Note: I received an e-galley of this title from the publisher through NetGalley.So, when I blurb this book using the sentence, "The most badass magical potioner in the kingdom, who specializes in poisons and potion-aided fighting, goes on a quest to kill her best friend, the princess and heir to the throne, in order to save the kingdom from total destruction," you probably wouldn't think that I would also describe the book as a fun, lighthearted fantasy romp. But, well, there you have it.Kira could have been, and to a certain extent is, the "badass fighter on a grim mission" sort, all darkly brooding about the fate of the world and the horrible guilt she'll feel once she succeeds (she's pretty confident in her ability to succeed). But Kira also has a wry sense of humor and a great sense of the absurd:Kyra's left hand cramped as she reached for the next shingle. What she wouldn't give for a sturdy length of rope to climb. She cursed quietly. What was she doing wishing for rope? If she was going to wish for something, it should be something really important. Like pie.And she also finds herself in some pretty ridiculous situations:How had she come to this? How had she ended up a hungry, friendless fugitive in the middle of a frigid river wearing completely ridiculous lacy underthings?With a pig balanced on top of her head?That's right, that reads "pig." Because there's also an adorable animal companion, a cute little pig whom Kira needs for tracking purposes but who quickly becomes a beloved pet. D'aww.And there's also Fred, a handsome, smart-alecky traveling companion whom Kira can't seem to shake despite the fact that she doesn't have time for romance and can't afford to have someone close to her when she's on a mission to kill the princess and the whole kingdom is on the lookout for her after her botched first attempt.This was a fun, quick read with a solid protagonist and a great supporting cast of characters. It's sort of an [b:Ella Enchanted|24337|Ella Enchanted|Gail Carson Levine|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1338459167s/24337.jpg|2485462] for older readers, or a fluffier [b:Graceling|3236307|Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)|Kristin Cashore|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1331548394s/3236307.jpg|3270810] or [b:Poison Study|60510|Poison Study (Study, #1)|Maria V. Snyder|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1170542921s/60510.jpg|1180409]. Definitely worth checking out.P.S. I just learned that the author of this book passed away from cancer in May 2011. I'm so sad that we won't be seeing more from this talented writer, but glad that her debut novel is appearing despite her passing--I'm sure she'd be thrilled. It looks like she was planning a sequel to Poison. I wish she were still here to write it, but while a second book would have been wonderful, this one can certainly stand on its own merits.