Kingdom of Ash and Briars, written by Hannah West

71ujwonttbl Kingdom of Ash and Briars, written by Hannah West, Published by Holiday House, (9780823436514), 2016

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 3.75

Genre:  Fantasy

What did you like about the book? I was so excited to read this title and really expected to love it. The first section of the book was excellent – well written with original ideas – so I had high expectations. Unfortunately, this book opens strong and then falls into ordinary.

What didn’t you like about the book? The fairy tale plot kicked in around page 75 and took up the majority of the book; as so many authors have already written this kind of story, it’s hard to make it feel original. In addition, some of the characters’ interactions seemed rushed when completing the fairy tale plotlines. The “Cinderella” character expresses reservations about truly being loved for who she is, then accepts the proposal of the “Prince” character after a two sentence declaration from him.  Overall a good story, but I would have liked more of West’s original ideas and less of the overused fairy tale themes. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for future books from this author – I think she has the potential to write something along the lines of Graceling if she uses her own ideas.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Fantasy readers who enjoy fairy tales. Voracious readers may be annoyed by the same things I was.

Who should buy this book? School & public libraries

Where would you shelve it and why? Young Adult Fiction

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Eh. Maybe.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Robin Fosdick, Morse Institute Library, Natick, MA

Date of review: 11.10.16

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