4.5 stars. Absolutely brilliant. From the opening story, "The Coldest Girl in Coldtown," in which a desperate girl chooses to become a vampire in order to enact a rescue, to the final, titular story "The Poison Eaters," which stars three dead girls created as poisonous weapons, I was enthralled. This book had so many gems that it was easy to overlook the few stories that fell flat. Other favorites include "The Night Market," set in the Phillippines with a simultaneously endearing and terrifying god-creature enkanto, and "The Coat of Stars," which pits a costume designer estranged from his family against the faeries who stole his childhood sweetheart.Holly Black's work is frequently described as gritty, dark, and edgy, and there is plenty of all three of those qualities to be found in The Poison Eaters, but each story also has an underlying tenderness that brings its characters to life and makes your heart ache for them.A must-read for short fiction readers and fans of Holly Black's novels.