Today I’m excited to take part in the The Crown of Bones Book Blitz presented by Storytellers On Tour (@sot_tours)! Rosalyn Briar’s Dark Fantasy novel and enter the giveaway to win yourself a copy!
The Crown of Bones by Rosalyn Briar
Published: May 5, 2020
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Age Group: New Adult
Fairy tales are not what they seem.
Gisela knows about sacrifice all too well.
She abandoned her education, friends, and fairy tales to support her family and care for her sister.
But when she jilts a wealthy suitor, Gisela is chosen for another type of sacrifice.
As an Offering to the Goddess Bergot, Gisela and seven others are sent on a deadly quest for a mythical crown. To return home, Gisela must overcome obstacles which darkly resemble the fairy tales she once believed.
Weaving through a tapestry of friendship, romance, violence, and magic—Gisela becomes the target of an ancient evil force, while an ominous detail from the past haunts her at every turn.
To what lengths will Gisela go to save the ones she loves?
Sometimes sacrifices must be made.
This is a non spoiler review, because you as reader need to read this book. Also, I feel sometimes I have in the past gave away to much of the plot line. This has diminished the pleasure for would be readers
This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.
The Crown of Bones by Rosalyn Briar is an ominous spinning fantasy.
Alrighty, my friends! I have one for you if you love to soak up the words you read and delve into its wickedly delightful, gripping and immersive tale. One that totally sucked me right into this hauntingly darkish pages.
This book had me hooked from start to finish – I literally couldn’t put it down. The plotline will keep you flipping those pages long after you bedtime. I found myself in a constant state of curiosity as I was absorbed deep within these pages.
Gisela Sauer may be the loviest fiery, freckle faced, redhead in Berot valley, she is also snarky, and audacious. She works at Lord Albert manor house and has second job selling dairy staples in the towns square. She has long ago given up on believing in fairytales. She is responsible, and works hard taking care of her family and sister Thora. So far Gisela has been successful in warding off Lord Albert, the nephew of the High Priest. He has continuously offered for her hand in marriage, and has stood her grown and refused.
When in a rash moment things take a turn for the worst. In a series of events that have dire unforeseen consequences. Gisela’s former love interest, Brahm, does the unthinkable and chivalrous intervenes in a situation between the vile Lord Albert and Gisela. Alberts takes things into his own villainous hand, and in a moment of spiteful vengeance he does the unthinkable.
The next day, Gisela receives her ominous Black Letter. This letter identifies her as one of eight chosen to be an Offering to the goddess Bergot. This grim customary offering has been in place yearly since its inception of May Day. Some of villagers even consider it an honor to be chosen.
Along with others offerings to the Goddess, Gisela is cast out into an ashen forest sent on a deadly quest to recover a mystical crown.
Rosalyn Briar, delivers an intriguing, unique and enthralling story here that was so irresistibly written. The unforeseen twists and turns, along with the creative world building kept me on my toes. I enjoyed the right amount of tantalizing romance and villains.
Let me say the ending will have screaming for more. I hope there is another book please tell me there is!
This is how fairytales should be written. Darkish creep and foreboding, along with a sinister holiday custom.
Extremely impressive! I absolutely loved!!
Have a wonderful day!! Also, my kitty is named Briar Rose 🥀
Enter this link to win
Rosalyn Briar is the dark fantasy author of The Crown of Bones. She is a former teacher and enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her family. Follow her on Twitter @rosalynbriar for daily writing questions about characters and world building.
Storytellers On TourThe Crown of Bones Book Blitz
– I –
THE BLESSED DAY
THIS DAY CALLS FOR A SACRIFICE, yet I have nothing to give. Other villagers leave flowers, coins, and food on an Altar for the goddess Bergot. She’s the mountain goddess who protects our valley from the horrors of the outside world and blesses our fertile lands, or some shit like that.
The mountain wind is strong, swirling flower petals and the stench of rotten food in the direction of my booth. With the Norstadt Square of Bergot Valley bustling more than usual, I must crane my neck and rise on tiptoe to spot my sister.
There. Thora twirls in my old blue skirt, dancing with little girls around the Maypole. She towers above them, but her playful spirit is the same. The children wrap pastel ribbons around the tall, white pole to the music of a lute and pipe. I keep an eye on Thora from the open market but remain vigilant enough to ward off any egg-thieves.
I don’t recall ever dancing around the Maypole myself. Even before Wilhelm’s death, I was here selling eggs and dairy at the morning market. After he was gone, I had to quit school to work at Schulze Manor during the day. I’m happy enough to watch Thora enjoying the festivities.
Another gust of wind pelts my face with a barrage of the perfumed petals, and I curse the ridiculous Hexennacht rituals. Ibusy myself rearranging baskets and milk bottles when a man clears his throat behind me.
“Blessed Day, Freckles.”
My heart skips at the sound of his voice. I pretend to be busy, waiting for my lungs to steady and cheeks to cool, before I turn to the man standing at my counter. Brahm Wolf. The sun glows on his light brown skin, and today he wears his twisted locks of hair gathered in a low ponytail.
