Genres: Dark Fantasy, Gothic Fantasy, YA Fantasy | Release Date: 13 February 2024 | Standalone | Pages: 389 | Publisher: Titan Books | Review
As soon as The Briar Book of the Dead by A. G. Slatter was up for pre-order? You best believe I raced to order my very own copy! Because after reading other books in the Sourdough universe (All the Murmuring Bones and The Path of Thorns), I knew this gothic fairytale was going to be great. But what I didn’t realise? Was just how truly enchanting this new dark fantasy would be. So let’s give you an overview, shall we?
Ellie Briar has a number of responsibilities as a member of the ruling family in Silverton, but as she’s also the only non-witch Briar? It’s a struggle to feel like her place in the grand scheme of things isn’t fragile. When Ellie’s grandmother suddenly dies, it falls to the new generation of witches to take over in her stead. But what happens when Ellie can suddenly speak to the dead? And why do none of her cousins seem to take their newly acquired duties seriously? Family secrets are unravelling quickly, can Ellie find a way to save the last of the Briar witches from harm?
Do you have any idea how hard it is to try and summarise what I’ve loved about The Briar Book of the Dead?! This author continues to weave her magic over readers with this new dark fantasy, and I swear no one can create unique gothic fairytales like she can! Everything else is inconsequential when a tale from A. G. Slatter arrives in the world. The immersive history, right down to how characters tell stories to others in these novels, is the most delightfully macabre world to experience. I truly love it.
The Briar Book of the Dead has quite a few tricks and traps laying in wait for unsuspecting readers… You can be lulled into a sense of security with Slatter’s writing, even with the gothic overtones. So when a bombshell drops? It’s doubly effective and is proof that magic doesn’t just exist within the pages of the Sourdough universe. It also exists in the mind and heart of Slatter; we’re just incredibly lucky to also receive this sorcery with the written word!
I’m trying so, so hard not to give away spoilers. But what I can tell you is that Ellie is a heroine who is smart as a whip. And you know what? Her cleverness is in knowing the strength in invisibility (in a non-magical way) and listening to what secrets and whispers abound near her. She takes her duty as a Briar witch seriously, but that doesn’t make her unfeeling. In fact, I think she feels too much for her heart sometimes. But this heroine… I love her spirit. I love her wit. And I love the sass and sarcasm she throws towards people like the god-hound.
I’m absolutely in love with The Briar Book of the Dead, there’s no downside for me!
The Briar Book of the Dead by A. G. Slatter is a delicious gothic YA fantasy of witches, secrets and danger. And it’s going to be a favourite read of 2024 for me. It just is. There’s no faulting this. By this point, I’d read anything Slatter gives us; I’m locked in for life for every new release! There’s very few who can create new dark fairytales. But this author? She does it with ease. If you love the sound of this beautiful book from my review? Just click any of the links below to get your own copy! Happy reading, glitterbugs!
You can order The Briar Book of the Dead via these links: