Thank you to Terminal Tours and Harper Collins for including me in this blog tour
I was thrilled when I was selected to participate in the Among the Beasts and Briars blog tour hosted by Terminal Tours. Ashley Poston is one of my favorite authors, and when I heard she had a new fantasy coming out, I was dying to read it. Also, I know you should never judge a book by its cover, but holy crow this is a gorgeous cover – one that you’ll appreciate even more once you’ve read the book and can recognize all the intricate details from the story.
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.
Among the Beasts and Briar ‘s atmosphere was phenomenal – right off the bat it was immersive and rich with world building. I could practically smell the wisteria in the castle gardens and see the bone-eaters in the woods. The truly magical part of this book is how fairytale-esque it was. Everything from the setting, to the writing, to the characters added up to something truly magical and unique – something unlike any YA fantasy I’ve read before. If you’ve read anything by Ashley Poston before, you know how well she writes. This was my first time reading anything but contemporary by her, and I was blown away at her chameleon like ability to move between genres.
Cerys was such a tough, well balanced character – she clearly wanted something more than to just be the next royal gardener and to settle with someone from her village. In the beginning, she seemed almost resigned to this fate – that is until the coronation of her best friend went wildly awry. As she sets off on her quest to save her kingdom and family, her character growth began. I admired her refusal to give up on her friends and family, and how she never. backed down in the face of adversity. By the end of the book, she had an excellent character arc, and was one of the best heroines I have read in a long time. I also really, really liked the fact that her love interest only pushed her to be a better person – he also didn’t distract her from her goal of saving the kingdom.
Among the Beasts and Briars is the perfect fall read – it’s enchanting and spooky and wonderful. Honestly, I don’t really have a single negative thing to say about this book – it’s that good. If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this book – it’s Ashley Poston’s best book yet, and that is really saying something given how great her Once Upon a Con series is. 5/5
About the Author
Ashley Poston loves dread pirates, moving castles, and starry night skies.
She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a BA in English, and went on to work at both Kodansha USA and Bloomsbury Publishing. But the dazzling bright lights of New York City couldn’t keep her away from old country roads, so she moved back home to pursue a full-time writing career.
Her books have been on the Indie Next List multiple times, and have been featured in Teen Vogue, Seventeen, Entertainment Weekly, Hypable, and Buzzfeed, among others. She has also been a Goodreads Choice Finalist in 2017 for Geekerella, and a semi-finalist for The Princess and the Fangirl in 2019. She also has a critically-acclaimed space opera series, the Heart of Iron duology, which was named on 2019’s Rainbow List.
When not writing, she can be found playing Dungeons and Dragons and writing fanfic. She lives in South Carolina with her bossy cat, and they are firm believers that we’re all a bunch of weirdos looking at other weirdos, asking for their username.