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Heart of Thorns ~ Bree Barton

December 29, 2018

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Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
ISBN: 9780062447685
464 pages
Source: Barnes and Noble

Arranged marriages never seem to end well, at least not in fiction. Mia is pretty sure hers will be the worst. She is slated to marry a prince with less emotion than a slab of granite, dooming her to a life of petty politics and boredom. All she really wants to do is hunt down the witches that killed her mom, three years ago, a hunt she’s been training for her whole life.

Their kingdom has always feared the Gwyrach, an all female magical force that brings only death and destruction to the humans they touch. Mai and her sister, Ange, have been taught for a lifetime, that the Gwyrach are a ruthless enemy and must be stopped.

The only kicker is that all of Mia’s training will be for nothing if she marries Prince Quin, as she’ll have to turn in her sword for more ladylike weapons. But with magic creeping closer to the castle, Mia knows she has to take things into her own hands. As a last ditch escape plan, she attempts to fabricate her own death, breaking out of the castle and bringing her younger sister along with her.

Of course the lies we’re told in childhood rarely amount to truth in adulthood, making for epically smashed assumptions and some serious adventure.

I’m pretty sure that Bree Barton’s Heart of Thorns is everything I wanted from Disney’s Frozen except a whole lot more deliciously sinister.

Heartstring-pulling sister dynamics, twisted kingdoms, and magic as metaphor for strong feelings all weave together to create this gorgeous, adventure packed story.

Gender plays a role in the force that is Heart of Thorns but not in a two dimensional, second wave Feminist way. Men and women alike, grapple with long held expectations of strength, softness, compassion, and resentment.

It’s a beautiful story and it makes my therapist heart so very happy to see social constructs dealing with emotion, gender, and simply living, both broadened and fine tuned in such an elegant way.

I can’t wait for the next book and I do hope you’ll check this one out and join me in falling head over heels with Bree Barton.

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