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.
Warnings: body horror, violence
Spoiler alert: Do not read this review if you haven’t read the first book
So, with Zera’s Heartlessness out now, she becomes a prisoner of the royal family. The King barely tolerates her presence, and its only because of Varia, who has the reins to her Heart in her hands now. Once again, Zera is forced to complete a mission in order to get her heart back, and this time she has to continue the farce of being Lucien’s Spring Bride for the masses, while also do Varia’s task of teaching a valkerax how to Weep. And this while Lucien, Malachite and Fione know about her previous mission, and side-eye her the whole time, in some cases for the betrayal and in some cases for being a Heartless, not to mention the immense guilt and self-lashing that Zera inflicts on herself for her part in all this.
This book has a mystery at its core – about Varia’s motives, about the origin of the war and the two belief systems of Old and New God, about how valkerax were initially bound. Zera’s focused on completing her mission, but she also ignores obvious clues, like when she gets similar dreams to Varia, and what that might mean. She is beating herself up over Lucien, sure that they have no hope and no future, and tries to push him and her friends away throughout the book. She is wary of them, too, as what motive would anyone have for being friends with a Heartless. I like that it subverted some ideas about how it turned out – that was an interesting twist. But the other twist, that was kinda hinted at but also kinda came out of nowhere (I mean, like when did it actually happen) was sort of ruined by the fact that we don’t really know much about how the witches’ powers work. How do they get the shard from the glass tree if its so crucial an ingredient?
Overall, it is an interesting sequel that takes us to new places, but I wish the world-building of this series would be better.
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Entangled: Teen, via Edelweiss.
Previous book in the Bring Me Their Hearts series
Releases on November 5, 2019