The Poison Throne  - Celine Kiernan
I'm very dissapointed in this one. The first 20 pages or so started out nicely, here's a girl and her sick father, knocking on the doors of a castle where ghosts and talking cats are common. Yet after that promising introduction, it's 450 pages of mostly bland/monotonous storyline. And when I say storyline, I mean 'storyline'.

I got the main points of it: A girl comes back to her old kingdom home. Things have changed around there. Her father is going to die. The king has two sons. One of them, Alberon, has gone missing after something bad has happened between him and his father apparently. The other son, Razi, is a bastard that's being forced against his will to fill in the new open spot of inheritor of the throne.

Enough juicy plots to work with right? However, the story consists mostly of long winded drawn-out dialogue and people running to and fro the same locations. Especially after they discover a secret passage from one room to the other, the story either takes place in one room...or the other.

Wynter, the protagonist, is described in the beginning as a hard, cold person, who has been taught all her life to not display her emotions in public. Instead of a slow transformation, as I was expecting, she only kept her cool for about two pages. After that, it's nothing but emotional rollercoasters (which didn't really make her a very likeable character) involving a LOT of sobbing. Not just from her part, but it's like all the other characters are suffering from a form of Borderline-disorder as well.

Either way, nothing truly happens and I still don't have a clue as to what happened to the Kingdom and why the King is so screwed up. Did he go insane? Was he betrayed by his legitimate son? What happened with this son? And what the hell is the Bloody Machine?

All of the emotional scenes didn't touch me whatsoever, while I was pmsing and crying over a fart basically while reading this book. My total shrug level increased even further by the incredibly weird relationship (the romantic 'twist!' of this book) with Christopher that went from ugh to mmmm within two paragraphs.

All in all it was a very unsatisfactory read. The only reason why I'm not giving this 1 star is that the key elements were good. I also read that the sequels are a lot better, so maybe this accounts for a long ass introduction to those...