I am a big fan of Ashley Poston. I am SO close to reading all of her books, just looking at you Soul of Stars! So when I saw that Poston was coming out with a fantasy book I knew I had to track it down! Keep reading this book review to see what I thought of Poston’s fantasy debut.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
So let’s see. I am a fan of plant magic, fox companions, and resourceful girls. I knew pretty early on that Among the Beasts & Briars was going to be a home run for me. While I was swept away by the magic of the story, as well as the numerous twists and turns, what I really loved was Cerys’ character. Cerys has grown up knowing exactly where her path would take her. So when she is forced on the run and the only home she’s known is threatened, Cerys has to grow in a big way.
Cerys sees and does things she never could have even imagined. Her story is not only of an um-ambitious girl, but of one who only sees what is in front of her. But there’s that seed of wanting, of longing, inside her that, given space and adventure, will end up searching for the sun. To be something we never thought we could be, growing into new spaces and spreading roots into new places.
Among the Beasts & Briars is a story where the past very rarely stays buried. While it’s full of action packed battle scenes, it’s also a story that questions what we know about the history we’ve been told. The tendency of history to be rife with degrees of truths and lies. Or the need to find someone who is willing to expose the foundation, to break the cycle. If you’re searching for a fantasy story with a clever and endearing heroine, a very snarky fox, and danger around every corner, you will love Among the Beasts & Briars.