Hello friends! Today I have my book review of
Kingdom of Ash and Briars, by Hannah West.
Kingdom of Ash and Briars is the first book in The Nissera Chronicles.
Trigger Warnings: Kidnapping, Death.
My review of KOAAB has some minor spoilers in it.
Bristal, an orphaned kitchen maid, lands in a gritty fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she is an elicromancer with a knack for shape-shifting. An ancient breed of immortal magic beings, elicromancers have been winnowed down to merely two – now three – after centuries of bloody conflict in the realm. Their gifts are fraught with responsibility, and sixteen-year-old Bristal is torn between two paths. Should she vow to seek the good of the world, to protect and serve mortals? Or should she follow the strength of her power, even if it leads to unknown terrors? She draws on her ability to disguise herself as a man to infiltrate a prince’s band of soldiers, and masquerades as a fairy godmother to shield a cursed princess, but time is running out. As an army of dark creatures grows closer, Bristal faces a supernatural war. To save the kingdoms, Bristal must find the courage to show her true form.
Building on homages to Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jane Austen’s Emma and the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Hannah West makes a spectacular debut.
Admittedly, I didn’t read too much into Kingdom of Ash and Briars—-speaking plainly, I didn’t read the synopsis other than figuring out that there was magic within the story..
There were a few things that I unexpectedly liked about the story line and plot:
- No time was wasted in this novel. I liked that in part two, years had passed. There was no dilly-dallying–I’m appreciative.
- There was one thing that I had predicted, but I’m completely fine with that.
- The story is so intricately woven. There’s a complexity to it all. Love it.
- I’m actually loving all the fairytales that are woven into this story. I didn’t expect that to happen at all, so it’s a great plus to the story.
- I’m LOVING how Bristal is determined to do the work required of her. I also really enjoyed reading from Bristal’s point of view.
- The slow burn romance was great.
- Very satisfied with the ending of this novel.
I found that I really didn’t disagree with anything that happened during my time reading Kingdom of Ash and Briars. All in all this story was a truly enjoyable read.
Overall, I give Kingdom of Ash and Briars, 4.5 stars.
I’m actually quite looking forward to reading the next book in the story: Realm of Ruin.
Have you read Kingdom of Ash and Briars? If so, did you enjoy it?
Thank you for stopping by!
See you soon, and Happy Reading!