Thursday, February 16, 2017

Kingdom of Ash and Briars

Cover image for Kingdom of ash and briars
Kingdom of Ash and Briars
by Hannah West
Holiday House, 2016, 350 pages, Young Adult Fiction

Bristal, a sixteen-year-old kitchen maid, lands in a fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she has elicromancer magic in her blood. Elicromancers are an ancient breed of immortal people, but only two remain in Nissera after a bloody civil war. Bristal joins the ranks of elicromancers Brack and Tamarice without knowing that one of them has a dark secret . . . Tamarice is plotting a quest to overthrow the realm's nobility and take charge herself. Together, Bristal and Brack must guard the three kingdoms of Nissera against Tamarice's black elicromancy. There are cursed princesses to protect, royal alliances to forge and fierce monsters to battle--all with the hope of preserving peace.

From the above description, it might come as a surprise to find that West pulls heavily from fairy tales such as Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Mulan to tell this story. However, this book is its own tale and it is not focused on finding a happily ever after. Instead, West deals with classic fantasy themes like the battle between dark and light and the idea that “with great power comes great responsibility.” As a lover of fantasy and fairy tale retellings, this book had a lot of the elements I look for in a good book, along with giving me a brand new story to enjoy.


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