Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston
Cerys is safe in the kingdom of Aloriya.
Here there are no droughts, disease, or famine, and peace is everlasting. It has been this way for hundreds of years, since the first king made a bargain with the Lady who ruled the forest that borders the kingdom. But as Aloriya prospered, the woods grew dark, cursed, and forbidden. Cerys knows this all too well: when she was young, she barely escaped as the woods killed her friends and her mother. Now Cerys carries a small bit of the curse—the magic—in her blood, a reminder of the day she lost everything. The most danger she faces now, as a gardener’s daughter, is the annoying fox who stalks the royal gardens and won’t leave her alone.
As a new queen is crowned, however, things long hidden in the woods descend on the kingdom itself. Cerys is forced on the run, her only companions the small fox from the garden, a strange and powerful bear, and the magic in her veins. It’s up to her to find the legendary Lady of the Wilds and beg for a way to save her home. But the road is darker and more dangerous than she knows, and as secrets from the past are uncovered amid the teeth and roots of the forest, it’s going to take everything she has just to survive.
The cover and description for Among The Beasts & Briars are what first intrigued me and grabbed my attention. Once I noticed the author I couldn’t resist because Geekerella was a cute read. How thankful I am to have picked this up because it turned out to be a sweet and magical tale. This is most definitely a book I would’ve devoured when I was a younger reader.
The story begins in the kingdom of Aloriya, with a coronation about to take place for the new queen. An old curse that was once controlled emerges from the woods, along with a death. Now Cerys, joined with a fox and a bear, must embark on a journey into the woods to help resolve the problem.
Wonderful writing, great storytelling, perfect pacing, secrets, twists—there wasn’t much I didn’t love about this book except for a small amount of predictability. I adore my fairy tales, and this definitely has a classic fairytale feel to it, which is probably what I enjoyed most about it. It’s such a unique story with wonderful character development. Cerys is a royal gardener like her father, and I liked the connection she had with all the plants and flowers of the land, which was brought out well in the writing.
I stepped onto the side walkway to the castle, making my way up the stone path toward the royal garden. Lanterns lit the way, dandelions poking up between the smooth stones. The tall wisteria trees bent in toward me, their long lavender-flowering vines hanging like curtains to hide the side entrance to the royal garden. A breeze leafed through the vines like night spirits, bringing in the last bite of winter frost.
Cerys is tied to the curse in a unique way, and I loved her strong, loyal character. Surprisingly, Fox turned out to be my personal favorite though, but I truly appreciated how all the characters bonded and grew throughout this story. The relationship Cerys has with fox is heartwarming, which was one of my favorite elements in this story. Who doesn’t love animals in fairy tales?
Overall, this was a quick and easy read which took me back to some of my favorite magical fairy tales. This is one to revisit again and again. I highly recommend this one to all who appreciate fantasy and fairy tales.
- Publisher : Balzer + Bray (October 20, 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062847368
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062847362
- Reading age : 13 – 17 years
- Grade level : 8 – 9
Thanks for reading my review! Have you read this book or other books by Ashley Poston?