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Briarheart by Mercedes Lackey

Briarheart is a unique Sleeping Beauty retelling, where the main character is Sleeping Beauty’s sister and her quest to find herself and becoming the future queens Champion.”

Sheaf & Ink

The Story

From the Publisher

Miriam may be the daughter of Queen Alethia of Tirendell, but she’s not a princess. She’s the child of Alethia and her previous husband, the King’s Champion, who died fighting for the king, and she has no ambitions to rule. When her new baby sister Aurora, heir to the throne, is born, she’s ecstatic. She adores the baby, who seems perfect in every way. But on the day of Aurora’s christening, an uninvited Dark Fae arrives, prepared to curse her, and Miriam discovers she possesses impossible power.

Soon, Miriam is charged with being trained in both magic and combat to act as chief protector to her sister. But shadowy threats are moving closer and closer to their kingdom, and Miriam’s dark power may not be enough to save everyone she loves, let alone herself.

My Review: Briarheart

Briarheart is a unique Sleeping Beauty retelling, where the main character is Sleeping Beauty’s sister and her quest to find herself and becoming the future queens Champion

At the heart of the book, this is a sweet alluring tale about the bonds between sisters (even when one sister is only an infant), found family, and the courage to take risks even if they may lead to trouble.

Lackey’s book reminded me of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (minus the Christian overtones). Where Miriam steps into an enchanted wood and finds herself in a magical realm where just about anything is possible.

Focusing on someone other than Aurora is a nice change. Where we see how much Miriam, Aurora’s sister, takes on the role of protector very seriously. Even at such a young age of fifteen, Miriam masters her skills in combat to ensure her sisters safety.

A Few More Thoughts

Though this story is a reinterpretation of Sleeping Beauty, the execution is off. There are pages and pages of long winded exposition, which added to the slow pacing of the book. Added to the slow pacing is there being very little conflict and things came too easily for Miriam. There was no real external challenge because someone is always a heartbeat away to help Miriam or do whatever difficult task for her.

Even though I love the whimsical nature of the story it fell flat. We hardly ever move out of Miriam and her friends combat training. I wanted more action and adventure. To put to practice what she was learning. Seeing her use her skills and not easily helped by someone else. Where readers experience how she earns her place as the Champion of the future Queen.

Overall, Briarheart felt like a Middle Grade or Young Teen read. Though, it would have been a more satisfying read had Lackey developed the story to include more action and adventure into her enchanting world.

Happy Reading – Cece

RATING: ink blotink blot – Adequately Inked


Briarheart Photo Collage

Publication Details

Pub DateISBNPage CountPublisherAge GroupReview Posted Online
5-Oct-21978-1250814869368Little, Brown Books for Young Readers12+October 18, 2021

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