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.
In debut author Barton's evocative, epic ode to feminism, magic, and the wonder of fairy tales, 17-year-old Mia is a motherless young woman living under the oppressive regime of the river kingdom (one of four lands whose creation myths differ). Betrothed against her will to Prince Quin, science-minded Mia plots her escape. Her one wish is to be a Huntress, joining the small elite circle of those who hunt Gwyrach (the kingdom's name for women who practice magic), particularly since her mother was killed by a Gwyrach. Mia's perspective is shattered and reformed in the span of a very short time as she and Quin flee for their lives after an assassination attempt at the wedding. Aided by her mother's journal, she and the prince make their way to a place only whispered about, Ref j, where the answers to all of Mia's questions lie. 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. Ages 13 up.