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In Mara Rutherford's atmospheric new fantasy The Poison Season, which combines elements of The Grace Year and The Devouring Gray, a girl accidentally summons a stranger to her island using magic and is forced to choose between saving him from the lake or jeopardizing the safety and traditions of her closed-off community. Is everything the elders warned her about visitors true, or may their island's venomous waters be hiding something darker?

Leelo has lived her entire life on Endla where she has coexisted with the violent forest and revered the toxic lake that guards her island from invaders who wish to destroy it. Although Leelo cares deeply for her community, she finds it difficult to accept the fact that her brother would be banished and forced to live with strangers.

Then a day comes when Leelo witnesses a young foreigner perilously close to drowning in the lake. She is aware that she should abandon him to his fate, but she decides to help Jaren, the young man she is caring for, while knowing that her actions will betray her family, her best friend, and her entire community.