Heart Of Thorns by Bree BartonHeart Of Thorns by Bree Barton

Heart Of Thorns

byBree Barton

Hardcover | July 31, 2018

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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.

Title:Heart Of ThornsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:464 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.41 inPublished:July 31, 2018Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062447688

ISBN - 13:9780062447685

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exciting Debut Mia Rose lives in the kingdom of Glas Ddir where Gwyrach, half-human, half-god demons can kill with a touch using their powerful dark magic. Since any woman can be a Gwyrach, they are all considered a threat. King Ronan issues laws restricting the movements of every woman within the kingdom. Trained by her father to be a Hunter, Mia lives by the Hunters’ Creed – ‘heart for a heart, life for a life’ and pledges to find and kill the Gwyrach who murdered her mother. But all is not as it seems in Glas Ddir. Mia soon discovers she herself is one of the creatures she is determined to destroy. Mia can take care of herself and is willing to protect the ones she loves at any cost. She had a strong bond with her mother, worries constantly about her frail sister and has a complicated relationship with her father. Although tough, she is passionate and dreams of a world where women have the freedom to control their own lives. On her journey Mia meets other strong women who she learns from and looks up to. She begins to develop an understanding of who she really is and what she is capable of. The development of Mia’s relationships with the other characters is intriguing, as some show themselves to be very different from how she initially viewed them. The novel is filled with fascinating, well-written characters and gorgeously vivid and detailed settings. The story contains treachery, dangerous situations and many secrets. Heart of Thorns is an exciting fantasy debut and I am looking forward to the next book in the series to see what happens to Mia and read more about this captivating world.
Date published: 2018-08-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So Much Betrayal and So Many Twists! *I received a copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review* If I had to compare this book to anything, I’d say it was Children of Blood and Bone meets Grace and Fury. It’s about the suppression of magic and the suppression of women. While the ending was insane and filled with jaw-dropping twists, the beginning was slow and difficult to get into. Mia is a very scientifically inclined person, so there was a lot of anatomical terminology used. I really don’t need to know how great someone’s zygomatic bones are. Why can’t we just stick with cheeks? So yes, it was definitely a rough start because of the writing style and the lack of action and pacing. Once I got about halfway through, though, everything just kind of exploded and the plot and suspense drove me forward. The story starts with Mia Rose, who has pledged her life as a Huntress to find the Gwyrach who killed her mother. That is, until she is forced to give it up when her father forces her to marry the Prince. Mia has never been fond of dresses and much prefers getting her hands dirty. She must give up her freedom to please the men around her, and so she plans her escape, which is the only way to find her mother’s killer. Only, she doesn’t want to leave her fragile sister Angie behind. Attacked on her wedding day, Mia Rose discovers her own forbidden magic. She ends up on the run with only the Prince and her mother’s magic journal leading the way. I loved the world-building when they go on their journey because everything was described so vividly. It was amazing to try to picture the details of their forest surroundings and their eventual destination. I actually loved Quin’s character. He’s doesn’t actually want anything to do with ruling and would rather have his nose stuck in a book. Mia learns that there is a huge difference between him and his tyrant father, who would have had her killed on sight. There ends up being a slow burn romance between them throughout the book as well. Mia was an interesting character. She goes through a lot in this book, between hating magic to having magic. It’s hard for her to trust her magic when she’s the girl who things with her head. Also, she can’t trust her feelings because she doesn’t know if she’s accidentally using magic or not. It’s basically a constant war with her, and I’m not sure how much growth she actually goes through beyond seeing magic a different way. One thing I was seriously impressed with in this book was how deep betrayal went. This book, had inception level plot twists. My poor brain almost couldn’t handle all the layers being pulled back at the end to see which person was the real villain. And trust me, there were so many people who could be considered the villain in this book, and it honestly caught me by surprise. Like we’re talking ultimate puppet master. Also, major cliffhanger at the end and I just want to know what happens?! Is there a sequel?! If you love books with revenge, betrayal, manipulation, murder, magic, adventure, romance, and twists, then Heart of Thorns is the book for you. Sidenote: It was a sweet kind of irony that Quin’s dogs were named Beo and Wulf and they were hunting “monsters”. Content Warning: sexual assault and self-harm
