Bring Me Their Hearts (Bring Me Their Hearts, #1) 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.
Publication Date: June 5th, 2018.
My Favourite Quote:
Grat moves powerfully, like a bear in battle armour, but the prince waits patiently for him to make a mistake. And he does–too long a lapse in a swing and Lucien jumps on it, knocking Grat’s sword clean from his hand. Grat has to bend to pick it back up, eyeing the prince warily; will he knock him over while he’s doing it? But Lucien merely holds a hand out for him to go ahead.
My chest swells with pride–it’s a small move, but its something a dishonourable duelist would delightedly take advantage of. But the prince is nothing but honourable.
The largest shout out ever to Michelle @LoveStarsandBooks for recommending this series to me!
Honestly, I don’t even know what to say. I was away on a weekend vacation and then I fell a bit sick. But did any of this stop me from reading? The correct answer is what you’ve guessed; nope.
Zera is a perfectly wonderful protagonist. She snarky, she’s struggling and she’s resilient. She’s the perfect mix of a girl who is new to the outside world and a girl with a general disdain to the ‘rules’ of court and royalty. She’s awed by everything around her, and is filled with a burning determination to get her heart back. She has begged all her Heartless life for her heart and now that she has a chance to achieve it, nothing, nothing was going to stop her. Until, of course, she makes friends and finds herself feeling. Can your own heart come in the way of getting your heart? What should she choose? Her own heart or the heart of the prince? Can she win against the hunger inside her, fight it or will she give in to it and turn into the monster all the humans believe Heartlesses to be?
Lucien. Oh boy. This boy had me enamoured with him since the moment that he stepped into the scene. He’s honourable with a snark matching Zera’s. He’s the jaded prince of his Kingdom, with secrets of his own that he keeps hidden behind the perfect mask of nobility. He struggles, like Zera, to come to terms with everything that’s happening between them. Their relationship is like a river, turbulent at times, slipping silently over rocks at times, but beautiful all the time.
Fione, Malachite and Lady Y’shennria require very special mentions and are beautiful supporting characters that layer the story between the protagonists and add to the plot wonderfully. The plot was definitely my favourite thing about this book. The plot of BMTH can stand on its own with absolutely nothing else, however Sara Wolf manages to add so very many nuances to the story without taking away from the main plot that unravels both in the background and in the foreground depending upon the scene.
The only issue perhaps was the mild lull after the first chapter, but the pace picks up soon and all I remember was having started the book and suddenly I’ve finished it! Five stars! I highly recommend this book to all fantasy lovers, romance buffs and almost anyone really.
Find Me Their Bones (Bring Me Their Hearts, #2) by Sara Wolf (ARC Review)
No one can save her.
In order to protect Prince Lucien d’Malvane’s heart, Zera had to betray him. Now, he hates the sight of her. Trapped in Cavanos as a prisoner of the king, she awaits the inevitable moment her witch severs their magical connection and finally ends her life.
But fate isn’t ready to give her up just yet.
With freedom coming from the most unlikely of sources, Zera is given a second chance at life as a Heartless. But it comes with a terrible price. As the king mobilizes his army to march against the witches, Zera must tame an elusive and deadly valkerax trapped in the tunnels underneath the city if she wants to regain her humanity.
Winning over a bloodthirsty valkerax? Hard. Winning back her friends before war breaks out? A little harder.
But a Heartless winning back Prince Lucien’s heart?
The hardest thing she’s ever done.
Publication Date: November 5th, 2019.
My Favourite Quote: *subject to change*
“The black rose,” I say, “Was it from Y’shennria’s manor?”
I hear him chuckle. “Obviously.” There’s a moment of quiet, and then, “On nights it was hard to be in the palace, I would stand outside the manor and watch the lights of your bedroom. The black rose bushes were always in my way. But over time, I began to feel a fondness for them. Seeing a black rose meant I was near you, near the one person who understood me.”
Received an Advanced Reader’s Copy via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review.
Truthfully, I was a little dubious about this book, simply because the story-line seemed almost similar to most other second-book story lines; which is to up the angst between the protagonists by getting them to not be together for some reason. I also wasn’t sure where Sara Wolf was going to take this book after reading the blurb. How can this possibly be as good as the first?
And I wasn’t wrong. It wasn’t as good as the first, it was better. My favourite things about this book is twofold. One, the well-balanced plot that subtly takes precedence over everything else because of the weight of the events that take place. Two, the lack of feeling where you just wish the protagonist would reveal the truth already. The complexities of her choices are clear to the reader and we’re stuck wondering how every road has a pitfall and absolutely no choice seems right.
Zera is as she was in book one, but better. Better because she was more human, more confused, more lost, more in doubt than before and struggling harder than someone should for something that is rightfully theirs. She is bound to her fate in ways unlike before, she is helpless and at the same time she’s the only one who can solve the mystery plaguing the Witches for centuries. She is also very much in love with Lucien, but is he too honourable for her to deserve him? Should she pursue him after having betrayed him? What happens when Lucien begins to run circles around Zera, trying to find out what ploy has its fingers wrapped tightly around Zera?
Lucien. Surprisingly, it was Lucien I struggled with a little in this book. Struggled because of the games he plays, how he toys with Zera and how a single word from him can break our reader hearts. He is everything he was before, but different. He’s a stranger and a familiar face at the same time. He was utterly unpredictable and all over the place, rather understandable given what happened in the previous book.
The valkerax was the strangest part of this book. Simply because we start to really feel for it and want to help it. The conversations between the valkerax and Zera were particularly beautiful and I enjoyed the play of words greatly. The largeness of the role that the valkerax plays is surprising, given that it occupies brief scenes spread out through the book.
Malachite and Fione feature a little lesser than before and their presence always brings heartache because we remember so clearly the beautiful dynamic that they shared with Zera that is now lost to the winds. Another character (don’t want to spoil this) was another very very difficult character to understand. They are cruel and strangely kind. They are controlling but seemingly to be honourable so.
What ploy does this mysterious character play in Zera’s life and just how do they do this? What other surprises does this book bring? I could guess absolutely nothing until the plot had already unravelled and I’m drawing in a breath in shock because that was *gasps*. Just how much have we underestimated the other characters of this book?
To find out, check out this series. Believe me. It’s worth it. Five glowing stars. I just can’t.