I swear the book itself was named "Violet" and had an intense purple eye on the cover but all common search results are nothing like the book I read.

It's in a dystopian town where when the kids come of age they can choose a new name. She had always been bullied for the colour of her violet eyes so she chooses her name to be Violet. There are assigned jobs to this coming-of-age ceremony and she gets the one that needs to search for something outside the city. She's been brought up by a guy who does the same job she chooses (or is assigned). She doesn't have parents and it's through this guardian that she learns to read from the books he picks up on his excursions. I don't remember what the task is that sets them out on a journey, but eventually they come to this cabin or sort of house where there is a writer and a big book. He comes to tell her that it is her destiny to continue writing in it. Without a writer, the world ceases to exist because without a writer it cannot come into existence. When she initially denies the world starts to fade away until she concedes and becomes the next author.

This was such a good story and it has stuck with me for more than a decade. I was about maybe 11 when I read it (so published before 2008). I haven't been able to find it since. Please help!!


1 Answer 1


That's "Poison" by Chris Wooding. Poison is the name she chooses for herself, as she's always been contrary. As you remember (heavy spoilers!), Poison ends up finding out that her whole world is a story, being created by the Hierophant (or is it?). She attempts to refuse writing it, but the world starts fading away.

Cover of "Poison" by Chris Wooding. The cover shows a girl's face in a purple hue, with violet eyes staring out of the cover.

  • 1
    The girl is called Foxglove but she chooses the name Poison at the naming ceremony because her mother tells here "You'll always be poison to this family". Apr 7, 2023 at 19:20
  • 2
    @Showsni I added the cover because it further confirms you've ID'd the book correctly.
    – Moriarty
    Apr 7, 2023 at 23:38

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