Book Review

ARC Book Review: To Poison a King (The Heirs of Isla #1) by S.G. Prince

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 427 pages
Author: S.G. Prince
Publisher: Summerhold Publishing
Release Date: April 4th, 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


S.G. Prince’s new standalone is a breathtaking fantasy about sacrifice, self-discovery, and a girl tasked with saving the very man she aimed to kill.

Selene is the youngest daughter in a gifted line of healers, born to serve as the king’s royal physician. Yet when Selene’s mother Persaphe embroils her in a plot to kill the king, Selene finds herself poisoning the very man she is sworn to protect.

Things seem bleak, but there is another problem—the poison doesn’t work, and the king doesn’t die. Rather, he awakes from his coma paralyzed, aware of the attempt on his life, and furious.

With the palace in a state of upheaval and everyone hunting the king’s poisoner, Persaphe flees, leaving Selene the task of rehabilitating the man she aimed to kill, all while hiding her true role in his demise. What follows is a journey spanning years and continents, as a king and his servant develop into unlikely friends…and more. Yet the closer Selene grows to the king, the more her secret weighs on her, as does her growing fear that Persaphe—having failed to kill him once—might return to try again.

Author’s Note: To Poison a King is an adult standalone fantasy romance featuring a brooding hero and a gifted yet self-conscious healer. The story is written for readers who want to know a character from the inside out, who are in it for the build, who like to watch a transformation take place over time, because that’s how you really feel it. I wrote this book from the heart, as true as I could make it. I think it changed me to write it. I hope it changes you, too. – S.G.

Content Warning: This book contains reference to attempted suicide, attempted sexual assault, violence, gore, death of an infant, and sex.

Thank you to the author for an ecopy!


Oh my goodness. I really took a chance on this one with knowing nothing about it besides the summary (and I SUPER appreciate the way the author describes it too because it gave me great insight into the book and helped me want to read it). Don’t expect a fantasy world with heavy world building and a complicated magic system. This is heavily character driven and you’ll easily be attached to the main characters.

This is a SLOWW build. In the best way. Goodness. I LOVED watching Selene’s story develop over the course of years. By the time she’s aged a bit (it starts around age 14) I found myself completely attached to her whole life. I wanted to see it all and I just loved her as a character. She makes mistakes, works hard to fix them, truly is trying to do the best she can to move forward and make a little slice of life that she can be happy with.

And then the romance??? Oh gosh. It is subtle and dang sweet. It’s tender and loving and watching these two develop from acquaintances, to friends, to maybe lovers? Every single moment between Elias and Selene felt important. I hung on every word and scene clutching my book, waiting to see what would happen next.

Even when the inevitable conflict arose it was magnetic. I HAD TO SEE EVERYTHING RIGHTED. I couldn’t put the book down. I can’t come up with any better words than saying to READ THIS.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: closed door
  • Violence: mild
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: attempted suicide, attempted sexual assault, violence, blood/gore depiction, death of an infant, loss of life

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