Briseis has a gift: she can grow plants from tiny seeds to rich blooms with a single touch.

When Briseis’s aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York, Bri and her parents decide to leave Brooklyn behind for the summer. Hopefully there, surrounded by plants and flowers, Bri will finally learn to control her gift. But their new home is sinister in ways they could never have imagined–it comes with a specific set of instructions, an old-school apothecary, and a walled garden filled with the deadliest botanicals in the world that can only be entered by those who share Bri’s unique family lineage.

When strangers begin to arrive on their doorstep, asking for tinctures and elixirs, Bri learns she has a surprising talent for creating them. One of the visitors is Marie, a mysterious young woman who Bri befriends, only to find that Marie is keeping dark secrets about the history of the estate and its surrounding community. There is more to Bri’s sudden inheritance than she could have imagined, and she is determined to uncover it . . . until a nefarious group comes after her in search of a rare and dangerous immortality elixir. Up against a centuries-old curse and the deadliest plant on earth, Bri must harness her gift to protect herself and her family.

From the bestselling author of Cinderella Is Dead comes another inspiring and deeply compelling story about a young woman with the power to conquer the dark forces descending around her.


Thank you NetGalley and Bloomsbury YA UK for an e-copy of this book.

First of all, I’m going to say this book helped me to come out of a bad reading slump and for that only, I am so thankful to the writer.

It was such a great read, with a more unexpected story. Briseis has always demonstrated she has a special gift. All the plants around her bow to her and grow to her touch, she would be able to make flowers bloom just from nothing. Her adoptive moms know about this gift and they have always demonstrated full support. One day when a lawyer tells Briseis and her moms she is the heir of a mansion from her birth mother’s sister, Briseis sees this not only as an opportunity to help her family financially but also to discover more about her past and her mysterious gift.

I loved Cinderella is Dead, it was such a refreshing retelling of the beloved fairy tale, so I started this story with high expectations. I am so glad that they were all met. From the beginning you have no idea where this story is going, the plot was so intriguing and gripping, you can feel the tension building up. While the dialogues between Briseis and her moms can light up the mood of the story, there are still lots of dark events happening around them and lots of mysteries to unravel. I was in complete awe of the depth of research about plants, but I loved how the writer was able to connect everything with layers of Greek Mythology.

It offers a great array of characters, I loved Marie (but I also loved Lucifer!), and they were all well developed. The ending left me with so many questions unanswered and I can’t wait to read book two.

Bayron has a great talent in offering the readers original intakes of well known and navigated tropes. This book has it all – secret gardens, Greek mythology, LGBT representation and poisonous plants. You can’t miss it.