Kingdom of Ash and Briars
Hannah West’s Kingdom of Ash and Briars combines beloved fairy tale elements with an original plot full of magic and mayhem. When teenager Bristal is tossed into the cursed Water in the Woods, she expects to die. Instead, she emerges as an elicromancer, one of the most powerful magic workers to live in centuries. Yet power comes with a price, and Bristal is soon caught up in a plot of dark elicromancy that could lay waste to an entire kingdom if she fails to make all the right choices. Threads of Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and other classic tales emerge as Bristal fights for her people. Unfortunately, the combination of multiple fairy tales in one novel means that the pacing is rushed and the story line choppy. Conflicts are resolved almost as soon as they are introduced, and character development suffers as readers must be told rather than shown what the characters’ hopes, fears, and loves are. The material in Kingdom of Ash and Briars could easily have covered a series instead of a standalone. Fans of retold fairy tales will enjoy the homages but may also be left wanting fuller development than the book offers.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Page Count||352 pages|
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