Introducing a witty and macabre new fantasy trilogy.
There's little joy left in the kingdom of Caux: the evil King Nightshade rules with terrible tyranny and the law of the land is poison or be poisoned. Worse, eleven-year-old Ivy’s uncle, a famous healer, has disappeared, and Ivy sets out to find him, joined by a young taster named Rowan. But these are corrupt times, and the children—enemies of the realm—are not alone. What exactly do Ivy and Rowan’s pursuers want? Is it Ivy’s prized red bettle, which, unlike any other gemstone in Caux, appears—impossibly—to be hollow? Is it the elixir she concocted—the one with the mysterious healing powers? Or could it be Ivy herself?
Told with wry humor, The Hollow Bettle is the first installment in the Poisons of Caux trilogy, an astonishing tale of herbs and magic, tasters and poisoners.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Poisons of Caux: The Hollow Bettle (Book I)||Series: The Poisons of Caux, , #1|
|Release Date: 08-11-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Children's Books|
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The Poisons of Caux: The Hollow Bettle (Book I)
It’s an astonishing feat that young Ivy Manx was not poisoned during Mr. Flux’s tenure as her taster.
These were corrupt times in Caux, the land being what it was—a hotbed of wickedness and general mischief. The odds were stacked against anyone surviving their next meal, unless they had in their employ a half- decent Guild-accredited taster. A taster such as Mr. Flux maintained himself to be.
The day of Mr. Flux’s arrival was a day like any other, devoid of goodwill and cheer (and befitting the taster’s disposition). A fire burned glumly in the grate within the small tavern Ivy called home, and beside it a few disinterested regulars took their drinks in tedious silence. Hidden in her secret workshop, Ivy Manx found herself hoping for something thrilling to happen—perhaps a particularly rousing poison- ing. She had been ignoring her studies in favor of one of her experiments when Shoo cawed softly.
“Never you mind,” Ivy admonished the crow. “Cecil will never know I was using his equipment unless you tell him.”
She proceeded to strain an evil-smelling mixture through her uncle’s sieve. Ivy worked with a look of great concentration upon her face, and when the task was finished, she set the vessel on a burner to boil. Almost immediately the syrup discharged a clingy cloud, and a sickly sweet smell filled the small room, forcing the crow to alight dizzyingly on a coatrack to avoid it.
This was greatly disobedient, she knew. Her uncle wished her to be a learned apotheopath—a healer—yet tinkering with her noxious brews was much more satisfying. Like most of Caux, Ivy preferred not the well-m...