Page Count: 400
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Witches
Publication Date: June 5th 2018
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.
–Possible Spoilers! Read at your own risk!–
“I am no flower to be ravaged at your whim, angry wolf—I am your hunter, bow cocked and ready. I am a Heartless.”
I THOUGHT THIS WAS A STANDALONE.
spoiler alert: this is not a standalone
Okay not going to lie, this book was a bit cliché and predictable plot wise (you can tell from the blurb who’s probably going to get together), but honestly it was buckets of fun.
Bring Me Their Hearts is filled with killer, heart stealing witches, mischievous royalty, magic and swords and pretty dresses and so much witty and sarcastic humor.
The story follows Zera who is a Heartless, bodyguards to whatever witch cut out their heart to keep preserved in a magical jar, as she infiltrates court life in an attempt to steal the heart (literally) of the Prince in order to stop a war and obtain her freedom.
There is some nice world building with a complex history of past wars and religions and kings. It was interesting to learn the hidden world of the court with all its lies and deceits.
“Does he keep count? Does his number haunt him as my own haunts me?”
I really enjoyed Zera’s character even if she was a bit over the top and extra. She’s so hilarious, I love her dry, witty humor, and though she may be heartless she is so filled with heart and empathy.
She uses dark humor in uncomfortable and awkward situations in order to cope, which I found super relatable.
Prince Lucien and Malachite were a bit cookie-cutter, in my opinion, but honestly, I don’t even mind because they were both just so absolutely charming and hilarious.
Malachite was kind of the typical “guard-best-friend” type who treats the prince differently and tells Zera of all the ways he treats her differently from the suitors etc. etc.
“T’ragan him af-artora, af-reyun horra: As we all should be, but as we all cannot be.”
However, he was also sassy and funny as hell and I found him adorable. I really loved learning about the Beneather culture and language.
Lucien was your typical “arrogant-bored-prince-that’s-actually-a-huge-softy”, and again, it was fine. I still liked him. He has his flaws, he makes his mistakes, but he genuinely cares for his people and that’s very admirable.
Many of the characters are complex and interesting and just so charming. I loved all the friendships with all its witty banter, and the instructor-esque relationship filled with mutual respect and eventual love.
“Allow me to impart a bit of wisdom from my teacher; a blade is a blade—no matter who wields it, it can still cut.”
There’s some sexism, but there were also a ton of powerful women, some who carried swords and some who were strong in all different types of ways.
“This city is afraid. And fear turns the wisest and kindest men stupid and cruel.”
The witches are not all inherently bad, the Heartless are not only just raw flesh-eating monsters, the King is not completely a heartless villain, nor do I believe that of the Archduke even if I dislike him very much.
“Killing only makes more hate, and the world’s got enough of that right now.”
The book poses the question of monstrosity and what it means to be a monster. In this society there is so much morally grayness. It is filled with people who were wronged, and people who would do practically anything to avenge those they love even at the cost of their own humanity.
The people at court are horrid, and do horrid things to those below them and even to each other, but at the end of the day, they are all people just trying to survive.
BUT THAT FREAKING ENDING! I am so upset, I hate cliffhangers and now I’ll be forced to wait probably more than a year for the next one.
Totally recommended if you’re looking for a super young adult fantasy read! It had a semi-predictable plot, and I wouldn’t go into it expecting anything new or particularly mind-blowing, but the characters are lovely and their relationships are complex and wonderful.
It’s entertaining and filled with humor, and I had a lot of fun reading it. I am so excited to see how the series progresses!
“What’s worse, Reginall—to be a monster, or to make monsters?”
Disclaimer: A huge thank you to the publishers for sending me an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and all quotes used are from the ARC copy and might change in the final version.
4 out of 5 stars
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