Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf | Review

Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: June 5, 2018 (out now!)
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Bring Me Their Hearts #1
My rating:

Synopsis
Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a Prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum; if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy her heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him – every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him – until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The Prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.

Literally.



Initial thoughts. When I first heard of Bring Me Their Hearts I knew I was going to enjoy it. I enjoy a lighter type of fantasy with a kick-ass heroine, and this novel definitely delivered in that account.

It did take me longer to get through it though (a week instead of my usual 2-3 days), because I was reading it while suffering through a very awful reading slump. However, when I finally finished the novel, and was able to reflect on what I read, I did really like it and thought it was very entertaining.

The writing. Bring Me Their Hearts reads like a Sarah J. Maas book--not in plot or characters but in that text-wise reads very quickly. If I wasn't in a reading slump, it's a book I can breeze through in a couple of sitting because the writing was pretty straightforward and you don't have to expend energy on adjectives and metaphors.

The main characters. I really like Zera! She's kinda of your typical YA heroine where she isn't helpless in a fight (she has sword fighting skills), and she's sarcastic and snarky and always ready with a quip. However, unlike the others, she's a Heartless--she's been bound to the witch who had taken her heart for three years. She does not like being in thrall to the witch even though the witch treats her well, because, when it comes down to it, the witch can make her do whatever she wants. And the witch wants her to infiltrate the royal court, get close to the crown prince, and steal his heart.

As for the crown prince, Prince Lucien d'Malvane, he hates the royal court because of its pretentiousness and hypocrisy. Lucien was likable once we got to know him more--he's kind of broody and standoffish, but not the spoiled, arrogant prince he seemed to be in the beginning. I liked him, but I thought his guard Malachite--a Beneather (aka not human)--was more interesting with a fun, friendly side-kick personality.

Why are our YA heroes always be the broody, standoffish type and never the fun, can-joke-around, friendly personality?

The plot and world-building. The author created a rich world in Bring Me Their Hearts. We have witches and Heartless with their magic, the humans and their hierarchy (there's a group of humans called polymaths who I picture as steampunk-y scientists, philosophers, and doctors), as well as the humaniod creatures like the Beneathers and celeons that live among the humans, and animals unique to the world.

As for the plot, Prince Lucien was in kind of in a Bachelor situation where three Spring Brides were presented to him and he's supposed to pick the one he'll marry. If you're like, wait that sounds like The Selection series (which I hated!) it's NOT. Because the plot, without giving any specifics, revolved around Zera (who was put in the palace as one of the Spring Brides) trying to get close to the prince to steal his heart in order to stop a looming war that's being goaded by the king's right hand man. There's a deeper conspiracy going on as Zera will come to find out, and I'm excited to see the story expand in the coming books in the series.

Also, while I enjoyed the story's plot, none of the twists really surprised me and everything was pretty predictable, but in this instance it's not a negative thing. I kind of took comfort in its predictably, and made it a low-stress read that I still found entertaining.

Issues I had. I guess my biggest issue was with the characters in that in the world of YA fantasy, there was really nothing about Zera or Lucien that stood out. They're okay in their own world, but they're pretty stock characters for the most part, especially Lucien.

Recommendation. If you're looking for a light, entertaining YA fantasy, definitely give Bring Me Their Hearts a go. Great world-building, likable characters, and an all-around entertaining good time.

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