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I Belong

Review: Nightshade by Maryrose Wood & The Duchess of Northumberland

Title: Nightshade

Author: Maryrose WoodThe Duchess of Northumberland

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: The Poison Diaries (Book 2)

Publication Date: October 25, 2011

Format: Hardcover, 288 Pages

ISBN-100061802425 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0061802423 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by Bridget


A dark, gothic tale of romance… and murder.
The latest book in the grippingly dark series, The Poison Diaries.

Our heroine, Jessamine, has lost her faith in the men she loved, and her innocence as well. She turns to the dark side and plots to kill her father, using his own poisons, before becoming an assassin, a poisoner for hire. Can she recover from her heartache and reunite with her true love, Weed? Find out in this thrilling story where poisons, darkness and horror are a part of everyday life, and love is the only cure

Quick & Dirty: This is a dark tale filled with betrayal, passion, and murder. With interesting characters and a fascinating plot.

Opening Sentence: I wake, as I usually do, to the sound of Weed’s voice.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review

Jessamine is devastated.  She survived the strange illness that over took her body recently, but she woke to find that her beloved Weed had abandoned her. She was brought back to health by her father and he told her that Weed no longer cared for her and fled. She never quite believed him, and she had strange dreams while she was ill. Dreams of her father and his true nature. As the seasons pass Jessamine becomes more and more desperate to find Weed. Help comes in an unexpected way. Prince Oleander is the Prince of Poison and he offers to help reunite Jessamine with Weed. The Prince is from the poison garden, he is not flesh and blood but his influence is all too real. He has a steep price that must be paid for his help: Jessamine must kill her father. After the deed is done Jessamine abandons the only home she has ever known and the Dark Prince is her only companion. As she searches for Weed, the Dark Prince pulls her more and more into his dark web until she is no longer the girl she used to be. She becomes an assassin for hire, and soon she loses herself and starts to forget. She still loves Weed but will he love the girl she has become?

Weed left Jessamine to save her life. He left to live in the forest by himself where he still could ask the plants how his beautiful Jessamine faired. He soon comes to learn that she has left her home and is under the power of the Dark Poison Prince. Weed knows that Jessamine needs help but he has no way of finding her. He asks the plants for help but they refuse to give it out of fear. He decides to travel to a special garden in Venice to seek help from the plants there. Upon arrival, he is able to learn much about his talent and the evil plot the Prince is planning. He knows that Jessamine is in trouble and he hopes that he can save her before it is too late.

Jessamine was a very interesting character in this book. She changes drastically from the first book. She was so innocent and naïve before and now she has become quite a vixen. She felt so lost after Weed left that she turns to the evil Prince for comfort. She becomes a murderer with no remorse and no feelings. The only thing that stirs her old self is the thought of Weed. I liked this version of Jessamine a little bit better than the first book. It felt like she actually did something instead of just standing idly by while her life slips away. She still is very easily persuaded which is frustrating. I don’t like the decisions she makes in this book, but I found her intriguing.

Weed grows to be a better person. He still loves Jessamine very much, but I feel that he won’t let his love for her hinder his decisions as much. He is very devoted to Jessamine and he does everything in his power to be with her again. He knows that she isn’t herself right now and he is a very forgiving person for he too is not perfect. I felt that he was able to take his evil side and use it for good. I really enjoyed his character and I am excited to see where his story leads.

This book was darker and more sinister than the first one. The plot kept me very interested the whole way through. I loved the story and I quite enjoyed getting to know the characters better. It was interesting to read from Jessamine’s point of view now that she has become more of a villain than a heroine, but I found that I really enjoyed it. There was defiantly a cliffhanger ending and I honestly can’t wait for the next book to come out. I would highly recommend this series to fans of dark fantasy books it will not disappoint.

Notable Scene:

Thank you for your bounty, Oleander, Prince of Poisons, I think.  Thank you for all that Mr. Pratt has already received, and all that my father is receiving still, as the poison twists like bramble in his gut, burns within his brain, presses like a boulder upon his heart.

I am ready.  I see myself in the mirror: myself, and not myself.  Father thought I had grown to look like my mother.  No more.

I pause for a moment on my way out of the cottage, to say a silent good-bye to my kitchen garden, my cooking herbs and medicinal plants, my teas and dyes.  They have served me well, for so many years.  I am sorry they will soon be neglected and over grown.

But that is the way of gardens.  Old plants wither, and new ones sprout.  The strongest plants survive at the expense of the weak.  Even the most well-tended bed turns to a jungle in a season, without the gardener’s restraining hand.

You learn quickly, lovely.  I am impressed.

Take me to Weed.  I am ready.

The Poison Diaries Series:

1. The Poison Diaries

2. Nightshade

3. Into the Garden (2013)

FTC Advisory: Harper Collins provided me with a copy of Nightshade. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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