Review: Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf
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.
Earlier this year, I was happy to be asked to be part of the cover reveal campaign for Bring Me Their Hearts. I hoped to get a chance to read this book soon, and I was so stoked to receive a box that included a gorgeous ARC of this novel. You might have seen it on my IG, but just in case you didn't, here it is!:
I'll be honest. I've been feeling a bit fatigued with YA fantasy lately, and subconsciously took a bit of a break from them largely in favor of contemporary and historical novels.
HOWEVER, Bring Me Their Hearts offered a refreshing take on the genre, and I enjoyed every minute of this complex slow burn about a girl fighting, literally, for her heart.
I'll be honest, I don't think the blurb for this one does it justice. Nightsinger isn't as present of a character as it leads one to believe. Instead, Zera forges intense relationships with many of the characters at court, and I think these relationships really drive the story. There's the Prince, of course, but there are also women, and you know I love reading a well written female friendship.
I love the politics and intrigue of the book; I also love how Zera never forgets why she is at court--even as she falls for Lucien, even as she becomes close with others at court and in this city. Many times in YA fantasy, it feels like The Mission becomes lost as soon as romance is introduced. But everything here builds to the story and holds weight. Zera may find herself wanting Lucien's figurative heart...but she never forgets that she also really, really wants his literal heart.
My only complaint was I felt there were some instances where The Mission becomes muddled and where the pacing feels off. There is so much build up to this hunt that the Prince is supposed to go on by himself except when we get there, there are like hundreds of people there. I like the ticking clock, but I sort of started forgetting why everyone (except Zera) wants the Prince's heart to begin with.
Should you read it? In Bring Me Their Hearts, Sara Wolf does a lot with the YA fantasy genre. It isn't a perfect novel, but it presents a lot of compelling and complex ideas in a fresh way.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Published June 5th, 2018 by Entangled: Teen