The Poison Season by Mara Rutherford
Outsiders are always given a choice: the Forest or the lake. Either way, they’re never heard from again.
Leelo has spent her entire life on Endla, coexisting with the bloodthirsty Forest and respecting the poisonous lake that protects her island from outsiders who seek to destroy it. But as much as Leelo cares for her community, she struggles to accept that her younger brother will be exiled by his next birthday, unless he gains the magic of enchanted song so vital to Endla.
When Leelo sees a young outsider on the verge of drowning in the lake, she knows exactly what she’s supposed to do. But in a moment that will change everything, Leelo betrays her family, her best friend, and Endla by making an unthinkable choice.
Discovery could lead to devastating consequences for both Leelo and the outsider, Jaren, but as they grow closer, Leelo realizes that not all danger comes from beyond the lake—and they can only survive if Leelo is willing to question the very fabric of her society, her people, and herself.
About Mara Rutherford
Mara Rutherford began her writing career as a journalist but quickly discovered she far preferred fantasy to reality. A triplet born on Leap Day, Mara has lived all over the world with her diplomat husband and two sons. She is the author of Crown of Coral and Pearl and its sequel, Kingdom of Sea and Stone; Luminous; and the upcoming THE POISON SEASON (December 6, 2022).