Applebaum, Susannah

The Poisons of Caux: The Hollow Bettle (Book I)

This was the next book in my library reading challenge, and I honestly didn’t think I would finish it.  First of all, it is really long for a children’s book.  Secondly, it was really slow or long-winded, or whatever you want to call it.  It took 10 pages to move the story forward one or two minutes.  I complained almost daily for four or five days and then finally the action started.  I would like to say that once it started, it was great and never slowed down, but it was almost like a jerky start and stop of action that I didn’t really care for.  I’d be curious to know how many children read this book because they want to, not because their teacher assigns it or something.  I definitely wouldn’t have read this book as a kid, but I didn’t really read anything as a kid, so I can’t really judge myself as a child.
Anyway, I have some friends who are elementary and middle school teachers, so I’m going to ask them… and maybe a school librarian and I’ll see what they say.  (I’ll edit this post once I hear back from them).
This story is about a girl who was raised by her uncle.  Her uncle went away to cure the king and he’s been gone for a year.  The girl decides to go find him and the adventure begins.  That’s the basic premise of the story, but it takes many, many pages to get the adventure going, and many, many more to get to the end of this one.  Nor the end of the adventure, but more of a pause and then the next book will pick up with more of the adventure.
Our library has all 3 books in this series and I was really dreading reading them all… until the last three chapters of this book.  It left you with lots of unanswered questions and I knew I would read the next two to figure out the answers.
I didn’t think I could go straight into the next one in this series, however, because I needed a break from the slow-moving pace of these novels.  But I’m ready to get to the end of Poison Ivy’s story, so I will come back to this series pretty soon.


The Poisons of Caux: The Tasters Guild (Book II) This book was so much better than the first one to me.  I actually liked getting back into the story and the characters became much more dynamic and I loved getting to know them more.  This one starts just after the first book.  Ivy has found her uncle, but she still needs to find a way to Pimcaux to save the Good King.  This book has lots of action, and I really liked the pace of it.  I am so looking forward to book 3 in this series, and can’t wait to start it.  This is the first book that I made a Book-Along for.