Fiction Book Reviews

Fantasy | The Poison Song | Jen Williams

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I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts for The Poison Song by Jen Williams, the last story in The Winnowing Flame trilogy.

Read my thoughts on The Ninth Rain and The Bitter Twins.

All is chaos. All is confusion. The Jure’lia are weak, but the war is far from over.

Ebora was once a glorious city, defended by legendary warriors and celebrated in song. Now refugees from every corner of Sarn seek shelter within its crumbling walls, and the enemy that has poisoned their land won’t lie dormant for long.

The deep-rooted connection that Tormalin, Noon and the scholar Vintage share with their Eboran war-beasts has kept them alive so far. But with Tor distracted, and his sister Hestillion hell-bent on bringing ruthless order to the next Jure’lia attack, the people of Sarn need all the help they can get.

Noon is no stranger to playing with fire and knows just where to recruit a new – and powerful – army. But even she underestimates the epic quest that is to come. It is a journey wrought with pain and sacrifice – a reckoning that will change the face of Sarn forever.

Join forces with the heroes of the WINNOWING FLAME TRILOGY as they strive to silence the Jure’lia’s poison song once and for all.

Book cover The Poison Song by Jen Williams

The Poison Song by Jen Williams is published by Headline and is available to purchase in digital, paperback and audiobook formats.


What an outstanding end to this trilogy!  I’ve savoured every single word…

After reading The Bitter Twins I said that the Winnowry obviously had a part to play but what I didn’t figure out was just how much!  A collaboration certainly makes for a powerful scene and Agent Chenlo pairing with Vintage on a quest is a force to reckon with.  Noon obviously had to figure something out and it’s when we’re at our lowest point that we see that chink of light …

Hestillion’s character still kept me guessing about where her true loyalties and her heart lay.  At one point I thought she had become more Jure’lia than human and wondered what that would mean for the final battle.  We know from the beginning how obsessive she can be in her actions and with her power growing, I just knew she would combine that intellect with what was to hand to create and cause trouble.  There’s a hint in one of her creations of what is lying buried and not acknowledged but I didn’t know if it would be enough. 

Once we know the reason for something vital then it all fits into place.  The Jure’lia queen’s energy is directed inwards for most of the story and it’s not until near the end that we remember just how all encompassing ‘she’ can be.  Can Sarn really overcome her anger and destruction?  Even with the warbeasts working as one it doesn’t seem possible.  Edge of your seat scenes.

As well as the creativity of the world-building keeping everything fresh and alive, Jen Williams drops hints about something that hasn’t happened yet but has impact.  Alongside this is the emotional connection with the characters from the previous stories which makes The Poison Song a page turning read.  There’s loss (my tears were tempered by the fact that I knew it couldn’t have been any other way … and yet still painful!) and destruction but also growth and hope.

If you’re a fantasy reader don’t miss The Winnowing Flame trilogy.  You’ll regret it if you do.

Jen Williams is a fantasy author from London. A fan of dragons and pirates from a very young age, these days she writes character-driven epic fantasy with an eye on feminist themes and snappy dialogue. The Copper Cat trilogy was repeatedly nominated for the British Fantasy Award, and The Ninth Rain, the first volume of the Winnowing Flame trilogy, won Best Novel in 2018. When not frowning over notebooks she’s also a bookseller and a copywriter, takes Thundercats too seriously and is partially responsible for the creation of Super Relaxed Fantasy Club. She loves mythology, overly involved videogames and animation of all kinds, and she lives in her favourite bit of London with her partner and their small ridiculous cat. Website Twitter @sennydreadful

I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 9+ years. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school.

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