The Queen’s Poisoner, the first book in the new 3-part Kingfountain series by Jeff Wheeler was extraordinary! I have had the pleasure of reading several Jeff Wheeler’s prior series on Muirwood (Legends and Covenant) and found Kingfountain to be different yet still just as refreshing. If you have enjoyed other writings by Jeff Wheeler, this is definitely a book you will want to read!
The Queen’s Poisoner is markedly different than the Muirwood series. This book focuses on the life of Owen Kiskaddon, the youngest child of the Duke and Duchess of Kiskaddon. At birth, Owen very nearly died, his near-death encounter marked by a white streak in his hair. But for the actions of the midwife aided by the Fountain (a sort of mythical entity), he may have died, and as such he holds a special place in his parents heart. When his father the Duke makes a decision on the battlefield to not support the King, 8 year old Owen’s entire world changes in an instant. Gone is his happy life at home, instead he finds himself sent to the King Severn’s court in Kingfountain to be a hostage to ensure his parents loyalty. Owen will need to make new friends and tread lightly in order to survive the King’s court and avoid the fate his eldest brother suffered. When someone at the court begins to arrange his tiles (basically dominoes) every night in a weird pattern, Owen will stop at nothing to solve the mystery, and in doing so embark on a life changing path.
What is amazing about this book is just how well young Owen can appeal to a broad age group. Despite the main character being 8-9 years old, The Queen’s Poisoner is a book anyone can pick up. The writing style is vivid, the characters rich, and the story unique. I found myself surprised several times while reading. Though there is magic in this story, I feel that it did not dominate. Instead, we had an amazing story that focused on setting a stage for the rest of the trilogy. I look forward to reading the second book in this series and learning more about what it means to be Fountain Blessed and how that will impact Owen in the years to come. I am giving this book 5/5 fountains for a story that was too sweet for words to express.