Heart of Thorns (Heart of Thorns, #1)by Bree Barton Published 31 Jul 2018
|Heart of Thorns (Heart of Thorns, #1).pdf|
|Publisher||Katherine Tegen Books|
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In the ancient river kingdom, touch is a battlefield, bodies the instruments of war. Seventeen-year-old Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood.
Not women. Demons. The same demons who killed her mother without a single scratch.
But when Mia's father suddenly announces her marriage to the prince, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers for a sumptuous silk gown. Only after the wedding goes disastrously wrong does she discover she has dark, forbidden magic—the very magic she has sworn to destroy.
"Heart of Thorns (Heart of Thorns, #1)" Reviews
Trust your heart. Even if it kills you.
OMG, the cover!!! I love it!
Hmm...title changed from Black Rose to Heart of Thorns? Alright, not bad. I like it. Now if only I could get an official release date.
Wait I thought this was suppose to come out in 2017? Why does it say 2018 now? Ugh...
Loved this so much!
“Trust your heart
Even if it kills you.”
A BOOK WHERE WOMEN ARE THE ONLY CHARACTERS THAT HAVE MAGIC? 😍🙌.
✨ I’ve been bless!!!!
✨ I really hope to like this book.
Expected Pub Date: July 31st,2018
You an also read it on my blog!!
I received a copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Yep I'm gone. I'm bailing quickly
After it started off with such premise I found myself being disinterested by 25% in.
Let me give a run down of the plot.
It's about a 17 year girl Mia, who is an arranged marriage with Prince Quinn which is the last thing she wants to do. She wants to be a hunter who hunts Gwyrachs, magical beings who are witches who can kill people by touch. When her mother was killed by one when she was younger, she was determined to become a hunter so she can revenge her death. When a life or death situation arises, her life turns upside down when it's reveal that she's a Gwyrach herself. Now she's on a journey with the prince in order to uncover the secrets of her mom's journal and the truth about her new-found discovery on herself.
Sounds good right?
That's what I thought too for at least 20% of the book..
I couldn't connect with the characters or the plot at all. The MC became straight out annoying and the love interest seemed blander than bread even tho I seen people compared him to Darcy and Rhysand.. ( I also heard he was Bi but I didn't even stick around to see if that was true) Mia supposed to been almost like Katniss and Cinder with trying to protect her baby sister but seem more like Scarlet from Carnival... The writing seems like the author needed to go though more drafts before this book could be considered for an arc. In other words, the author needs to fire her editor cause her editor should have told her this book works better in first person and tone down using the word "perhaps" and the phase "like a". I was changing it to first pov in my mind but that takes work and didn't feel like doing it for the rest of the book.
It supposed to be feminist but all I got out of it 30% in is that the men treat the woman like shit through the ages as usual and this magical witches are able to enchant the men and then kill with a touch.. Also the fact the men are rulers and females can't rule even tho the previous ruler was a female and she did everything right... Hmm.. I thought having a feminist feel to a book supposed to mean that women and men supposed to be treated like equals with no female or male bashing involved. Also I read an another review where it supposed to be attempted sexual assault on a female side character ( which 30% in was the only character I was interested in) which really made me throw my hands and bail quickly. Feminist alright..
PLEASE DO MORE SHOWING THAN TELLING.
YOU CAN TELL ME THINGS ALL DAY BUT DOESN'T AMOUNT TO NOTHING IF YOU DON'T SHOW ME!
Yeah The Gwyrach sounds scary but you keep telling me these women with magic should be feared but not showing me. Yeah I supposed to be believe that Mia supposed to be a hunter who hunts Gwyrach but you never show me her hunting down one maybe when she younger with her dad or with the hunters. You never show me her even training to be one.
So more show and less tell!
Perhaps sounds pretentious as hell. Please stop using it so damn much!
There have been many times when I've disagreed with Kirkus reviews, but whoever wrote the review for this book and said:
"This winsome debut novel goes down like a vegan, gluten-free cupcake: sweet and good for you but entirely lacking in satisfying decadence."
Heart of Thorns needed more editing and fewer tropes. It needed more memorable characters and fewer info-dumps. And it really just needed to be a bit less... polite. There's absolutely zero juicy goodness in this book, and aside from the briefly-mentioned bisexuality of the love interest, it just doesn't do anything special or new.
It's interesting how we've rebranded the same old tropes. Some years back, when feminism was still a dirty word, this exact same story would never have been sold as "a fiercely feminist fantasy" but as a fantasy with a "kickass heroine". Back then, I got private messages from women saying how "brave" I was for calling myself a feminist on my profile (yes, really). Now "Feminist" is a t-shirt slogan, feminism is itself edgy and cool, so we can use it as a marketing tool. But, *whisper yells* it's still the same old story!
There is nothing uniquely feminist about this. Heart of Thorns consists of a vaguely-sketched world in which women are treated like shit until a badass female heroine rises up to challenge the system. This is not new. This is almost every YA fantasy novel of the last ten years. And, honestly, the attempts to be "feminist" and include LGBT relationships were not done well, in my opinion. It read really awkwardly and saw characters tagging on afterthoughts to appear so woke:
"You're beautiful when you lie." He quickly added, "Not to diminish you or suggest that beauty is an indicator of your worth."
“I don’t know. I’ve never had a husband. Or a wife,” she added.
Why even choose to write in inclusivity like an "oops"? Why not just say "I've never had a husband or a wife" or even just "I've never had a husband" because we already know the MC is straight. And I applaud anyone who can read that first quote without rolling their eyes.
So, the plot. Basically, Mia is being forced into an arranged marriage with Prince Quin when an assassination attempt forces them both to go on the run together. Up until this point, Mia has wanted nothing more than to seek revenge against her mother's killer - one of the Gwyrach: terrifying magical women - but it is on her wedding night that she discovers she is one of them. Armed with her mother's journal, Mia must find out the truth about the Gwyrach, her mother, and herself.
There's a lot of over-descriptive writing and info-dumps that would have benefited from further editing. The world-building we are given is introduced through conversations in which the characters awkwardly recite the history of their land and politics for no good reason. And the pacing is weird and uneven. At one point, I thought several days had passed and then Mia was thinking about the events of the night before and I realised it had been less than 24 hours.
Oh, and the tropes/things we see in pretty much every YA fantasy:
➽ Female assassin/hunter being forced into unwanted marriage with a prince.
➽ MC discovers own secret powers.
➽ Dead parent.
➽ Motivated by sibling love.
➽ Bland love interest.
➽ Mindlessly evil king.
➽ Gratuitous attempted rape scene.
I know every genre has tropes and I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing, but I do expect books to do a bit of something new, or what's the point? There was nothing here that made me sit up, take interest and think "what will happen next?". Nothing got my blood pumping. I do also wonder if a first-person narrative would have made it more engaging.
I got to the end and felt no urge to seek out the sequel. The dramatic conclusion was not as tense as it was clearly meant to be because - and perhaps I am wrong - the very fact that there is a sequel seems to suggest a certain inevitability that drains some tension from the final moments. I doubt I'll be finding out either way.
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I heard "bi male love interest" and "fiercely feminist", so, uh... here we are.