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  • Writer's pictureSofiya Pasternack

Review: An Affair of Poisons

Author: Addie Thorley

Genre: historical fantasy

Release Date: February 26th, 2019

Series: none


After unwittingly helping her mother poison King Louis XIV, seventeen-year-old alchemist Mirabelle Monvoisin is forced to see her mother’s Shadow Society in a horrifying new light: they’re not heroes of the people, as they’ve always claimed to be, but murderers. Herself included. Mira tries to ease her guilt by brewing helpful curatives, but her hunger tonics and headache remedies cannot right past wrongs or save the dissenters her mother vows to purge.

Royal bastard Josse de Bourbon is more kitchen boy than fils de France. But when the Shadow Society assassinates the Sun King and half the royal court, he must become the prince he was never meant to be in order to save his injured sisters and the petulant Dauphin. Forced to hide in the derelict sewers beneath the city, any hope of reclaiming Paris seems impossible—until Josse’s path collides with Mirabelle’s, and he finds a surprising ally in his sworn enemy.

She's a deadly poisoner. He's a bastard prince. Together, they form a tenuous pact to unite the commoners and former nobility against the Shadow Society. But can a rebellion built on mistrust ever hope to succeed?

What I Liked

This story is AMAZING! You're immediately drawn into the world of Mirabelle and Josse, and there is not one peripheral character who is dull or unnecessary. The story has its roots in real history, and the descriptions and setting are extremely visceral. I got so into this book, I made a Twitter reaction GIF thread while I was reading!

What I Would Have Liked to See

At first, I felt like the timeline was moving very fast, but as I've finished now, I think the time jumps forward were a good thing to keep the story moving along.

My Favorite!

Josse and Louis's development. Sorry, everyone else! You weren't as infuriating, as heartbreaking, as stubborn, as sneery, as snarky, as surprising, or as tender as these two little twerps slap-fighting each other in the sewers of Paris.


When Mirabelle accidentally poisons the King of France at the behest of her unhinged, manipulative mother, she joins forces with the orphaned royal children in a desperate attempt to end the bloody revolution that's bringing Paris to its knees.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley for my honest review. All thoughts are my own!



meet sofiya!

Sofiya Pasternack is a mental health professional, the highly-distractible author of Jewish MG and YA fantasy, and prone to oversharing gross medical stories.

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