July 11, 2021

Among the Beasts and Briars by Ashley Poston

Among the Beasts and Briars by Ashley Poston
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: October 20, 2020
Format: eBook
Publisher: Balzer and Bray

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“You trekked among the beasts and briars, and the deep heart led you all the way to Voryn”

 Among the Beasts and Briars was a fun, quick read. Overall, the story is reminiscent of a cross between the Disney version of the tale of Beauty and the Beast and Grimm’s Fairy Tales. 

The story follows Cerys, the kind-hearted daughter of the royal gardener and Fox, who was changed into a human by the magic in Cerys’ blood. Everything seems happy and bright at the beginning of the book, but things take a much darker turn when the coronation of Cerys’ best friend Princess Arwen goes horribly wrong. Together, Cerys and Fox must venture into the woods and attempt to find a cure for the “wood curse” that has taken over the kingdom. I really loved the ending of the story, and how an opening was left for future installments (even though this was designed as a stand-alone novel). 

The animals are my favorite characters in this novel. From the witty and complex Fox to the bear sidekick, they really gave the story more depth. I liked seeing how Fox struggled to balance the animal instincts with his new human feelings. One of my favorite novels of the year! I hope that Poston continues this story in future books. Any readers who are looking for a fun, whimsical read reminiscent of classic fairy tales will not be disappointed after reading this book.

About the Book

Ashley Poston, acclaimed author of Heart of Iron, returns with a dark, lush fairy tale-inspired fantasy for fans of Sara Raasch and Susan Dennard.

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.

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 a small and irritating fox from the royal garden 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.

About the Author

Ashley Poston graduated from the University of South Carolina and has spent the last ten years in the publishing industry as a social media coordinator, a marketing designer, and finally an author. Her novels have been featured on the Indie Next List, Teen Vogue, Seventeen, EW, CNN, Hypable, and Buzzfeed, among others.

When not writing, she likes to build miniature rooms and takes long walks as an excuse to listen to Dungeons and Dragons podcasts. She lives in South Carolina with her bossy cat, Paprika, and they are firm believers that we’re all a bunch of weirdos looking for other weirdos, asking for their AO3 username.

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