Sep 11, 2017

ARC Review--A Poison Dark and Drowning by Jessica Cluess

The magicians want her to lead.
The sorcerers want her to lie.
The demons want her blood.
Henrietta wants to save the one she loves.
But will his dark magic be her undoing?

In this seductive and explosive second book in the Kingdom on Fire series, Jessica Cluess delivers her signature mix of magic, passion, and teen warriors fighting for survival. Hand to fans of Victoria Aveyard, Sarah J. Maas, and Kiersten White.

Henrietta doesn't need a prophecy to know that she's in danger. She came to London to be named the chosen one, the first female sorcerer in centuries, the one who would defeat the Ancients. Instead, she discovered a city ruled by secrets. And the biggest secret of all: Henrietta is not the chosen one.

Still, she must play the role in order to keep herself and Rook, her best friend and childhood love, safe. But can she truly save him? The poison in Rook's system is transforming him into something monstrous as he begins to master dark powers of his own. So when Henrietta finds a clue to the Ancients past that could turn the tide of the war, she persuades Blackwood, the mysterious Earl of Sorrow-Fell, to travel up the coast to seek out strange new weapons. And Magnus, the brave, reckless flirt who wants to win back her favor, is assigned to their mission. Together, they will face monsters, meet powerful new allies, and uncover the most devastating weapon of all: the truth.

I received this ARC from a fellow blogger in a trade, this honest review is completely voluntary and I was in no way compensated for it.

A Poison Dark and Drowning in the second installment in Jessica Cluess’ Kingdom on Fire series and it’s an incredibly amazing book for a second in the series! I feel like many times, sequels get bad reps for being very middle book or filler like status, but there’s none of that in this one!

Henrietta has been commended and is now a sorcerer, she’s keeping her magician status under wraps and only her friends know the truth. She’s been living with Blackwell at his estate as they both train every day until it’s their time to take their roles as the protectors of London. There’s a lot of tension in this one, despite having defeated Korozoth, there is still battles ahead. R’hlem being our leader of the evil monster that terrorize the country. Rook is still infected from the attack with Korozoth and Henrietta is doing everything she can to help heal him.

It’s not long though before Henrietta and the boys go out a mission to find something that may help them defeat the Ancients. And when they find it, the next step becomes learning how it works! On this journey they meet a young woman named Maria, who will be something of a surprise! She’s a feisty character and I absolutely loved her! She’s strong and fierce, much like Henrietta!

This book isn’t without its shocks, secrets, and surprises! The trifecta of S’s! Lol! There was a lot to learn and be revealed in this one and it’s definitely going to lead to more excitement and intrigue in the books to come. I’m still not certain how long this series is meant to be, but the fact that Goodreads does call it a series, I’m thinking maybe at least 4 books!

The romance in this one definitely kicks up a notch, but truly only a notch! And again, I must commend Jessica on involving romance but yet truly having it take a backseat to the story at large. Though I will say things definitely get more complicated! It seems Henrietta is still dealing with three admirers, though she continues to only have eyes for Rook. And while I am all for childhood friend romances, I’m really not feeling the love for Rook. It’s not that I don’t like him, it’s just that he’s hardly on the page with Henrietta. Magnus and Blackwood are there more often than not. This truly must be the first time I’ve yet to really pick my “team” for our heroine. And the simple answer is, it’s complicated! Lol. But I like that about this series so far. When has love ever been not complicated, especially in a book (a non-romance book that is!)?

The action steps up a bit more in this one as we have more dealings with the enemy. I truly love it when there’s a lot of battling action going on. Jessica has just the right balance to action scenes and all the rest, i.e. tension building ones, revealing moments, shocking moments, and of course the ones infused with romantic tension!

I also want to applaud Jessica for once again not ending her book with a treacherous cliffhanger. It’s so refreshing and relieving to end the book at a pausing moment! Don’t get me wrong, things are still intense. There’s danger afoot and more battling to be had, but when we leave things, there’s a decided lull to the moment. Like for just a moment, the characters get a chance to catch their breath. My sanity thanks you for this Jessica!

A Poison Dark and Drowning really amps up its game in the spellbinding series that is Kingdom on Fire! I will be eagerly counting down the days until I can be reunited with Henrietta and her friends! This is a must-read series for fans of magic wielders and amazing adventures rife with battles of all kinds!


Overall Rating 4/5 stars

A Poison Dark and Drowning releases September 19, 2017



  1. I like that Cluess only feeds us the romance, because I find that I'm more interested in the magic system and the whole 'evil lurking in the corners' angle. I'm excited you enjoyed this one Jess, I plan on reading it after I finish Warcross!

  2. Well, this sounds like something I would like, so I am going to have to find the first book in the series. Great review.


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