The Hollow Heart

by Marie Rutkoski
First sentence: “You have my heart.”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Others in the series: The Midnight Lie
Content: There is a lot of violence, and it is a bit slower-paced. It’s in the YA section (grades 6-8) of the bookstore.

Spoilers for the first book, obviously.

Sid has left to go home because her mother has gotten sick and is dying. She left Nirrim behind, alone on an island where she has newly discovered her powers. Nirrim, heartbroken, gives her heart away to the god of thieves (why does she need it, fr her love doesn’t love her back?), and then proceeds to overthrow the ruling class in a very bloody revolution. Nirrim is not a kind queen, a good queen. She is ruthless and cruel (all in the name of “good”) to those who abused and used her.

Sid, on the other hand, is home trying to repair her relationship with her parents (who are the characters from the Winner’s Curse series, which made me very happy). She has realized that her mother is not sick, she was poisoned, and sets about trying to figure out who and why. But, as rumors of a cruel queen with powers who is invading other countries spread, Sid realizes that she needs to be more authentic and live the life she wants to live, not the life her parents want for her.

It’s a very internal book, one where one character really isn’t all the amuch fun to spend time with. (Nirrim ‘s chapters are really hard to get through sometimes.) But Rutkoski is a gifted storyteller, and she has a story that, in the end comes together beautifully. It’s a gorgeously written book, and a good end to the duology. And I hope it means there will be many more stories set in this world shes created.

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