Kingdom of Ash and Briars: A Nissera Novel by Hannah WestKingdom of Ash and Briars: A Nissera Novel by Hannah West

Kingdom of Ash and Briars: A Nissera Novel

byHannah West

Hardcover | August 30, 2016

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A stunning fantasy inspired by familiar fairytales, complete with cursed princesses, thieves-turned-soldiers, and an orphan girl transformed into an immortal, shapeshifting heroine. The Nissera Chronicles start here . . .

“One of the best books I've ever read.”—C.J. Redwine, New York Times best-selling author of The Shadow Queen

* “A world both terrifying and wonderful.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Welcome to Nissera, land of three kingdoms and home to spectacular magic.

Bristal, a sixteen-year-old kitchen maid, finds herself in a gritty fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she has elicromancer magic in her blood. Elicromancers are an ancient breed of immortal people, but only two remain in Nissera after a bloody civil war. Bristal joins their ranks without knowing that one of them has a dark secret . . . Tamarice is plotting a quest to overthrow the realm's nobility and take charge herself. Together, Bristal and Brack must guard the three kingdoms of Nissera against Tamarice's black elicromancy. There are princesses to protect, royal alliances to forge, and fierce monsters to battle—all with the hope of preserving peace.

With clever homages to Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Hannah West makes a fast-paced, exciting, and wholly original debut. The Nissera Chronicles continue with Fields of Fire, a short story set against the events of Kingdom of Ash and Briars, and Realm of Ruins, a gripping companion novel.
Hannah West began Kingdom of Ash and Briars as a college junior while studying abroad in France. This is her first novel. She is a freelance writer who lives in Rockwall, Texas, with her rambunctious puppy.
Title:Kingdom of Ash and Briars: A Nissera NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:368 pages, 8.49 × 5.78 × 1.15 inPublished:August 30, 2016Publisher:Holiday HouseLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0823436519

ISBN - 13:9780823436514

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from I LOVED THIS An Advance Reader Copy was provided by the publisher for review. Quotes pulled from the ARC may be incorrect and may be subject to change. Well! I wasn't expecting such a fun and adventurous read! And even though there are echoes of "Sleeping Beauty", "Mulan", "Emma" and "Cinderella", the story is still strong on its own. Loved the magical bits a lot and the slow burn romance was just too cute. The writing is vivid and engaging! Right from the start I was invested in it. And I knew I was going to like it. The world building was pretty great because we get to see some of their history being told as well. I loved how we get to see the villain's slow decay into enemy territory. I also like how each character held promise. They all weren't the typical one-dimensional characters we see in the retellings. Hannah West, the author made sure the characters stood on their own and each one had echoes of their fairytale characters, making them whimsical or kind or generous like we know and love them to be. I loved pretty much all the characters, but I especially love how devoted Bristal was to protecting a country that she holds dear to her heart. Even though her past was wholly blank, I wasn't the least bit curious as to how she came to be an orphan until well the end where all was revealed. There are a lot of characters to learn, but they're always mentioned so you can remember who was who. There was also a handy chart so you can look at that as well. I also loved matching the different scenes to the other stories, pointing out in my head, the similarities and such. Can I also mention how gorgeous the inside of the book is? At the beginning of each character there is a tree and it looks lovely every time you start a new chapter. I do feel that the cover felt a bitter much like a middle grade read instead of YA, but that's just me. I still love the cover though. It reflects the magical style of the story very well. "The Kingdom of Ash and Briars" will have you wanting to flex your own elicromancer skills! This is a lush and riveting read for any fairytale fantasy adventure reader. I must get myself a finished copy soon!
Date published: 2016-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Imaginative and Beautifully-Crafted! Kingdom of Ash and Briars is a must-read for fantasy fans. It is officially one of my favourite 2016 reads! The book meticulously blends fairy tales together while maintaining complete originality. What an imaginative story! The world in Kingdom of Ash and Briars is intricate with legends and foretelling but also simple and easy to catch onto. I was surprised by the drawn-out timeline but it made perfect sense. This book had bits of various fairy tales mixed into new material. Ms. West beautifully weaves each element together to craft a compelling new story. So creative! I loved the moments where I was able to figure out which twist belonged to which fairy tale. Magic. Curses. Princesses. Soldiers. Matchmaker. I loved seeing how each was incorporated into the overall story- so refreshing and delightful because the parts came together so well. The kingdoms lived mostly in peace until evil (re)surfaced and threatened destruction. The darkness lurking just behind the scene heightened the sense of foreboding in the story. I dreaded but needed to see what came next. Every move and decision the characters made impacted their chance of survival. The battle between humans and monsters (good vs. evil) had a likeness to The Lord of the Rings. While I loved it, it was no less miserable to witness. Oh the sacrifices... *sobs* Bristal, our heroine, is so noble. As one of the few (three to be exact) elicromancers left in the world, she pledged herself to protecting the kingdoms. She played each of her roles admirably. I was very sad for her when the heavy chip on her shoulder jeopardized her chance at happiness. To find it but not be able to act on it. Pure torture for me. If anyone deserved to be happy, it was Bristal. There are quite a number of characters in Kingdom of Ash and Briars and I loved each one of them. Each played a vital role in bringing out the story. Their relationships were even more crucial to tying in the twists. Rosamund, Elinor, Charles, Anthony, Nicolas, Tamarice and more- they complete the story. With courage, danger, passion at every turn, Kingdom of Ash and Briars is one exquisite read. The creative story and brilliantly-executed fairy tale twists made Kingdom of Ash and Briars an unforgettable read.
Date published: 2016-08-29

Read from the Book

History might be whittled down until all that remains are shining fables of fairy magic and curse-defying kisses. War might go unmentioned in the polished children's tales of the two girls with rose petal lips and hair of spun gold, the girls whom I was tasked with making queens.            The coming generations may forget that the price of the peace they will enjoy was paid in blood.            But for the historians, the truth-seekers and the curious: here is the light and the dark of it. Here is my story.  

Editorial Reviews

* "West mixes fairy-tale charm with contemporary mysticism to create a world both terrifying and wonderful." —Kirkus (starred review)"Classically crafted high fantasy - a call to love, a call to power, a crown at stake, a family at war - where magic runs through every word. Fans of The Shannara Chronicles or The Grisha Trilogy, look no further." —Margaret Stohl, #1 New York Time's best selling author of the Beautiful Creatures novels"Brilliant, fascinating, and utterly impossible to put down. Hannah West makes a triumphant entry into the world of fairy tale retellings with one of the best books I've ever read." —C.J. Redwine, New York Time's best selling author of The Shadow Queen"Like Cashore and McKinley, Nix and Novak, Hannah West has crafted a tale both fresh and familiar—a fantasy epic lush in detail and breathlessly enchanting, with an indomitable heroine at its heart." —Claire Legrand, author of Winterspell