Kingdom of Ash and Briars
Published September 16, 2016
by Hannah West
Building on homages to Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jane Austen’s Emma and the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Hannah West makes a spectacular and wholly original debut.
Bristal, a sixteen-year-old kitchen maid, lands in a 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. Bristal joins the ranks of Brack and Tamarice 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 Nissera against black elicromancy. There are cursed princesses to protect, royal alliances to forge and fierce monsters to battle—all with the hope of preserving peace.
IF HANNAH WEST WERE A FAIRY TALE CHARACTER
If You Were a Fairy Tale Character
It’s hard to compare your personality to a fairy tale character without sounding full of yourself, but I’m probably most like a combination of Disney’s Belle and Elsa. Every book lover identifies with Belle, I think, but I also identify with her empathy and compassion, and would say that those are probably two of my better personality traits. And humility, of course *winks.*
I relate to Elsa because she’s afraid of the world, mostly because of what it will show her about herself. I struggle with social anxiety (and general anxiety), which sometimes makes me want to hole up in my apartment. But what’s weird is that I don’t fear people or situations as much as I fear punishing myself for them later – losing sleep over something stupid that I said or did. But I think like Elsa, I’ve learned to give myself a break and live my day to day life without those fears cropping up.
In terms of loving animals and talking aloud to them, I’m full-on Cinderella. But regardless of the traits I have in common with these characters, if I could choose to be any fairytale/legend character, it would be A) Disney’s Mulan because she gets to actually go on adventures and have an impact or B) an evil queen because MAGIC. I would simply change my ways and spend the rest of my life righting my wrongs and being okay with coming in as the second most beautiful person in the kingdom. That ain’t a bad life.
If we’re talking magic powers, though, being the fairy godmother would be pretty dope. Which I guess brings us to this point! Despite countless fairytale retellings, the character of the fairy godmother seemed pretty under-explored when I got the idea for KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS. Making Bristal a shapeshifter and weaving her story around classic fairytales was an exciting way to leave those tales almost untouched while giving the minor character of the fairy godmother a whole new identity and story.
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