Book Review: Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston

Note: Review originally posted on Goodreads 07 January 2021

Among the Beasts & Briars
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published: 20 October 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Panda Rating:

(3 pandas)

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. 

TL;DR: Mine is an unpopular opinion but I didn’t end up loving this as much as I hoped I would and I was sad about not enjoying it more. If you’re looking for a YA fantasy that’s light on the world building and character development, but has a nice fairytale vibe with “far-off places, magical spells, and a prince in disguise” then I would recommend it!

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Book Ending Spring: The Cinderella Effect

Hello, hello, friends! Welcome back to another post for #BESpring2020! As per usual I am a day behind but since today’s post is about bujo’s and I don’t have/use one, I thought I’d answer yesterday’s prompt made by Sam @ Fictionally Sam!

A quick recap for those who don’t know, Book Ending Spring (2020) is hosted by Sam and Clo @ Cuppa Clo, and it’s one of the quarterly events running under the umbrella term “Bookend Events” that aspires to bring the book blogging community closer together! You can find more information on the announcement page and you can sign up to join as well, if you want in on the blogging fun!


  • Answer the prompts
  • Tag some friends
  • Link back to the original post and be sure to mention the creator (Sam @ Fictionally Sam)
  • Have fun!

Now without further ado let’s get to the prompt: The Cinderella Effect! For this prompt we’re naming five books that you couldn’t wait to get your hands on but turned into a pumpkin (a dud) when you got it. So for this prompt I’m looking at the books that I was so excited for but didn’t end up loving as much as I hoped. Maybe that’s not really focusing on books that were total ‘duds’ because I still rated them okay, but they were just disappointing!

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#TopTenTuesday: Books I Hope to Find Under My Tree!

It’s that time of the week again, friends! We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: books I hope to find under my tree. My family actually doesn’t celebrate Christmas and neither do we have any kind of Balinese/Indonesian tradition that involves gift exchanges etc. The closest we get to the very festive and jovial mood of Christmas is on New Years Eve. But this year we’re actually planning to do a very small White Elephant round and I’m looking forward to it. I don’t think I’ll be finding any books under “my tree” 😅 but STILL a girl can hope right?! But I also just like to make these lists so here’s what I’d hope to get:

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#TopTenTuesday: Books That Surprised Me (in Both Good and Bad Ways)

It’s that time of the week again, friends! We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: my December TBR. But as I’ve already written a few posts (like this one and this one here) I thought I would choose a past topic to do and I’ve chosen: books that surprised me (in both good and bad ways) focusing on the books I’ve read this year. I’m splitting the post up into ‘the good’ and ‘the not-so-good’ and for both parts, the books I listed were mostly in order read (from earliest to later in the year), so it’s not about some books being better/worse than others. It was interesting to look back on what books surprised me this year and it’s definitely making me think more about what my top reads for 2019 are going to be!


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