Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Source: Entangled Publishing
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.
I do not even know how to write this review because I have so many thoughts and feels about this book. Let me start by saying this book was so unique and has for sure made it to my top favorites of the year, if not the top spot. It had everything I love in a good fantasy, an interesting world, paranormal/magical elements, and characters with such big personalities. This book had not only a great storyline/plot that had you wanting to know what was going to happen next but it also had such well developed and unique characters. There was so much work put into the characters that even the side characters or ones that made small appearances had me having so many feels about them. There were many twists and turns in the story and I was always guessing where it was going to go. Wolf put so much backstory into the book as well that I didn’t ever feel like I didn’t understand what was going on. Especially with the new idea/paranormal creature known as the heartless.
I loved what Wolf did with the paranormal/fantastical characters, she really made them her own. She took the commonly known idea of a witch and turn it upside down. Creating a society of witches and heartless that are at war with the humans. I really enjoyed the play on the “witch hunt” idea and it was so cool to see it play out in a fantasy setting. I am also a big fan of the big dresses and courtly intrigue.
Now let me tell you all about these characters! Zera was my favorite kind of female lead. She is strong headed, snarky and all about being her own person. She is dealing with her personal struggles, but also has such a big heart (for a heartless) and care so much about others. Lucien was a surprising character and definitely caught me off guard multiple times. I really enjoyed the kind of person he is and how he follows his own way of life. The romance was a nice slow burn and everything you want from a enemies romance.
I just cannot get over how much I enjoyed this book. It took me awhile to read it because I didnt want it to end. It pulled me out of a book slump and I was so happy that I read it before many other people because I was able to completely create me own opinions and enjoy for a short time my own feelings before others started to share thoughts (one of the best thing about reading ARCs) But now I want all the people to read an experience this amazing book so I have others to talk about it with. I absolutely love the idea of the heartless and cannot wait to read more about Zera when book 2 comes out!