I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Heart of the Fae by Emma Hamm
on November 26th 2017
Series: The Otherworld #1
Genres: Fantasy, Retellings, Romance
Beauty and the Beast meets Irish Mythology in this sweeping retelling of the beloved fairytale....
Once upon a time…
A plague sweeps across the emerald hills of Uí Néill, leaving a young midwife’s father with months to live. To save her people, Sorcha makes a deal with a dangerous Fae. She must travel across the sea, through merrow and kelpie lands, to find a forgotten king on a crumbling throne.
Born king of the Seelie Fae, Eamonn fought battles unnumbered to uphold honor, duty, and freedom… until his twin brother sank a blade between his shoulders. Crystals grew from the wound, splitting open skin and bone. His people banished him to a cursed isle for his disfigurement, now king of criminals and fools.
With the help of brownies, pixies, and will-o’-the-wisps, Sorcha battles to break through his crystalline shell and persuade him to take back his stolen throne.
This determined beauty could come dangerously close to stealing his beastly heart.
When I first found out about Heart of the Fae, I was immediately sold as soon as I read that it is a beauty and the beast retelling incorporating Irish mythology. The two concepts are woven together exquisitely. Hamm has created a recognizable tale that was also something undeniably new. Heart of the Fae was a beautifully written tale that explores the lengths we go to for love, the sacrifices made for family, and the cost of power.
The plot was relatively predictable for the first half of the novel, however I really enjoyed the in-depth introduction to the world. I loved that the Fae could be dark and cruel, each pursuing their own agenda. While I was a bit shocked that Sorcha grew up in a brothel at first, the author included some interesting social commentary that ultimately made me appreciate that stylistic choice. The second half of the novel was beautifully imagined, I loved the scenes on the island and watching Sorcha slowly integrate herself into the community of Fae outcasts. The island truly came alive for me, I fell in love with its various brownies, pixies, and other Fae inhabitants.
I felt as if Sorcha could be best described by the phrase “have courage and be kind.” She was a fearless individual who was fiercely devoted to her family and her beliefs. Although Sorcha was hot-tempered and frequently jumped to conclusions, I admired her as a character. She forced the fae nobility to recognize her as their equal through sheer determination and courage. Plus I loved that she stood up to Eamonn, calling him out on his temper. Eamonn himself was an interesting character. However, I felt as if we only got a few glimpses of who he truly is in this book. I’m very intrigued to see how his character develops in the next installment.
Heart of the Fae was a beautifully imagined retelling that swept me away. Although that cliffhanger ending was a bit cruel. I’m now desperately waiting on book two, which promises to be even better. I would recommend this one for fans of retellings who are looking for a book that is somewhat more NA than YA.