Thursday, July 27, 2023

 Hey everyone! Today I have a review for A Bond of Briars by Erin Phillips, a retelling of the biblical story of Ruth. I'll save my fangirling for later, so check out the blurb first before I get too unhinged. Snag your preorder soon--it releases October 24th!


She is bonded to a spirit who demands her blood.
She follows a mother-in-law who resents her power.
She meets a man who challenges everything she’s ever believed.

After a fatal illness takes newlywed Caitrin’s husband, she finds herself obligated by duty and oath to care for her mother-in-law, Meara, at any cost…even if it means traveling to Croìthe, where magic of any kind is outlawed. Burdened by Meara’s bitter grief and weighty demands, Caitrin struggles to keep all of her secrets hidden and make a new life in the foreign land.

However, when the charming and charitable Callen Lockhart, a wealthy lord who is at odds with the town, welcomes her to Croìthe without judging her past, Caitrin worries that his generosity will come at a cost she is unwilling to pay.

Bonded to a spirit who empowers her to create spells and curses, Caitrin must either become the powerful cairline her mother had always wanted her to be or suffer the consequences of breaking free.

A Bond of Briars is a YA dark fantasy retelling of the Biblical story of Ruth, with fresh twists based on the original context and respun into a spooky cottagecore romance that is filled with dark magic and mysterious curses, sacrificial love and redemption.



Erin Phillips has always been a storyteller at heart and wrote her debut novel, The Keeper, during the 2013 NaNoWriMo event. Besides novels, Erin also writes and publishes Christian musicals with her husband at The Faithful Troubadour Publications. She has a B.F.A. in Costume Design & Technology from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and lives in North Carolina with her husband, Jeremy, and their happy corgis, Parker and Fable.


Oh. My. Word. 

So I loved Phillips' A CROWN OF CHAINS, and was excited for A BOND OF BRIARS to release. I knew it would be good, but WOW. 

This story takes the biblical account of Ruth and honors it while simultaneously creating SUCH an immersive fantasy. It's just lovely. It will send chills up your spine. It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. It makes your skin crawl and makes you want to hug the characters. Selfless, sacrificial love: check. Deep, hard-hitting themes: check. Characters you will absolutely adore: check. The SWEETEST romance: check, check, CHECK. I'm in awe of Phillips' masterful ability to take a biblical retelling and completely immerse it into a gritty fantasy world that portrays darkness as dark and light as all-conquering, something that hits the ground running and never gives up even when the darkness closes in. 

I love this book so much, and if you enjoy gritty, dark fantasy, check this one out ASAP. 

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