Format: E-Book, 432 pages
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Young Fiction \ Fantasy
“Devastatingly magical and monstrously romantic. I can’t decide if this book stole my heart or ripped it out of my chest.” —Stephanie Garber, author of Caraval
The magicians want her to lead.
The sorcerers want her to lie.
The demons want her blood.
Henrietta wants to save the one she loves.
But will his dark magic be her undoing?
In this seductive and explosive second book in the Kingdom on Fire series, Jessica Cluess delivers her signature mix of magic, passion, and teen warriors fighting for survival. Hand to fans of Victoria Aveyard, Sarah J. Maas, and Kiersten White.
Henrietta doesn’t need a prophecy to know that she’s in danger. She came to London to be named the chosen one, the first female sorcerer in centuries, the one who would defeat the Ancients. Instead, she discovered a city ruled by secrets. And the biggest secret of all: Henrietta is not the chosen one.
Still, she must play the role in order to keep herself and Rook, her best friend and childhood love, safe. But can she truly save him? The poison in Rook’s system is transforming him as he begins to master dark powers of his own. So when Henrietta finds a clue to the Ancients’ past that could turn the tide of the war, she persuades Blackwood, the mysterious Earl of Sorrow-Fell, to travel up the coast to seek out new weapons. And Magnus, the brave, reckless flirt who wants to win back her favor, is assigned to their mission. Together, they will face monsters, meet powerful new allies, and discover that some old wounds are still full of poison.
A Poison Dark and Drowning is the second installment in author Jessica Cluess' Kingdom on Fire series. Henrietta Howell came to London thinking she would become the so called Chosen One. The first female sorcerer in a century, and the one prophesied to lead the sorcerers to defeat the fabled 7 Ancients. She's the first female to be inducted into the Royal Order by Queen Charlotte, and played a key part in the defeating Korozoth, the Shadow and Fog. But, she's also a formidable Magician having trained in secret while also fulfilling her other obligations to Queen and country.
Magicians, like Witches, were supposed to have been hunted down and banned from England thanks to their part in opening the veil that allowed the Ancients to invade this world. That doesn't mean that there aren't a few around lying low waiting to be called to fight the Ancients. Even though Henrietta was confirmed as a sorcerer and told that she shouldn't use her magician skills, she still finds time to study on the side. When she learns about of a cache of weapons that may defeat the Ancients who are trying to conquer Britain, she, Blackwood, Magnus travel to Cornwall to find them.
Here's where things get really fascinating. First, we get our first glimpse of one of the more intriguing characters
in this story, and an important cog in so many different ways I can't go any further. Her name is Maria Templeton. Remember her name because she's not a bit player who you meet one time and then forget because so many other things happen in this story. We also meet Queen Mab who is bloody dangerous, psychotic, and could tip the war against the Sorcerers at any time . Last but not least, we get a glimpse of one William Howel, Henrietta's father who, along with her mother, are supposed to be dead. Henrietta's family history is uncover, and you will want to read what is revealed by numerous sources.
Let me say that this book actually excelled from the first installment, which I loved, because middle books have a tendency of letting me down. There's more on the line, plus, there's more action, adventure, and yes, a bit of romance as well. Cluess knows how to get the blood flowing. From the gates, the Queen comes under attack from the immortal known as R'hlem who wants one person. That person is Henrietta, who we have already discussed as being the so called chosen one. R'hlem is far from an easy nemesis for Henrietta. The so called skinless man is the most fearsome, the most intelligent, the most ruthless of the 7 Ancients.
The romance angle in this book could be considered triple entanglement. Henrietta loves Rook. Make no doubt about that fact. Why else would she do whatever she could to ensure that he wasn't lost to the Shadows and the Fog of the monster that infected him? Why else would she keep his condition a secret from those she is supposed to be serving with and trust implicitly? But, there are two other characters in the Henrietta sweepstakes as well. I will say this, I am glad that one character has been ruled out. I was worried that this would continue until the third installment. Also, the choice is actually made, in part, for her after the battle with the powerful immortal known as R'hlem.
Story Locale: Victorian England, Fantasy with Reimagined History.
Series Overview: Fall 2016: A Shadow Bright and Burning
Fall 2017: A Poison Deep and Drowning
Fall 2018: A Sorrow Fierce and Falling
Fall 2018: A Sorrow Fierce and Falling