- Friends to Lovers
- Brother’s Best Friend
- Found Family
- Feisty Heroine
- Forbidden Love
- Cinnamon Roll/Golden Retriever Hero