Lies About Books: Poison Tree

Another month begins, and with it, of course, come Lies About Books, and an entirely fictitious book review of a very real book that I’ve read this month.

This month, I shall discuss the novel Poison Tree, by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, a book which I have a long history with and a particular fondness for.

Poison Tree, as the title suggests, is a young adult novel about a tree. It is a selfless, caring tree, which is filled with a desire to give and share and help others. It comes, therefore, as a horrible shock to the tree when, upon convincing a hungry passerby to eat of its fruit, it watches the stranger drop dead almost immediately after consuming the fruit: this is how the tree learns that it is poisonous.

Wracked by guilt, the tree embarks on a quest to somehow redeem itself for the death it inadvertently caused, impeded only by the fact that, as a tree, it is incapable of moving from the spot to which it is rooted. Eventually, a helpful fairy hears its pleas, and transforms the tree into a human shape so that it can seek out a way to right its wrong.

But the tree soon discovers that the family of the stranger it killed are angry, and out for vengeance. Finding itself lost in a world of assassins, politics, and revenge, will the tree be able to redeem itself before its past catches up with it?

Poison Tree is gripping, fast-paced, and botanically accurate. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys agriculture, shapeshifters, or tech support.

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