Book Review: Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton

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From Instagram @Book_rambler

Synopsis: 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.


Review: Heart of Thorns is told entirely from a young girl named Mia’s perspective . The book starts with Mia getting ready for her wedding with a prince but her mind is busy with plans for escape . However Mia can’t just run away because she has an ailing sister to care for. Mia is torn between her love for her sister and her yearning for freedom..freedom to hunt and kill Gwyrach.

What is a Gwyrach ? They are women who are believed to be witches, who are said to be able to stop a man’s heart just by laying their hands on their skin. They are also said to have powers to enthrall those around them and make them do their bidding. So,in this kingdom(I can’t remember the name ..FORGIVE ME!) ,all women are forced to wear gloves for their sake and the people’s.

Back to the story, so we have Mia who wants to flee and then goes to her escape tunnel which is a crypt and ..where her late mother is buried . Soon,Mia is discovered by her father and he proceeds to give her a talk before she marries the prince . Before leaving , her father hands Mia her mother’s journal but later,Mia finds the pages blank.

Reader , well, Mia does get married to her prince but instead of hatred or boredom or plain indifference, she feels warm ,different sensations in her body but she can’t explain why. Then ,before they I do and become “man and wife” ,her prince gets shot with an arrow. Although Mia didn’t like the prince for numerous reasons,she didn’t want him to die. And,die he didn’t.

You already know from reading the synopsis ,that Mia is a Gwyrach- the very thing she loaths and wants to hunt. HOWEVER, when Mia saw blood spurting (is that a word?) out of the prince’s or Quin’s chest ..after she pulled the arrow …she somehow magically stitched his wound . et voila! THE PRINCE LIVES! and,KNOWS! THAT YOU ARE A GWYRACH,MIAAAA!!!!

Now,what ? Of course,the Prince or Quin takes Mia’s hand and dashes out the castle . They do escape but what will happen to Mia ,now that everyone knows she is a Gwyrach ? Will she be able to protect herself and her friends ? What about the mysterious “empty” journal ?

Let’s talk about the things I loved and didn’t :

  • I loved how the story unfolded. Reader ,you may think that the story is about Mia,her discovery,learning how to master her witchy powers and all.But NOPE! Of course,some of the story is about all of that but mostly it reveals her mother story -specifically how her mother was killed/Who killed her mother ?
  • I also loved the feminist theme the entire story was built upon ! It says that women developed magic to counterbalance the abuse they faced..

“…men have found ever-new ways of oppressing women. Our bodies have been receptacles, both container and contained; our wombs soft and pliant for the children we were meant to bear our husbands, whether we wanted to or not. We have been restricted, silenced, and confined. This has been called many things—‘protection,’ ‘progress,’ even ‘love.’”

  • Heart of Thorns mainly centers on the theme of feminism but it also shines a light on sexuality-mainly lesbian,gay and bisexual . There is also a lot of graphic depictions of rape and rape attempts, assaults, abuse ,etc.
  • I didn’t like THE ending .I truly thought that the book was a standalone . I liked the twist in the almost-end but I didn’t like the cliffhanger and now I must wait ONE YEAR for book two.

Verdict: 4 stars out of 5

Author: Bree Barton is a writer in Los Angeles. When she’s not lost in whimsy, she works as a ghostwriter and dance teacher to teen girls. She is on Instagram and YouTube as Speak Breely, where she posts funny videos of her melancholy dog.

Bree is not a fan of corsets.

Y O U T U B E: http://bit.ly/2gm8OPO
W E B S I T E: www.breebarton.com

  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
  • Publication Date: July 2018
  • Paperback: 438 Pages

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Buy Heart Of Thorns on Amazon or on BookDepository.

Thank you (2)

Author: Book Rambler

Hi! I'm Shalini. I am an avid reader, daydreamer, future scientist. In order to ramble about books with you, I created this blog. You can find me here and on any of my social media channels.

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