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About The Book

“Sexy and dangerous and full of liars.” —Maggie Tokuda-Hall, author of The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea

The Cruel Prince meets A Curse So Dark and Lonely in this epic reimagining of “The Sleeping Beauty” that follows a teen girl on a quest to wake a sleeping princess in an enchanted forest, while searching for the truth behind her own deadly curse.

Lena has a secret: the touch of her skin can kill. Cursed by a witch before she was born, Lena has always lived in fear and isolation. But after a devastating mistake, she and her father are forced to flee to a village near the Silence, a mysterious forest with a reputation for luring people into the trees, never to be seen again…​

Until the night an enigmatic girl stumbles out of the Silence and into Lena’s sheltered world. Miranda comes from the Gather, a city in the forest brimming with magic. She is on a quest to wake a sleeping princess believed to hold the key to liberating the Gather from its tyrannical ruler—and she offers Lena a bargain. If Lena assists her on her journey, Miranda will help her break the curse.

Mesmerized by Miranda and her promise of a new life, Lena jumps at the chance. But the deeper into the Silence she goes, the more she suspects she’s been lied to—about her family’s history, her curse, and her future. As the shadows close in, Lena must choose who to trust and decide whether it’s more important to have freedom…or power.

About The Author

Photograph by Carter Hasegawa

Rebecca Kim Wells grew up in California before moving east in search of crisp autumns and snowy winters. She is the author of the Shatter the Sky duology and Briar Girls. Her debut novel, Shatter the Sky, was a New England Book Award Finalist, a Bisexual Book Award winner, and a Rainbow List selection. When not writing, she works at a fiercely independent bookstore in Massachusetts and spends too much time singing along to musicals. Learn more at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (November 16, 2021)
  • Length: 352 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781534488441
  • Grades: 9 and up
  • Ages: 14 - 99
  • Lexile ® HL640L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®

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Raves and Reviews

Briar Girls is sexy and dangerous and full of liars, just as any fairytale should be.”—Maggie Tokuda-Hall, author of The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea

Briar Girls is a tantalizingly dark and majestic fairy tale filled with love, betrayal, and the ways the two inevitably intersect. Strap yourself in for a romantic and magical adventure.”—Dahlia Adler, author of Cool for the Summer

“A bewitching, tangled web of a story, with all the glamor, truth and nuance of the best and oldest fairytales.” —Laura E. Weymouth, author of The Light Between Worlds and A Treason of Thorns

"For readers whose criteria are 'bisexual sex-positive fairy tale,' this is it."


"An atmospheric coming-of-age fantasy about finding independence."

– Kirkus Reviews

"Wells’s straightforward handling of bisexual Lena’s sex-positive attitude is a breath of fresh air."

– Publishers Weekly

"Briar Girls by Rebecca Kim Wells is an anthem for queer female self-discovery in fantasy form."

– Shelf Awareness

"Readers of twisty fairy-tale retellings will be enchanted."

– Booklist

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More books from this author: Rebecca Kim Wells