Goodreads Book Blurb:
I was totally swept up in the fantasy of this world. It felt like a good old school fairy tale, creepy and foreboding with only a small flash of hope that is extinguished over and over again.
To really enjoy Among the Beasts & Briars you have to relax a little and just let it take you. If you stop to think about it too much the logic starts to crumble and the plot holes jump out at you. Luckily I was in an easy breezy mood and so I thoroughly enjoyed the story. In the end I think the shortcomings are from this being a standalone fantasy novel. I love fantasy but in order to have a fully developed cast of characters and believable worldbuilding it really works best in a series, otherwise the standalone needs to be much longer than this brief ~350 pages. Now if this became a series, allowing us to shore up some of these characters and plaster over the plot holes, I’m totally on board.
I could probably write an essay about Cerys being too perfect, Fox’s identity being painfully obvious, and a million other thoughts on the characters. I really did like them all, but my favourite, and I haven’t seen this mentioned often, was definitely Vala. She was sarcastic and incredibly brave and strong. I’d love an entire book just about her. Unfortunately, the forced romance threatened to doom everything. It felt rushed and illogical, contributing nothing to the plot. I would’ve much preferred a strong friendship and, if you have to, maybe a hint of potential. Just another reason a series fits this genre so much better than a standalone.
An enchanting read with haunting monsters and inventive magic, delightfully whimsical, and perfect for a light, easy read.
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