February 06, 2021

#BookReview: Among the Beasts & Briars by @ashposton @Owlcrate

Synopsis: 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.


Rating: 5 Stars
My Review: A tale as old as time is what awaits the readers.  I loved this story from the start and it really made me think of how this story should be told. I could see a group sitting around the fire while a bard told the story of the gardener's daughter and how she became a hero to her people.   The only issue I had with this one was that I really wanted to know what was up with the bear Vala. We don't really get any closer to her which was kind of sad.  I would love to see a follow up to this one as well as a prequel. Because I totally need more stories set in this world.  

The character to this one were so amazing. I loved Cerys and Fox and Vala!! I would love to see this picked up by Disney or something because this totally needs to be a movie.  

If you loved the Bone Houses you are going to love this one!! I will forever be screaming from the roof tops VALA VALA!! OMG I don't know what to say about this one.  I just fell in love with everything about this story. The characters, the setting, the magic. I just couldn't put it down!!! 

Go Into This One Knowing: Dark, Light Romance, Magic

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-Poston's quiet writing style gives life to an original, spine-tingling fairy tale perfect for middle schoolers who are venturing into the world of YA. The country of Aloriya tells a story about the king's magical crown: a gift from the Lady of the Wilds in the magical city of Voryn to the first king, as eternal protection from the Woods. That story is a lie. Cerys's blood can bring forests to life-a curse leftover from her trip into the Woods, when she and the Princess Anwen were the only survivors. When Anwen's coronation is interrupted by a woodcursed stranger and bone-eaters who are after the crown, Cerys takes it and runs for the Wildwood. With Fox and their new friend Bear to help evade their new enemies, Cerys makes for Voryn. Poston cut her teeth on retellings; this is her first original fairy tale, and it's the perfect balance of heartwarming adventure and creepy monsters. There are unanswered questions that keep the story from being entirely satisfying, but open up the possibility for more original fairy tales. The casual assumption of bisexuality lends the impression that queer relationships are the norm in this world. The majority of the cast is white-Cerys is pale with freckles, Anwen has blonde hair and blue eyes-but there is mention of darker skin tones among peripheral characters. VERDICT Naomi Novik's Uprooted for a younger audience, Poston has written a soft, romantic standalone that should be considered an additional purchase for libraries where fantasy is popular.-Emmy Neal, Lake Forest Lib., ILĪ±(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


"Among the Beasts and Briars is an utterly enchanting read, brimming with wild magic, whimsy, and heart. I adored every page."  -- Margaret Rogerson, New York Times bestselling author of An Enchantment of Ravens and Sorcery of Thorns

"A deliciously dark coming-of-age fairy tale brimming with magic, monsters, and hope." -- Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Ashley Poston loves dread pirates, moving castles, and starry night skies. When not lost in a book, she’s lost in real life, searching for her next great adventure. She is the author of Heart of Iron and its sequel, Soul of Stars, as well as Geekerella and The Princess and the Fangirl. She can be found online at www.ashposton.com.

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