Date published: 2018-08-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Creative and Exciting This book was great! Way more than I was expecting, even though I don't think it was perfect. I completely loved the idea of this particular magic, goddesses, various kingdoms, complicated characters, and elegant writing. It was definitely a darker story, with main heroine Mia being more conflicted than not. She might have complained a few times, but I sympathized with her. She's definitely emotional, but that made her compelling to me. Quin grew on me the more I read about him, and Dom is just ten kinds of fun. The story had me totally hooked, but I feel like it faltered a bit at the end. I'm not saying the ending is bad––it's full of crazy betrayals, reveals regarding Mia's past, and a shocking ending that has me dying for the next book. But I felt it was a little rushed and the big twist was almost so out of the blue that I had a hard time believing it. All this said, I really did enjoy this romantic, emotion heavy book, and will happily be continuing whenever the next book is released!
Date published: 2018-07-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Feminist Fantasy that's unfortunately forgettable Heart of Thorns follows Mia Rose, the daughter of the Captain of Hunters, who track and kill the gwyrach. They are notoriously known as demons who use their magic to enthrall men and kill without injury. All women are suspected of having these powers, which is why they are forced to wear gloves constantly. Mia's mother was killed by a gwyrach and all she wants is to become a part of the Hunters and kill the demon that killed her mother. However, there are other plans in store for her when she is engaged to the crown prince, Quin, and she is abruptly forced out of her ambitions. More surprises head her way as not only is she on track to become the next queen, Mia finds herself with magic. She is a gwyrach. This fantasy novel follows Mia's tangled past and all the things she must learn about both herself and her mother, in order to survive. This novel is toted as 'fiercely feminist' and I can see where that comes into play. It is only women in this world who hold this magical power that they are demonized and oppressed for. The society of the River kingdom has a specialized task force to eliminate the gywrach accompanied by the king's hall of horrors, displaying a "souvenir" from every gwyrach that is killed. However, as Mia finds out later on, there is more to the powers that they hold than simply for murder and for evil, as she was taught. Perhaps if you think about it enough, the entire book is a giant metaphor. Ever since her mother was killed, Mia has wanted to join the task squad of hunters to kill the gwyrach so that she can track down the one that killed her mother three years ago. It's very clear that she is filled with a lot of anger and hatred and it was a really great to read as the layers to Mia's past are peeled back and the truth is revealed to her. She gradually learns that everything she knows is wrong and while anyone under her circumstances would resist this, so too does Mia. However, she shows that she really takes these truths to heart later on in the book, which was great. One of the stand out characters of the book is Quin, the prince. Like Mia, initial impressions of the character are not all that they seem. He comes off to Mia as cold and icy -- a spoiled prince who has been coddled in the castle his entire life as the heir to the throne. However, as they spend more time in each other's presence, that changes and we get to see more of Quin's true personality. I haven't declared a book boyfriend in a long time, y'all. And Quin is very much book boyfriend material. He's sweet and good and pure and in the words of my good friend Mith, 'bisexual af'. He's just a really great dude and Must Be Protected. Heart of Thorns has a lot of really interesting characters as well as a twist at the end that I did not really expect. However, while it was enjoyable in the moment, the novel is entirely forgettable to me which is not the trait of a good novel for me. Overall, if you're looking for a feminist fantasy novel with some great characters, Heart of Thorns is the book for you.
Date published: 2018-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Feminist YA *I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review* Main theme: feminism. This book focuses on members of a fantastical society trying to suppress women's rights and freedoms. In Heart of Thorns, only women have magic. The kingdom's oppressive ruler teaches his subjects that this magic is to be feared and hunted. Our main character, Mia, must come to terms with the truth about magic and the women who possess it. Barton has incorporated lesbian, gay and bisexual characters into her story. From what I understood, there is a bisexual prince, a gay best friend and Mia's mother is also bisexual. Barton incorporated a crazy twisted ending that I DID NOT see coming. I am already itching for the next installment so that I can see how the story line will play out. This book is fiercely feminist and I would highly suggest it! Recommended for fans of Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts and Graceling by Kristin Cashore.
Date published: 2018-05-24

Editorial Reviews

“[An] evocative, epic ode to feminism, magic, and the wonder of fairy tales... A gripping, complex narrative balances emotion and logic in this trilogy opener, while vividly crafted characters and cinematic details create a world readers will want to get lost in.”