Title: Among the Beasts & Briars
Author: Ashley Poston
Pub. Date: October 20, 2020
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.
This will be a spoiler free review. Thank. You to Balzer + Bray and Book Terminal Tours for giving me the opportunity to read this book early and help promote it! Make sure you check out the other tour stops for this book, and make sure you pick up your copy/request it for your library today!
I really enjoyed this book. The feelings I got while reading it, reminded me of Echo North and Beyond the Shadowed Earth. You just get swept up and away with the plot, the world, the characters. I inhaled like, 75% of this book in one sitting. Sleep claimed me before I could finish, otherwise I probably would have read it all in one go.
I will say that I figured out the big reveal really early on, so I wasn’t really surprised towards the end when it comes out. I also had an assumption about Cerys’s mom that ended up not being the case, but now I think I know who she is.
I liked Cerys. I’m always down for the unsuspecting character to suddenly become the hero to save the world. I loved that we got to see her struggle with the weight of it all – that we got to see her lack of enthusiasm to do what needs to be done. I also loved how she changed over time and became this really strong kick-ass character. I also really loved Fox, but is that any surprise? How can you not fall for him? His terrible puns and just overwhelmingly charming attitude. I also loved how he wasn’t this dashing Prince Charming here to save the day. Cerys unwittingly takes up that mantel.
I do wish that the relationship between Fox and Cerys had been a little more in depth. It kind of felt a little convenient and easy – still very sweet and full of cute moments! – but I found it a tad lacking at times. Maybe I’m just on a epic romance kick, but I kind of wanted more? I loved his nickname for her, and their constant bantering and how unsure he was and how determined Cerys was.
This book sucks you in and takes you away. Overall, I really did enjoy it. I was left wanting more – but I’m always left wanting more of books that I loved. I’ve not actually read any of Ashley Poston’s books prior to this one, and I can see why everyone loves her books. I now want to move Heart of Iron up on my TBR list.
The world she created just comes to life and it feels real. Everything was so vivid, and I could see it all. I love it when books fully transport you. I definitely recommend this book – I really don’t think it’ll disappoint you. If you’re looking for something to take you on an escape for a little while, you should definitely check this out!