Heart of Thorns Review || A Magical Adventure

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35720690In 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.

“Why shouldn’t women get to craft the lives they wanted? Messy, complicated, vibrant lives full of adventure?”

So when I first finished this book I was like, wOW, that was grEAT! Really, I thought it was super amazing! But! Then I thought about it some more and decided that it does not actually warrant a five star review, so I’m going with a solid 4 (spoiler alert for the rest of this review). But honestly, it’s been quite a while since I’ve read a great fantasy with magic and political tension and royalty and travels like this, which used to be my absolute FAVORITE but then I like got distracted by a bunch of shiny contemporaries so yeah, this really played on my nostalgia and now you all know random useless stuff so on to the review.

Like I literally just said in the above paragraph, this was a great fantasy with magic and tensions and royalty. Mia has trained forever to become a hunter and hunt down the Gwyrach–evil female witches with dark powers to control people and more–especially since her mom was killed by one years ago. But then her father usurps all her plans by suddenly arranging a marriage between her and the Crown Prince. But when the wedding doesn’t quite go as planned, they pair definitely experience some adventures as Mia learns so much more about herself and the Gwyrach than she ever could have anticipated.

What really struck me about this book was how feminist it is. There is definitely some critique of patriarchy, such as how the king’s eldest, a wonderful daughter who would make a perfect ruler, is passed over in favor of her younger brother. It also mentions how women are the ones with power because they needed to fight for themselves after being mistreated by men for so long, which, yess!

There was also some great lgbtq+ representation with multiple major characters mentioned (mom and love interest are bi, mom was in love with a lesbian, best friend is gay) that I really liked. I read a couple reviews that mention that the lgbtq and feminism rep was a bit forced and awkward, and I agree that it definitely was in some places, but overall for the most part I really liked!

I really loved the main character, Mia. She was definitely a bit flawed, at times being rather judgmental and rash, but she clearly does go through some character growth to become more accepting at the end, and I’m sure she’ll continue to grow in future books! What I loved the most about her, though, was how badass and strong she was, fighting for her own!

The romance, while not the main point, was also swoony and enjoyable. I swear for the longest time I was just like kiss kiss why don’t you kiss already! The love interests were very cute together, getting to really know each other and open up to each other, and I definitely ship it!

Finally, this book was a bit tropey, and ultimately along with the awkward rep that’s probably what made me decide to only give it four stars. It definitely had some cliches such as the mc being engaged to the crown prince, disliking and then liking, and secretly being supernatural. But hey, these are tropes because people like them, right?

Anyways, overall I thought this was a really solid read and I definitely enjoyed it! Scrolling through goodreads I see that quite a few people did not agree with me and disliked it, but guess I’m gonna have an unpopular opinion here and recommend you read it!

★★★★ / 5


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