Series: Heart of Thorns #1
Release Date: July 31st 2018
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this at YALC
Rating: 2.5/5 stars
In the ancient river kingdom, touch is a battlefield, bodies the instruments of war. Seventeen-year-old Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood.
Not women. Demons. The same demons who killed her mother without a single scratch.
But when Mia’s father suddenly announces her marriage to the prince, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers for a sumptuous silk gown. Only after the wedding goes disastrously wrong does she discover she has dark, forbidden magic—the very magic she has sworn to destroy.
Heart of Thorns is the first in an all new fantasy series following a young girl named Mia who dreams of a life hunting the Gwyrach – demons who were responsible for the death of her mother. However when Mia’s father announces her betrothal to the prince, she has no choice but to lay that dream to rest. Her wedding day is ruined by an attack on the wedding party, starting Mia off on a dangerous path of mystery and magic.
Heart of Thorns is a fun and fast paced fantasy tale, full to the brim with magic and adventure. Despite it being nearly 500 pages it’s a pretty quick read and is one I’m sure YA fantasy fans will love but I felt it was just a little too predictable for me to really fall in love with the story.
I liked the world building in this book, and Barton has a really lovely writing style. The plot follows quite a number of typical YA tropes and I guessed the surprise twists pretty early on, however the plot is still an engaging one and easy to enjoy. The story is a bit on the darker than some YA stories, and I liked the strong sense of atmosphere in the book. I did struggle a bit with the medical terminology in the story, I found this a bit on the jarring side and it often took me out of the story.
I liked our main protagonist Mia well enough, she was an interesting character and I was curious to see how her tale would progress. She was a little forgettable, and I felt similar about the romance in the story too. Heart of Thorns was a quick and interesting read, but fell short of my expectations a little. I’m curious to see where the story goes in book two, and am sure fans YA fantasy fans will absolutely love this one.