The Poisons We Drink
by Bethany Baptiste
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Pub Date 05 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 05 Mar 2024
SOURCEBOOKS Fire, Sourcebooks Fire
In a country divided between humans and witchers, Venus Stoneheart hustles as a brewer making illegal love potions to support her family.
Love potions is a dangerous business. Brewing has painful, debilitating side effects, and getting caught means death or a prison sentence. But what Venus is most afraid of is the dark, sentient magic within her.
Then an enemy's iron bullet kills her mother, Venus's life implodes. Keeping her reckless little sister Janus safe is now her responsibility. When the powerful Grand Witcher, the ruthless head of her coven, offers Venus the chance to punish her mother's killer, she has to pay a steep price for revenge. The cost? Brew poisonous potions to enslave D.C.'s most influential politicians.
As Venus crawls deeper into the corrupt underbelly of her city, the line between magic and power blurs, and it's hard to tell who to trust…Herself included.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 199 members
Where do I even start?
The Poisons We Drink blew me out of the water and Venus might be one of my favorite protagonists I've read this year. The magic system, the action, the strength of the writing was so sharp and I genuinely did not want to put this down. Thank you Net Galley!
The Poisons We Drink is a stellar debut by Bethany Baptiste. It is a fantasy world unlike any I have read before. Venus Stoneheart is a brewer of love potions, who after tragic events falls into the underbelly of her society determined to fight hate with love. In its essence The Poisons We Drink is a story of love, familial, friendship, of doing things, or of a partner. Just as our lives are threaded through out with love, so are Venus’ and the rest of the cast. In the end through its twists and turns and different types a story of love and loss is told.
I love the characters in this book everyone is vivid and well thought out. The motivations in for each are complex and varied. The Poisons We Drink is a sweet poignant rollercoaster of emotion that will have you turning page after page. I can’t wait to share this book with my family and friends. 10/10 can’t wait to see more from this author.
The author begins with a personal note that is without a doubt the best description of this story: "I made THE POISONS WE DRINK with two cups of Practical Magic, a gallon of Black girls, a sprinkle of bad witches, and a pinch of unbreakable bonds. But when everything's all boiled down, this story is my heart."
This is the perfect read for witchy season, and an absolutely stunning representation of why fantasy & magical realism is such an intoxicating genre. More than that, it's an eye-opening, scathing window on reality.
Spellbinding characters. Enchanting world building. Achingly beautiful magic.
A must-read, during haunting October and the rest of the year.
"Down down down she went as she fell through memories masquerading as nightmares and nightmares masquerading as memories. Blood, bone, fire, smoke. ... 'Claw your way out!' But she couldn't. Nor did she want to."
Thank you for the opportunity to read! I really enjoyed the world-building and magic system. Although this is fantasy, it’s relevant to our world and the stories we see in the news on a daily basis. I love the author’s writing style and would read future books. Highly recommend!
A tale of magic and family ties and deceit. The story revolves around Venus, the next generation of love potion brewers. Set in a country divided between humans and the witchers (magicals), Venus is challenged on her home front, in her 'business' and in the community at large. She has no silent safe place and is manipulated by those close to her and those in power. As she fights against oppression and tries to solve who killed her mother, she finds who she is. She learns to find peace with herself, her history and what is deep inside her. This tale reminds you that there is always a bigger war than the one you are fighting, and that family is what you make it, whether it be blood or soul that binds you. This novel contains incredible imagery, multidimensional characters and a fight for equality that does not sugarcoat the outcomes.
The author has said this book is a mixture of practical magic + breaking bad. I’m here to say it’s even better!
This was such an impactful read that you can take so many things away from.
In a world where the MCs magic is basically trying to be destroyed, she powers through and comes out on top of it.
I’m usually not one for fantasy to be set in modern times, but the author was able to convey it absolutely beautifully.
Such an empowering read and I will be recommending it to everyone!!
Fierce. Incredible. Wow. This book is angry and I loved every freaking second of it. Venus has every right to be angry and following Venus's journey was captivating. Bethany Baptiste has written a page turner and I cannot wait to see where her career goes. What a YA debut! 5 stars
This was such a great book! Black witches in a contemporary setting was so well done. I loved all the world building and the characters were fierce and fabulous! The recipes/potions/glossary at the end was such a great touch!! I look forward to what Bethany Baptiste does next.