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The Queen's Poisoner

The Kingfountain Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Kate Rudd
Series: The Kingfountain Series, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins
Categories: Teens, Ages 11-13
4.5 out of 5 stars (4,886 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

King Severn Argentine's fearsome reputation precedes him: usurper of the throne, killer of rightful heirs, ruthless punisher of traitors. Attempting to depose him, the Duke of Kiskaddon gambles...and loses. Now the duke must atone by handing over his young son, Owen, as the king's hostage. And should his loyalty falter again, the boy will pay with his life.

Seeking allies and eluding Severn's spies, Owen learns to survive in the court of Kingfountain. But when new evidence of his father's betrayal threatens to seal his fate, Owen must win the vengeful king's favor by proving his worth - through extraordinary means. And only one person can aid his desperate cause: a mysterious woman, dwelling in secrecy, who truly wields power over life, death, and destiny.

©2016 Jeff Wheeler (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good story, fun premise, only one major complaint.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Queen's Poisoner to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version, so I can't comment on this.

What other book might you compare The Queen's Poisoner to and why?

I can't think of any other titles off-hand to compare it to. I liked the setting in a castle, intrigue between nations, family conflicts, magical twists and turns. A protagonist who doesn't understand his powers... it's similar to other books, but with a unique view of magic through a "fountain" and the whole concept of being "fountain-blessed" was interesting.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

She did a really good job on interpreting various characters. I especially liked her interpretation of the protagonist's best friend, who was a chatty girl with a wonderful personality. My only complaint is that the voice she used for the main character was a bit whiny, which didn't seem to fit how I would have imagined him to sound if I were just reading it. Also, the way she did the voice of the Queen's Poisoner was a little overdone when she was being "sweet" to the little boy. I did like how she showed that the woman was ill through her voice. Overall, well done.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

My one thing that constantly drove me crazy was how all of the adults around the young protagonist tell him about things way beyond the level that you would normally explain to an 8-year-old. They give so many details of intrigue, facts about the history of the realm, and personality conflicts, that it was hard for even me, as an adult, to follow along and keep up with everything. It would have been way above the head of a young child. I realize that this is a "special" child, but still, would you talk to any child about members of the royal family killing and poisoning each other, women being "forced", and abstract concepts that are not even physically processed by young minds until adolescence? It was just a bit too much. I feel that if the protagonist had been at least 10 or 11, it would have been more believable. T

Any additional comments?

I liked this book quite well, it was interesting and compelling enough to keep me listening. The premise with fountain-blessed magic is unique, and I enjoyed the various characters and their diverse personalities. hat said, ignoring the age issue, I was able to really enjoy the story line. I am looking forward to reading the next installment, to see what happens next in the lives of these characters. :)

43 of 47 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great audio book.

This story was very interesting and different from the run of the mill books set in the medieval world. The focus of the fantasy is the eight year old son of a defiant duke who is taken as a hostage into the King's household. The boy is very special and has an undiscovered power that he must come to acknowledge, understand, and master. The intrigues of the court are realistically portrayed as well as medieval justice. This was a very enjoyable book.
As for the Kate Rudd she was superb. There are so many different voices, including men women and children, and she switches from one to another seamlessly. Can't wait to listen to the next book in the series />I would very highly recommend this book/audiobook.

31 of 34 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enchanting story

I really enjoyed this story. The narration was spot on and she did a wonderful job of brining each character alive. I finished this in just two days, unable to put it down. Having the main character being just a little 8 year old boy, kept me in worried suspense for him. I couldn't stop wondering what was going to happen to him. The story was very fast paced and I think anyone that likes fantasy will enjoy this. Well worth the credit and I look forward to the next book in this series.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best yet!

The Queen’s poisoner Five stars all around!

Wheeler, this is your best book yet! I love how you have evolved as an author.

Jeff Wheeler proves you do not need the crutches of sex and violence to get the readers’ attention and keep them coming back. The book stands on its own merits.

His hard work and skill as a writer displays in the Queen’s Poisoner. Wheeler has developed of a boiling plot, with believable and loveable characters. I loved the intrigue, and suspense, which led to many twists and turns. The conclusive ending left me satisfied, but the world he created left me wanting to know more.

Keep this narrator! Not quite Jim Dale, but she did a great job.

I can’t wait for the next.

28 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Schemes upon schemes

This book is very engrossing... schemes upon schemes... ambiguity of the characters (who is really good or bad). It is not action packed, which is probably the reason for the mix of low ratings and high ratings. The thrill is following the story as it unfolds, wondering who might be pulling the strings to cause certain events and is there a longer end goal planned than the immediate need of keeping the young protagonist alive.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Highly Entertaining

Although the Muirwood books remain my favorites by this prolific author, the opening book of this series is irresistible, perhaps because the main characters are two children, which makes the experience even more enchanting, as the wonder of discovering the world and the mysteries of life bleed into the plot itself. The characters practically breathe. I loved the book so much, I devoured the rest of the series. However, this first installment remains dearer to me than all the rest.

