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.
Review: 4 Stars
I was really excited to get an ARC of this novel because it really looked amazing. I wound up reading it pretty early and I really enjoyed this book. Over the summer I took up gardening as a new hobby, so I thought that reading a book about a girl who can grow things with her blood would be perfect for me. Among the Beasts and Briars was such a sweet whimsical read, and I think it was really well done.
And then, worst of all, he grinned. And oh, what a dangerous look that was, trouble tucked into the corners of his mouth like sin.
The plot was pretty cool. I always love when a book has a creepy forest setting and this book really pulled that aspect off well. The descriptions of those who were cursed by the wood were horrifying and so vivid. The wood cursed were kind of like zombies, except way creepier. I didn’t know where the plot was going when the novel first started, but I enjoyed the journey. Some parts of the book were so sweet and others were absolutely horrifying, I think the balance made this book unique. The pacing wasn’t super fast, but I also never got bored. It was definitely more of a character focused novel though and I really enjoyed the characters.
But here I was dancing with a boy who was handsome in a way only wild things could be, as if he wanted to be bigger than his skin instead of wanting to fit inside it.
Cerys was such a great character to read about. I really loved that she wasn’t the average tough girl that you see in every YA fantasy lately, but she was still brave. The romance in this book was so cute and it was a big part of the story. There was a lot of banter and sarcasm which really made the whole thing fun. The lyrical writing also really added to the romance. Certain lines were just so poetic and you could really feel the butterflies the characters had for each other. It was definitely a romance that is appropriate for a YA audience and is a love story, not a romance about lust.
I didn’t want the moment to end, because at that moment, I didn’t feel like a girl who lived in the shadow of a garden wall.
This was a fun fantasy read. While I did expect it to be a tad darker, I didn’t mind that it was more on the sweet side. This book was just so enjoyable to read and I would highly recommend this to fans of YA fantasy. If you’re looking for a fast read that makes you smile you should totally check out Among the Beasts and Briars.