Review: Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

35144326Zera 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.

3.5 Stars

Bring Me Their Hearts set out to be sweeping, grand and ground-breaking. Well, according to Sara Wolf’s acknowledgements anyway. But instead, I found it to be simplistic, sometimes bland and very trope-y. At this stage, the YA fantasy market is flooded with an abundance of snarky, sassy protagonists. So while, Bring Me Their Hearts is a lot of fun, unfortunately for me, it just doesn’t hold up in the crowded genre.

But despite its flaws, I still trudged along, cackling at the delicious banter. let me tell you – Bring Me Their Hearts has a very promising premise and the characters, especially our protagonist Zera, are downright hilarious.

Right off the bat, Zera is established as this sassy, sharp-witted QUEEN. After just twelve pages, Zera could have stabbed me in the heart and I probably would have thanked her for the honor. Actually, despite feeling very reminiscent of Celaena Sardothien, I think it’s Zera who really carries this book. She’s dark and complex and I pretty much worshiped her crass attitude.

Bring Me Their Hearts opens with Zera arriving at court, posing as a Spring Bride. That being said, it’s only a very short stint [ten pages to be exact] which brings us to my first issue with this book…

I feel like Bring Me Their Hearts should have launched straight into the shifting politics of court. Instead, we’re thrust backwards, forced to trudge through the events leading up to Zera’s arrival. Okay, in hindsight the whole back-story-training-montage-thing worked to establish Zera’s humanity and the stakes should she fail. But at the time, I just wanted to get back to the drama of court life.

When the beginning finally comes full circle, a hundred pages later mind, my rising hopes were quickly dashed. I’m going to give it to you straight – Bring Me Their Hearts reads like every other YA fantasy book on the market. I mean, the plot relies heavily on clichés – there’s an evil adviser with an evil scheme, a rebellious young prince and war brewing on the horizon. It’s basically text book YA formula. Also, Prince Lucian was underdeveloped with the personality of a teaspoon and there was just zero sense of urgency??? The plot sort of meandered along and never really delivered on that cat-and-mouse game we were promised.

But somehow, Bring Me Their Hearts wasn’t predictable??? Sara Wolf did a good job of constantly keeping me guessing. Okay, the Bad Guy™ was blatantly obvious and so is the ending but I had so many conspiracy theories for Varia and Zera [all of which were wrong FYI]. There was also just enough tension to keep me on the edge of my seat as Zera and Lucien hurtled towards that inevitable, heartbreaking climax.

In the end, I think Bring Me Their Hearts is a solid starting point for Sara Wolf to build her fantasy world. Was it sweeping and ground-breaking? Not especially, considering the market. Okay, there’s room for improvement – I’d love for Lucian to be better rounded and the plot to move away from the norm but there’s plenty of potential for this series to grow. Bottom line: while I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about Bring Me Their Hearts, consider me intrigued to see what Sara does with Find Me Their Bones.

9 thoughts on “Review: Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

  1. “Bring Me Their Hearts set out to be sweeping, grand and ground-breaking. Well, according to Sara Wolf’s acknowledgements anyway.” LOL LITERALLY EVERY YA BOOK EVER 😂😂😂

    I read this book quite a while ago and found it pretty meh. I liked it, but like you said, there wasn’t anything incredibly special about it. But my girl Zera was AMAZING 🙌 That queen carried the whole book for me!

    I’m glad you had so much fun with this book, and I’m looking forward to seeing if you enjoy the sequel. Wonderful review as always, Alexandra! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right? When I read that in Sara’s acknowledgements I cringed super hard – it just seems like something you shouldn’t say??? It’s like the unspoken rule that you never quote your own film at the Oscars. Especially when the book can only be described as okay or fun at best… *insert cringe face here*. 😂😂😂

      Zera DEFINETLY carried the whole book! She’s like Celaena Sardothien’s younger sister – for of wit, sass and attitude. 🙌

      Thank you so much for reading and leaving me a lovely comment as always! 💙

      Liked by 1 person

  2. They LITERALLY take the heart out? Sounds like an SPN episode to me! WHICH IS AWESOMEEEE!! I loved this review so so soooo much, Alexandra! AND YOUR BLOG IS JUST THE PRETTIEST!! 😍😍😍😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

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