Kate Rudd is superlative. She is one of the few narrators I have heard who can do appealing male voices, which makes the experience all the more enjoyable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Exciting is NOT the word I'd use

Would you try another book from Jeff Wheeler and/or Kate Rudd?

Kate Rudd was a fairly talented narrator. I did not care for the voice she chose for Owen, but other than that I thought she did well.

Any additional comments?

This book was OK. Just OK. Nothing special. The story is neither very original, nor very exciting. I struggled to finish it simply because it was honestly... boring. There were many places here or there that I stopped listening while I got distracted doing something else. Typically I rewind the audiobook I'm listening to when that happens and go back to be sure I didn't miss anything. It was not necessary with this story at all. Whole part of this book could have been done away with and you'd still get the gist of this predictable story. I'm glad I got it on a daily deal.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Entertaining

I enjoyed this young adult fantasy, though the writing was a bit below my expectations. The story itself made up for it however. Don't expect anything mind-blowing, but it was worth the $4 I paid on the daily deal. I would have at least borrowed this one from the library, if not spent a credit on it. I only wish I had read it when I was younger and more able to appreciate it.

Story - 4/5
Well thought, easy enough to follow without being boring, creative magic, fun setting, not mind blowing. Currently I am not sure if I feel like reading the sequels, but I liked the mood a lot. I will probably come back to this at some point just for that.

Writing - 3/5
All of the sentences sounded the same. The author seemed inexperienced, but if you read much YA fiction these days you can probably get through it. I hope it improves with subsequent novels.

Narration - 3/5
She was okay, but she tried too hard on some voices and occasionally sounded like a robot. It got better toward the end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Could not finish

This is not a bad book for young adults. However I could not get into it enough after three hours to finish. The depth of writing and character development is sub par. One dimensional characters and a plot that is not very well developed. Could not finish. Kate Rudd does a good job of narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not an inspiring main character

I wouldn't recommend this book. The characters are not believable and the reader has a very clipped delivery that I found distracting. I'm not against a YA book that is terrific; this one might not hold the attention of adult listeners.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Rodger hubbard
  • 09-09-16

The audio was very good

The book was great going to get the other now can't wait to Read them

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephanie
  • 09-08-16

I loved this

Such an enjoyable tale and beautifully read, about to start book 2 and get the dishes done

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennifer
  • 01-03-18

Cyborg?

Kate Rudd sounds like a cyborg! No idea if this is a good book or not as I can’t listen to it. If you want to be read a story by Siri or Amazon Alexa, this is the one for you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Poppey
  • 01-14-20

Sadness

If you are looking for battles and betrayals, then this book maybe a let down. It mainly concerns the story of two young 7-8 years olds who have ended up at Kingfountain for two different reasons; Owen, son of the Duke of Kiskaddon was to be held as hostage to ensure his father's loyalty, and Elysabeth Victoria Mortimer (Evie), granddaughter of Duke Horwath, brought to act as a companion for Owen.

Life at the Court is not easy. However, Ankarette, the Queen's poisoner, is there to help Owen survive and to teach him how to use his Fountain- Blessed powers. It is only be convincing King Severn that Owen is valuable will the King keep him alive.

I found this book to be very sad the reasons for which will become clear once you listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ho-Man Yau
  • 11-13-19

a nice story

this is a nice story of politics and backstabbing made all the sweeter as it's been told through the eyes of a child.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jessica
  • 08-29-19

This is great and interesting

This is just amazing you should read it n o w w w w w

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Melissa
  • 06-07-19

Dull. Robin hobb rip off

If Jeff wheeler hasn’t read the Farseer trilogy I’ll eat my jerkin. Almost embarrassingly similar and yet nowhere near as compelling. Not for epic fantasy fans. For children.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Heather
  • 05-04-19

I just went on an adventure

The narrators range of voices and accents really adds to the experience of the story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs.M.Clews
  • 08-11-18

Stunning

This story was so full of surprises. Alluding to so many historical events.Machiavelli, King Richard iii. Warwick and many many more inserted into a brilliant, moving and clever tale. I hope this is part of a series as I would love to watch Owen and Evi grow up.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-22-18

the reading is slightly irritating

I like the idea of the story and the characters by chapter 3 make me want to persevere through the irritation of the performance, though it is a bit of a battle the performance is too staccato, each word stands alone rather than as part of a sentence and it totally disrupts the flow of the story and any emotion in the words. almost as if a child is reading unfamiliar words or English is not the native language of the speaker and so every consonant has to be tried and tested before being committed to. words such as 'And' and 'the' seem to become the focus of sentences rather than the link from one description to the next and it is very distracting. it makes it very difficult to concentrate on the story itself .

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  • Lewis McLauchlan
  • 10-05-18

Captivating start to the series.

Highly recommend this book. With exceptional imagery and a beautifully crafted world. Kate Rudd's performance was great, helping provide personality to every character.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 10-19-17

Compelling

This book had me hooked from the start. It is a little cliche, but well done regardless and leaves me hungry for the next episode. Great work.