Content Warning: Toxic Relationships, Gory Descriptions, Death, Suicidal Ideation
Strap in for this one, thems and theys, it’s going to get rough in this review.
The series started off on a decent foot with Heart of the Fae. There was whimsy and a cute romance budding. However, we lost every bit of that in the second book, Veins of Magic. The once likable characters became shallow and hollow husks of their former selves. Leaving us with a confusing cast of characters and an even more confusing plot line.
Once I got into the second book, the rose-colored glasses lifted and I was simply annoyed by the plot and characters. It was unbearable.
And I was disappointed, to say the least.
- A map
- A cute romance starting off
- Irish lore/mythology
- Map doesn’t provide any useful information
- Book 2 is a downhill slide
- The cute relationship becomes toxic
- Nonsensical plot & character actions
Plot? What plot?
Oh, you mean the one that didn’t make sense and had zero consequences? That plot?
Every decision made by any of the characters really leads nowhere, besides Sorcha getting rid of Eamonn’s sword (the only consequence!).
Macha’s quest held no consequences with Sorcha nor did her coming back without having filled the MacNara’s deal. And it definitely is further negated when her grandfather had the cure for her and just hands it over.
The plot is random and felt as if Hamm drew a line from start to finish of a maze and rammed through the lines.
There is no lead-up to events and no climb-downs. It just keeps going up even after the event happened, sometimes with no explanation or reference. This is especially true when Sorcha was summoned through portals in Heart of the Fae.
Like girl, if you know it’s a trap and you don’t know who summoned the portal, DON’T WALK THROUGH THE PORTAL. 🙄
There are just so many instances like this, that I couldn’t help but roll my eyes.
*sigh* I wish it was a better book.
I loved Sorcha when I started the series. She was kind, thoughtful, quick-witted, and fiery. She wanted to help and had a drive to prove women could partake in medicine.
But as soon as she landed on Hy-brasil, all of that fell away.
Yes, she enjoyed being a healer, but she lost her drive. Hell, she even forgot about saving her family while on that damned island!
Then when she was back in the human world, she became bitter and acted like a spoiled child in some regard, going as far as stating she wished Oona was there to wash her in the tub.
This bitterness doesn’t let up throughout the rest of the series. Sorcha is known to be kind, but I fail to see where she is. She’s purposefully stubborn, stupid, and bitter all the way until the end.
This is not what I call positive character development. It’s one that is more fitting of a villain…or a child.
I was rooting for Eamonn, but, boy, do we see a different side of him in Veins of Magic; just a rage-fill idiot.
Eamonn starts off as the angry but gentle giant of a guy. He has some anger issues, which resolve towards the end of Heart of the Fae (I guess). But his anger is still a red flag for me.
Then, as we travel into the second book, Eamonn becomes a pseudo “nice guy.” He’s forcing lesser fae to join his cause against their will (with no consequences from Angus), he’s toxic toward his people and possessive of Sorcha. He even lies to her and it cost people their lives!
I’m not sure what happened here, but it is not the outcome for Eamonn that I had hoped.
I found that even the minor characters really have no value in the story. They are used and abused by the main characters. Sure, they add some reprieve from the nonexistent plot, but that is it. They aren’t memorable, nor did I really care if anything happened to them.
And that’s not what you want with your minor characters.
Where to start, where to start…
Well, since I have many negative points, I’ll start with a positive point. I absolutely love the Irish folklore in this book! I knew the barebones of Celtic mythology, but this book opened my eyes to even more of the history and lore.
I especially love that Brigid was included. I dabbled in Irish pagan rituals before and Brigid was my go-to goddess. While I don’t practice anymore, I still look to her for guidance at times. So that was really cool to see in the series.
Now for the bad. 🥴
The writing was a mess, from the lack of action build-up and come-down to the awkward dialog to zero foreshadowing. The Heart of the Fae duology, overall, holds no story worth writing home about. (But yet, here I am, writing about it.🙃)
The story just has a lack of everything. It was almost like everything was written separately, scene by scene, and then thrown together without smoothing the plot line or character development out between the stitches.
Honestly, I could ignore it in the first book, but once the second book came and became plot-heavy, that is where everything fell apart.
On top of this, we would get weird descriptions of a character’s looks, and it came across as shallow. For example, when Sorcha was examining the witch, she thought the woman could be beautiful if she just took a bath and acted right. Which is just rude.
And to top it off, pretty much everything said about the other between Sorcha and Eamonn had to do with looks, not personality or drive. 🙄
Oh, and talk about the info-dumping! We are told everything, from every character, instead of being shown. We are given the information without Sorcha having to work for it and that leads to such an anticlimactic story.
The last thing I want to add, to sum up, this iffy writing, is the passage of time. Here are two, prime examples for you:
- After making a deal with MacNaras, it’s near twilight per Dame Agatha. By the time Sorcha and Dame Agatha reach the MacNara manor, the sun is setting, but Sorcha states it takes half a day to arrive. So, it should be nighttime. Not sunset.
- In book 1, the fae world travels slower than the human world; a few fae months = 1 human year. But, in book 2, the human world travels slower than the fae world; 1 human year = 5 fae years. So, which one is it?
But I digress.
The series could have been sooo much better if the writing was more consistent and developed, even if the plot was still lacking. I just wanted more and the series had nothing left to give.
Overall, the series had real potential to be a wonderful Irish retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but it failed miserably. I was so ready for an Irish twist to things because that’s my heritage! (or part of it anyway.)
Oh well, not all books are good, especially re-tellings as I have learned.
Recommended Book Series
What did you think of the book? Did you like it or could you have done without it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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