Review: GRAVEBRIAR by Casey L. Bond

Title: Gravebriar
Author: Casey L. Bond

Sometimes witches hunt their own…

Someone knows my secret and they’re wielding it as the weapon of my execution. I stand accused of poisoning my Gravebriar coven mate. To my fatal regret, I can’t prove my innocence without revealing the truth I’ve long kept hidden: while every other Gravebriar witch are green witches and healers, my magic lies in poisons.

There is one witch who believes me – the same boy who was sent to kill me with instructions to pluck the briars that sprouted from my grave – the only cure for a Gravebriar witch. Forge Silverthorn will be my undoing… or my salvation.

He claims there is a malicious plot vining through the witch town of Cauldron that threatens to tighten around my throat in a deadly noose. Promising I can escape by seeking the help of a banished witch who hides our kind in plain sight, he leads me to a dark circus full of witches.

The ringmaster will only help us if we agree to join his circus of uncanny tricks and diabolical feats for two nights only, using our magic to thrill his patrons. In exchange for our participation under the big top, he’ll divulge the information I need to save my coven mate and clear my name.

But when dark secrets emerge from the shadows of this promised sanctuary, I’m forced to decide if I can truly trust anyone, especially Forge… my would-be executioner, my coven’s sworn enemy, and my could-be love.

It’s been really a delightful experience having met the witches of Cauldron. Yes, delightful, exhilarating, and at the same time, gripping and heartbreaking. Nine covens, each with their own Powers, but with only one witch who could be the death of them all. Castor Gravebriar, daughter of the Gravebriar Coven Power and a protected member of the Council, was accused of poisoning another witch during a night of revel. A slowly dying Arbor was all it took for everyone to realize that Castor could be the Poison Witch of the Coven.

I liked Castor’s character so much, and I could feel her pain when she felt she was being cast out for something she didn’t really do. Another character I love was Forge Silverthorn, a metal mage that specialized in weaponry, had been banished by the coven. Instructed by his father to kill Castor, Forge traversed on a path that would question his integrity and morals. When Castor had to go on a retrieve and rescue mission with another outcast witch, I knew they’d be a formidable duo. Add a Tempest secret admirer and an emotional frog in their midst, plus a lion and her tamer, this book surely brought me to a whole new level of reading.

I have been a big fan of Casey L. Bond since I’ve first read her earlier books, Frenzy and Reap series. And I loved her fairytale retellings, Savage Beauty, Brutal Curse, Glamour of Midnight among others, which all garnered high praises from me and majority of bookworms. Now with Gravebriar, I can honestly say that this is now my number one favorite book of hers. The fantastic characters, the magical world building, the minute details about the covens and villains and allies, the different emotions, they were all exquisitely explained and brought to life. Trust, love, deceit, acceptance and revelations made Gravebriar a great book and story to be retold for generations to come.

By the way, I received an ARC of this book a month ago from Lady Amber & Casey L Bond who was so gracious to include me in her roster of readers. Amber, I am very thankful to you for letting me join Casey’s promo/release blitz and I do apologize for not being able to send this review on time. Casey, I love you for accommodating me and I am so sorry too for my delayed review. Time wasn’t on my side the past couple of weeks, I seemed to have been trapped in a time loop.. But I am here now and all I can say is, “Damn, Gravebriar!” … and I meant it with all my heart, with utmost admiration and adoration to you, Casey.

a 5-star coffee cups rating!
thank you Lady Amber!

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