Thank you so much to Edelweiss and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review! All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Overall: 4.5/5 Stars
Plot and Themes: 4/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: Among the Beasts and Briars was exactly what I needed. Get swept away in this original fairytale full of fantastic characters and terrifying woods.
// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Animal Death //
Release Date: 10/20/2020
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page Count: 352
Among the Beasts and Briars follows Cerys, the royal gardener’s daughter. When her best friend’s coronation is attacked by the beasts from the Wildwoods, Cerys must protect her kingdom’s magical crown.
The only hope to save those she loves is the legendary Lady of the Wilds, but in order to find her, Cerys must search through the deadly Wildwoods.. But Cerys isn’t alone. With her on her journey is the fox from her gardens, and the strange bear she meets along the way.
Writing & Setting
I love Ashley Poston’s writing. Her books are so easy to read, mixing humor, romance, and depth. I was in a horrible reading slump when I started this book, and it managed to pull me out of it (only to put me back in a slump but to be fair, it was only because I loved the book so much).
The setting of the book is very straightforward, with simple worldbuilding but a unique fairytale feel. This world plays off of your typical fairy tale tropes, but grounds them and drives up the horror (and humor) in these situations. We love a book that balances terrifying ancient beings and cute bickering over whether Fox would be a good hat.
But back on those terrifying ancient beings- I did not expect how scary and dark this book would be. The humor and the characters add some lightness to it, but trust me it gets dark in some places. It was a surprise, but a really welcome one. I don’t often read creepy books but this was so fun and addictive, I might have to find more.
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This book always has something happening. There’s never a dull moment as our characters go on their journey (except, perhaps, right in the beginning before the journey even begins and we’re still learning about the world). Whenever I was forced to put the book down, all I wanted to do was pick it back up and be immersed in this world and find out what happens next.
I will admit, most of the major twists were a little predictable, but that made it almost more fun for me. I might have known what was going to happen (or in some cases, what already happened), but I loved waiting for the characters to figure it out, and to see how it happened.
Listen, I love these idiots. Fox and Cerys are our two main protagonists and I would die for them. Can I just talk about Fox for a second? Because his chapters were absolutely amazing and funny and heartbreaking and just so perfect. But don’t get me wrong- Cerys’ were all of those as well. Both of these characters had great development, and I loved watching them grow together over the course of the book.
But they aren’t our only characters. While we spend a lot of time with them, there are plenty of side characters that you will come to adore as well. Tala is especially amazing, but there were quite a few others I loved too (I won’t name some names because you need to meet them and get to know them yourself).
Pros- Addictive, great characters, fun world, fairytale feel, creepy but funny and cute
Cons- Why do all of the best books have to be standalones? (To be fair, this definitely should be a standalone, but I’m just sad we don’t get more Fox and Cerys)
Overall- 4.5/5 stars.
I already would read any book Ashley Poston writes, but Among the Beasts and Briars reminded me why. This was a fantastic fairytale that you need to pick up!
If You Liked Among The Beasts and Briars, I’d Recommend:
- Heart of Iron (Heart of Iron #1) by Ashley Poston [Review]
[Great characters, Ashley Poston’s amazing writing style]
[Fantasy standalone, two characters bickering as they travel through a dangerous forest]
- Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim [Review]
[Fantasy, fairytale tone, two characters on a journey]
What’s your favorite book that has a fairytale feel?