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. The most danger she faces now, as a gardener’s daughter, is the annoying fox who stalks the royal gardens and won’t leave her alone. 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 the small fox from the garden, a strange and powerful bear, 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.
I’ve been excited for this book since it was announced along with the sequel to Heart Of Iron. It’s Ashley Poston, which is basically all I need to know to pick up a book. But this had so much more than just be written by Ashley Poston. A Beauty And The Beast retelling with a sexy fox and a creepy woods. I was so excited for it that I was literally hit with a wave of dizziness when I saw it was up on Edelweiss. And then I absolutely completely freaked out when I was approved. Yes, I was very, very excited haha.
Hello and welcome to my first character interview! I never quite knew what I thought about character interviews, since writing the responses always seemed so daunting to me; I would want to be sure it was exactly right. Though, Christine, who knows these characters better than anyone else, was kind enough to answer these questions herself! And who am I interviewing? None other than May Hawthorne, sister of Justin Hawthorne and reader of The Deck Of Omens.
*Spoiler free, but spoilers for The Devouring Gray*
Though the Beast is seemingly subdued for now, a new threat looms in Four Paths: a corruption seeping from the Gray into the forest. And with the other Founders preoccupied by their tangled alliances and fraying relationships, only May Hawthorne seems to realize the danger. But saving the town she loves means seeking aid from the person her family despises most–her and Justin’s father. May’s father isn’t the only newcomer in town–Isaac Sullivan’s older brother has also returned, seeking forgiveness for the role he played in Isaac’s troubled past. But Isaac isn’t ready to let go of his family’s history, especially when that history might hold the key that he and Violet Saunders need to destroy the Gray and the monster within it. Harper Carlisle isn’t ready to forgive, either. Two devastating betrayals have left her isolated from her family and uncertain who to trust. As the corruption becomes impossible to ignore, Harper must learn to control her newfound powers in order to protect Four Paths. But the only people who can help her do that are the ones who have hurt her the most. With the veil between the Gray and the town growing ever thinner, all of the Founder descendants must put their grievances with one another aside to stop the corruption and kill the Beast once and for all. But maybe the monster they truly need to slay has never been the Beast…
This is definitely a quiet book, but that doesn’t make it any less incredible. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of The Devouring Gray. My review was basically just me screaming about it, I made a hoodie for it, and I was lucky enough to interview the author! I loved it so much that I even traded a Shadow And Bone ARC (personalized to a Michelle but still) for it! Needless to say, I was very much looking forward to this book. Trigger warnings: grief, generational trauma, gore, body horror, brief physical abuse