Cerys is the daughter of the royal gardener of the Kingdom of Aloriya, a land that has seen peace for 300 years. Bordered by a forbidden, cursed forest, Aloriya’s residents are rocked by the death of their king and are preparing to crown a new monarch. Cerys’ best friend is the soon to be queen, Anwen, but she also has a secret. Cerys can make flowers grow from a drop of her blood, what a useful power for a gardener’s daughter! All goes well until the kingdom is attacked and the world seems to crumble around Cerys.
This is the sixth novel from Ashley Poston and I was absolutely enchanted by her writing style! The narrative carries the reader through several different fairy tale tropes without it being incredibly obvious. Poston is a master of show don’t tell and I did not see the ending until it happened.
Pacing is fantastic, I couldn’t put this book down! I read it in two sittings because I couldn’t get enough of the world building. Cursed kingdoms, fantastic monsters, unrealized love, and beautiful imagery all come together to make a wonderful new YA title!
Cerys’ character development is honestly wonderful. I could relate to her, I could see her struggles, and I could feel her anguish about the hard decisions she makes. Her companion, a wily fox, is such a fun character in the story. Fox is dynamic and interesting without being boring, as most animal-y companions can become. The relationships between the characters are described early on so the reader absolutely understands the sacrifice and danger of the ultimate situation.
Ashley Poston’s previous titles have sequels and I am hopeful this world and story will continue! Also, read to the end, even after the THE END, it’s very important!
Thank you to Edelweiss and Balzer + Bray for a galley copy of this title in exchange for an honest review!
Among the Beasts & Briars is out on October 20, 2020! Pre-order from you favorite retailer today!