Bring Me Their Hearts
By Sara Wolf
Published June 5, 2018 by Entangled Teen
Bring Me Their Hearts was so much fun. It’s a YA fantasy with undead witch servants, duels, a brooding prince, an ineffectual king, and a nasty villain. I loved it.
Zera is a Heartless. Three years ago, she was human, until she died, and a witch named Nightsinger took her heart and brought her back to life. Now her heart lives in a jar, and she has to do the witch’s bidding. The life of a Heartless isn’t easy. They are constantly hungry and want to kill humans. The only thing that can assuage their hunger is raw meat. They can eat human food, but it gives them horrible pain and makes them cry bloody tears. Zera desperately wants her freedom, and Nightsinger offers it to her in exchange for bringing her the heart of a prince, Lucien d’Malvane, the Crown Prince of Cavanos.
Zera joins the court, posing as the long-lost niece of a noblewomen, Lady Y’shennria, and a potential bride for the prince. Thirty years early, the witches lost a religious war. Cavanos now worships a new god, Kavar, while the witches still practice the old religion. The king and his Archduke, the creepy Gavik, are hunting the witches to extinction. Zera must learn how to behave at court, which involves a lot of unpleasant things like wearing a corset and practicing eating human food while trying not to cry bloody tears in public.
Zera is an awesome character. She’s funny, tough, and sassy, and she’s also got a lot of inner torment, because of her guilt for killing the men who killed her family. Lucien seems like an entitled jerk at first, but he has hidden depths, and their relationship is interesting to watch, as they go from dislike to something more. I liked Zera’s struggle with developing feelings with someone she plans to turn into a monster. It’s a unique form of courting, I suppose.
I really liked the supporting characters and their relationships with Zera. Lady Y’shennria is working with the witches, but she’s very conflicted about having a Heartless in her house. She and Zera butt heads, but eventually form a grudging respect for each other. Zera forms an alliance with another noblewoman at court, Lady Fione, the niece of the evil Gavik. Zera is very jealous of her at first, but they eventually become friends. She also has a funny relationship with Lucien’s bodyguard, Malachite, who matches her in snarkiness.
The only weakness for me was that I found the political storyline a little underdeveloped. There’s conflict between worshipers of the old and the new god, but the differences between the two religions weren’t really explored, and I didn’t get a sense of why there’s so much conflict. But this is the first book in a trilogy, and I imagine the world building will be expanded in the next two books.
The book ends on a serious cliffhanger, and I can’t wait to see where the story goes.
I received an ARC from Amazon Vine.