The Poison Season

The Poison Season

Mara Rutherford

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400 pages | Hardcover

The Grace Year meets The Devouring Gray in Mara Rutherford’s atmospheric new fantasy The Poison Season, which follows a girl who unintentionally draws a stranger to her island with her magic, leaving her with a choice—rescue him from the lake, or risk betraying her insulated community’s safety and customs. Is everything the elders taught her of outsiders true, or is there something more sinister surrounding their island than its poisonous waters?


One choice could change everything.

Leelo has spent her whole life on Endla, coexisting with the bloodthirsty forest and respecting the poisonous lake that protects her island from outsiders who seek to destroy it. But as much as Leelo cares for her community, she struggles with the knowledge that her brother will be exiled and forced to live with the outsiders unless he gains enchantment powers before his next birthday.

Then comes the day that Leelo sees a young outsider on the verge of drowning in the lake. She knows she is supposed to leave him to his fate, but, instead, she betrays her family, her best friend, and her whole community by helping nurse the young man, Jaren, back to health, understanding that discovery could lead to unthinkable consequences for both of them.

As they grow closer, Leelo and Jaren discover that not all danger comes from beyond the lake—and they can only survive if Leelo is willing to question the very fabric of her society, her people, and herself.

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