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This page is about Pinkgirl234's book review on a wonderful novel entitled The Poisons of Caux: The Hollow Bettle.


The Author

Susannah Appelbaum is the author of The Poisons of Caux trilogy.

Early life

Susannah Appelbaum at the right.

Susannah suffered an unsupervised childhood where many of her days she could be found roaming in the forests or nearby riverbanks. Before she was old enough to walk, she ate an enchanting - looking flower from her aunt's garden, and spent the remainder of the visit in the hospital. From this experience, she earned an obsession to unlock the hidden nature of plants.

Susannah comes from a family of doctors and philosophers, which instilled in her both an early fascination with and a great deal of caution toward bottles marked "Poison".

Book Presentation




Number of Pages


Number of Chapters



The story focuses around Ivy Manx--a young girl who lives in Caux--a land that has been poisoned under the proclamation of the tyrannical King Nightshade and with quacksalvary/apotheopathy declared forbidden. During one visit of a taster named Sorrel Flux, Ivy's uncle--Cecil Manx--had to depart to cure the disfigured foot of King Nightshade. However, realizing that Cecil Manx hasn't come back home for a year, Ivy decided to look for him herself. She was joined by a young taster named Rowan Truax--who had to flee after accidentally poisoning twenty sentries and joined by a pet crow named Shoo.

The children ran into a trestleman named Axlerod D. Roux--where he tells about the Propehcy of the Noble Child who is destined to save Caux and helps to direct them on their way to Templar. They encountered Clothilde in the forest of Underwood, an intelligent woman (and an implied daughter of King Verdigirs) who decided to help find Ivy's uncle along their journey. While in Craggy Burls, Ivy experienced a trestleman carrying her as a baby. She also found out in that place that Clothilde was her mother and King Verdigris's great - granddaughter.

While in Skytop Abbey, Ivy and Rowan discovered Clothilde interacting with Verjouce regarding in capturing the Noble Child (Ivy) and for their evil plans to unfurl. Feeling betrayed, Ivy and Rowan depart for Templar alone and ran into Peps--Axle's brother. Ivy has found out that her uncle is set to be executed on the day of the Festivals. Because Peps is invited by Caux's royal rulers to a feast, they set up a plan to rescue Cecil: Peps impersonates Axle, Ivy disguises as a taster and Rowan tried to keep his identity hidden. During the feast, Cecil summoned the forestral magic from the seven magical tapestries in the room, halting the event, putting majority of the diners to sleep and giving Ivy the time to cure King Nightshade. Cecil clarified that Ivy was actually meant to cure King Verdigris and told her to follow Flux on his way to the Doorway of Pimcaux.

Ivy and FLux managed to find the Doorway of Pimcaux. CLothilde--who did not at all betrayed Ivy--had caught up to them and persuaded Ivy to come with her to the Doorway at once. However, Flux distracts Ivy by stating how Clothilde hadn't told her about her father. Just then, Vidal Verjouce stepped in, followed by the powerful burst of wind, which slammed the Doorway shut, preventing Ivy from reaching Clothilde and Flux by the entrance. As Verjouce was preparing to destroy Ivy once they are alone, Ivy's bettle magically cracked open and out came a stained - glass looking crimson butterfly. The other bettles in the whole Caux (as well as Verjouce's) hatched into the same creatures and this phenema was witnessed by all Cauvians.

With Verjouce's cane broken, he is helpless to continue with his plan and Ivy was able to escape. She reunites with her companions and the following events happened: The Prophecy about the Noble Child has begun, Cecil was freed, and the Festival continued with no event of his execution to occur, Caux was restored to light once more, the Nightshade regime ended, the Nightshades were banished to the Outpost Islands and Verjouce managed to escape.

How The Book Made Me Wiser

The book made me wiser by the lessons it gives (which I will give later). The character's life in fact has helped me to be careful as much as possible, because as of this day, you won't know what dangers are waiting to prey on you. And I feel so interested in topics regarding poison, magic, anything supernatural. Plus it reminds me of medicines, sicknesses, and cures.

Passages And Quotes Worth Remembering

Never you mind. Cecil will never know that I was using his equipment unless you tell him.
~ Ivy Manx

Ivy has a habit of Cecil's equipment to create various experiments when he is not around. Ivy can be described as clever.

Your mother gave you that bettle. She was conflicted but in the end, it was you she cared the most about.
~ Cecil Manx

Cecil told Ivy that Clothilde gave her the red bettle that she treasured and did everything to not let it fall into other people's hands. The Door to Pimcaux may have separated Ivy and her mother but nevertheless, Clothilde loved Ivy sincerely and dearly that she would do anything to keep her out of harm. And she never at all betrayed Ivy, as found in one passage in the book that she pretended to team up with Verjouce so that she could keep him and Ivy from meeting.

You--the source of my suffering! The Noble Child! Because of you, I was blinded--betrayed by that wretched Prophecy. Betrayed by you. Behold my face, child, these scars. It is as if your very hands plucked out my eyes! But I can see--yes, I can see. I see the Prophecy has failed and you along with it. I see your doom.
~ Vidal Verjouce

Verjouce rages at Ivy on how much of a suffering she was to him. He also boasts how the Prophecy has failed and that Ivy will meet with a terrible fate.

The Best Thing About The Book

There are only two major things that made the book real good: the first one is the ideas the author gathered to create the story and the second is the pictures and illustrations that gave me an idea what an object or a person looked like.

Lessons We Can Learn

  1. Be cautious to every place you go and every person you meet.
  2. Don't stop until you reach your goal.

Recommendations And Rating


Pinkgirl234 rated this book for 5 hearts (her term for stars).


I recommend to you guys that you read this book because this book contains some rich words that could enhance your vocabulary and speaking skills. In addition, this book contains valuable lessons that can help you. And this book is for all ages as well.
~ Pinkgirl234


  • Pinkgirl234 once used this novel for a book report in school via PowerPoint presentation.
  • Pinkgirl234 received a grade of 94% from her English teacher for this book report.
  • Here are interesting information from the story.
    • Trestlemen are people who reside in train trestles. They are usually described as small people. In the novel, the trestlemen mentioned there are Axle and Peps.
    • Bettles are said to be precious and magical stones. While anyone could think a bettle is just a mere bright stone, near the end of the novel, each bettle in Caux broke to reveal a glass - stained looking butterfly inside.
    • A taster is a person who tastes food to figure out whether the food is safe to eat or not. If the food is safe to eat, they will usually say "Fit to eat!". According to Rowan, one of the things that a taster must use do is to his right hand to catch a bit of food and play it about with their tongues to identify the safety of food.
    • What the story meant that Caux was poisoned meant that there was an occurrence in which almost all food have been poisoned and those who ingest poisoned food suffer intense various pains as a result. Some die immediately. However, this can also mean that Caux is poisoned with evil, chaos and corruption.