A Bond of Briars by Erin Phillips

“Phillips’ talent for seeing less obvious aspects of the Bible and shining light on them is nothing short of God-given…”

Review by Renae Powers

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.

Release Date: 10/24/2023

Genre: Young Adult | Christian Fantasy

Pages: 380

Erin Phillips’ ability to stay true to the Bible in her retellings, while also putting unique and imaginative spins on them, is masterful and unparalleled. A Bond of Briars does more than just tell the story of Ruth in a new setting; it reveals how Ruth’s story points to the redeeming love of Jesus! Though I grew up reading Ruth a hundred times, this rendition showed me that it’s more than just a sweet romance. Phillips’ talent for seeing less obvious aspects of the Bible and shining light on them is nothing short of God-given, and her use of that gift to point back to Him is evident in every book of hers I’ve read so far!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content Ratings:

Action & Gore:

Rating: 2 out of 10.
2. Very mild action (mentions common injuries without gruesome details).

Romance & Spice:

Rating: 2 out of 10.
2. Mild content (holding hands and kissing).

Cursing & Vulgarity:

Rating: 0 out of 10.
0. None.

Other Trigger/Content Notices:


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