Title: Heart of Thorns
Author: Bree Barton
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Page Count: 464
My rating: 3 1/2 stars
About the book:
Inventive and heart-racing, this fierce feminist teen fantasy from debut author Bree Barton explores a dark kingdom in which only women can possess magic—and every woman is suspected of having it.
Fans of Leigh Bardugo and Laini Taylor won’t want to miss this gorgeously written, bold novel, the first in the Heart of Thorns trilogy.
In the ancient river kingdom, where touch is a battlefield and bodies the instruments of war, Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood. The same women who killed her mother without a single scratch.
But when Mia’s father announces an alliance with the royal family, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers for a sumptuous silk gown. Determined to forge her own path forward, Mia plots a daring escape, but could never predict the greatest betrayal of all: her own body. Mia possesses the very magic she has sworn to destroy.
Now, as she untangles the secrets of her past, Mia must learn to trust her heart…even if it kills her.
Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton is the first book in the young adult fantasy series by the same name, Heart of Thorns. This one is a darker fantasy that would be best for an older crowd as there is a lot of violence and even rape involved in the story.
The series is set in a world in which some women possess magical abilities but having these abilities causes fear in those that don’t. With only a touch those known as the Gwyrach can manipulate a victims body and steal their life and to protect from this magic all women are forced to wear gloves at all times.
Mia Rose lost her mother to a Gwyrach and in the years since she has done nothing but train to be the one who destroys them. Now however Mia’s father has gone into an arrangement with the King offering Mia’s hand in marriage to the Prince.
Mia is completely against the marriage and had planned an escape but couldn’t leave her sister behind. However, just as the marriage is about to take place a threat on the groom’s life sends Mia into hiding with him as she finds herself developing the same powers that she’s vowed to defend against.
This opening of the Heart of Thorns series seemed to be a bit up and down for me while reading. I actually enjoyed the world the author was creating in this one and felt it had a faster pace to it as it along which I enjoy. Mia took a little warming up to in the story though and she kept going back to something that would have me shaking my head. Quin was a great character though along with some others. There was one particular scene however that I just really didn’t like at all but it’s too far to go into specifics but when I added it all together in the end I’d rate this opener at 3.5 stars and would continue reading the next book of the series.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via Edelweiss.
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About the author:
Bree Barton is a writer in Los Angeles. When she’s not lost in whimsy, she works as a ghostwriter and dance teacher to teen girls. She is on Instagram and YouTube as Speak Breely, where she posts funny videos of her melancholy dog. Bree is not a fan of corsets.