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Briarheart by Mercedes Lackey

Rating: 4 out of 5.


From beloved fantasy author Mercedes Lackey comes a fresh and feminist reinterpretation of Sleeping Beauty.

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.

Top 5 Reasons to Read:

  1. Family Bonds – The love Miriam shows for her baby sister is unparalleled.
  2. Fairytale Twist – It is not a prince or knight that does the saving.
  3. Talking Mythical Creatures – Trolls, Dragons, Goblins, Unicorns and more!
  4. Friendship – A group of teens come together to keep Aurora safe, but also manage to form unbreakable friendship bonds.
  5. No Romance – It was a refreshing read that had not added drama from a romance making it a perfect young adult/middle grade read


Briarheart is a sweet family oriented retelling that pulls at all the heartstrings. While labeled YA this reads slightly younger than that having more of a middle grade feel to it. Since the story is told through Miriam’s pov it almost feels like a child is telling the story. Which is very endearing because I have young daughters and it was almost as if they were telling me a story.

After unknowingly using magic to thwart an attempt on baby Aurora’s life, older sister Miriam vows to not let anything happen to her. Miriam takes on a lot of responsibility at such a young age trying to figure out exactly what kind of powers she has and how to master them. It was very sweet to see how much Miriam cared for her baby sister, however, it is a lot of stress to put on just a young teen. She and several other young teens form a group to basically become Auroras special guardians. Through many trials and errors, many bad decisions, and many a heartbreak, the group pulls together and really become a cohesive guard. This little band of friends were especially fun to read about. I loved how the characters developed together even though a few of them barely had page time. It was all together just a feel good easy read.

I loved the animals being able to talk and interact with the humans.. not to mention I love stories involving Fae. Unicorns, dragons, and trolls… oh my. Some of my favorite mythical creatures all wrapped up in a interesting and magical story.

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About the Author:

Mercedes entered this world on June 24, 1950, in Chicago, had a normal childhood and graduated from Purdue University in 1972. During the late 70’s she worked as an artist’s model and then went into the computer programming field, ending up with American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to her fantasy writing, she has written lyrics for and recorded nearly fifty songs for Firebird Arts & Music, a small recording company specializing in science fiction folk music.

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