Among the beasts & briars / Ashley Poston.

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    • Publication Information:
      First edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: Ashley Poston, acclaimed author of Heart of Iron, returns with a dark, lush fairy tale-inspired fantasy for fans of Sara Raasch and Susan Dennard. 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. 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 a small and irritating fox from the royal garden 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.
    • Other Titles:
      Among the beasts and briars.
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Booklist Reviews 2020 October #1

A golden crown, said to be a gift of friendship, is all that stands between the dark forest and the city of Aloriya. But the woods have started claiming townsfolk, and Cerys' best friend, the crown princess, is among the latest victims of the woodcursed. Cerys vows to save her home by using her special talents to find the Lady of the Wilds, said to live in a legendary city called Voryn. She undertakes the quest, accompanied by an odd companion, Fox—once an animal and now human—and discovers dark secrets, misunderstandings, and the opportunity to make a new beginning. Poston presents a true fairy tale, with transformations, unlikely love, and magical artifacts that are not what they seem. The pacing never lags, and readers will find themselves catching their breath as events escalate. Content following the author's afterword indicates this is not the last we will hear from this cast of characters. Try this with fans of Kathryn Purdie's Bone Crier's Moon (2020) or Margaret Owen's Merciful Crow series for more dark tales. Grades 8-12. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.