Poisoned Blade

In this thrilling sequel to World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott's captivating young adult debut, a girl immersed in high-stakes competition holds the fate of a kingdom in her hands:
"The Fives Court is treacherous. The world outside is far worse.

Now a Challenger, Jessamy is moving up the ranks of the Fives--the complex athletic contest favored by the lowliest Commoners and the loftiest Patrons alike. Pitted against far more formidable adversaries, success is Jes's only option,as her prize money is essential to keeping her hidden family alive. She leaps at the chance to tour the countryside and face more competitors, but then a fatal attack on her traveling party puts Jes at the center of the war that Lord Kalliarkos--the prince she still loves--is fighting against their country's enemies. With a sinister overlord watching her every move and Kal's life on the line, Jes must now become more than a Fives champion.... She must become a warrior."

Available as hardcover, paperback, ebook, and audiobook.

16 August 2016
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


"Anyone who things Young Adult fiction can't successfully handle themes like a culture's endurance in defiance of colonialism, the myriad socio-economic factors leading toward revolution, or racial and/or gender inequality, needs to read these books."―Fantasy Literature

"Stellar description and pacing. [Elliott's] eye for detail is extraordinary, and descriptions of court life are very evocative."―Teenreads

"Kate Elliott adds to her fantastical Court of Fives series with Poisoned Blade, and fans won't be disappointed."―Bustle


A Locus Awards Top-Ten Finalist

Booklist (starred review):
"Jes makes for a worthy heroine, as bold and daring as she is endearing. One of the best things about this series is that the characters--heroes and baddies alike--are vividly real, their motives and emotions often fierce but always recognizable."―Booklist

Kirkus Review:
"With strong characters and vivid worldbuilding that refuses to oversimplify individuals, cultures, and the opposing forces they represent, this sequel to Court of Fives (2015) blends emotional intelligence, passionate idealism, and realpolitik in a plot ending at the cliff's edge of revolutionary change. At once nuanced and thrilling--a worthy sequel."

Barnes & Noble:

"A worthy sequel, doubling down on the tension and politics and surpassing Court of Fives in suspense and depth of world-building.... a tense, dramatic adventure, raising the stakes and the potential for drastic consequences as the story barrels towards its conclusion."

"The main character is the classic 'strong female warrior' archetype...and will remind most people of Katniss Everdeen.... The book deals with issues of family loyalty, standing up for one's beliefs, and self-discovery.... A solid addition to a high school collection."


Also available are the two digital exclusive novellas in the Court of Fives world:


A digital prequel is now available through Little Brown Books for Young Readers via The Novl. The story focuses on the legendary love story of Jessamy's parents:


A companion novella that takes place between Poisoned Blade and the forthcoming Buried Heart, find out what happened to Jessamy's missing twin sister, Bettany.