“Two coins per dozen, one coin—”
“No good morning or Blessed Day?” Brahm clicks his tongue against his teeth. “What about a trade?” He flashes a bright smile and lifts a large fish wrapped in paper.
“Where’d you get that?”
“What if I told you I caught it myself?”
I wave him away. “You stole from Schulze Lake? Trying to pawn it off on me?”
“Gisela, I didn’t steal it!” He chuckles. “My friend, Hans, took me fishing this morning. His wife’s family owns Cauldron Lake on the other side of the valley near Sudstadt.”
Holding his strong chin high, Brahm drops the fish onto my counter with a thud and pats it. His rolled shirt sleeve is damp with a tiny spatter of blood, and he smells like fish.
“You’re a fisherman now? Is that why you aren’t performing in the square?” I bend to fiddle with cheesecloths and recount milk bottles. “Today’s lutist is awful.”
“Does that mean you like me?” He stands a little taller, drumming his thumbs on the wooden slab. “You noticed my absence?”
“Noticed? You play the lute in the square every…” I trail off to watch Thora.
An elderly lady gives handmade floral crowns to the young dancers. I hope she includes my sister. At fifteen, she looks much too old for one. The woman places one on Thora’s head, and my sister spins on the cobblestone with her arms spread wide. My body relaxes as a rare smile stretches my lips.
Brahm steps beside me, wrapping his arm around my shoulder, but I wriggle from the embrace.
“Apologies, Freckles. I just wanted to share the moment. Thora’s sweet like a strawberry.” With his hands up in surrender, Brahm shuffles backward from my booth and swings around the post, laughing. “You, on the other hand, are more like bitter wine. How’s sweet Thora?”
“You should be, too. For tomorrow’s the May Day Jubilee.”
I roll my eyes and return to counting inventory. The only good thing about tomorrow marking the thousandth May Day celebration is the fact that the square will be crowded with villagers.
Only a few more customers, then I’ll be able to take Thora home and get some cleaning done at Schulze Manor. A mother and child walk up to buy eggs and milk, but Brahm still lingers with his fish. I ignore his presence and take the woman’s coins, placing them in the leather purse belted around my waist.
The woman steps toward the Altar, which is a block of marble with a mountain carved into its face. She allows her toddler to sacrifice an egg. I rub my temples at the sight. How many more of my customers will waste my goods on a fairy tale goddess? As if she will help anyone tomorrow.
Lord Albert Schulze enters my peripheral vision. He slithers around the square, greeting the villagers with his feigned smiles and laughs. When Albert leans to whisper in Thora’s ear, I grit my teeth. Through the pastel ribbons drifting in the breeze, he raises his dark eyes to me. I snap my gaze to my only option: Brahm.
“So, what will you do with that fish?”
“I caught it for you, Gisela.” Brahm lifts his chin and raises an eyebrow. “You look absolutely lovely today. Is that a new green skirt? It matches your eyes.”
I huff at his compliment. There’s nothing special about my off-white blouse, canvas apron, and especially my green skirt. It’s the color of nearly ripe asparagus and the only fabric I could afford.
“What do you want for the fish?” I ask, placing my hand on my hip. “And how will I get it home?”
“I’ll carry it for you.”
“No. I’ll find room in my wagon. Now, what do you want for it? Milk, cheese, eggs? You could take the remainder of my eggs, and it wouldn’t be of equal value.”
“For this.” He plucks a single egg from my basket.
“I know what you’re doing. I don’t take charity.” I gather cheese and goat’s milk. “Here, take these too.”
“Nope.” Brahm pockets the egg and winks. “It’ll be ourcontribution to the Altar.”
“You know I don’t believe in that nonsense,” I say as my eyes flit to the right. The food on the Altar will continue to spoil and assault my nose until the priestesses remove it. What a waste.
Although deep-down, I wish I could afford to give something.
Brahm leans low and touches my hand, so softly, it tickles. “It doesn’t matter what you believe, eight people our age will receive Black Letters tomorrow. It’s alright to be nervous. By the way,” he pauses to brush my hair with his fingers, “petals in your hair is a wonderful look on you.”
I bend to shake the flower petals from my waist-length curls. Redheads are rare, and everyone loves an excuse to touch my hair no matter how hard I try to remain in the shadows. I flip the length behind my shoulders and place my hands on my hips.
“Go on!” I shoo him away. “Take your egg to the Altar then.”
“Wait, I almost forgot.” He digs in his other pocket and presents an amethyst crystal. “I found this yesterday and thought of you.”
It gleams in the sunlight and is the perfect shade of pale purple. I dearly wish to take it from his palm but resist. “I don’t collect that stuff anymore.”
“Oh…alright.” He pockets the crystal and shrugs. “See you tonight for the Hexennacht bonfires?”
My cheeks burn, and I narrow my eyes but offer no response. Brahm gets the hint and strolls