Magic and sisterhood intertwine in the high-stakes sequel to Heart of Thorns (2018).
Mia Rose awakens from her death with gaps in her memory and her senses gone numb. Her search for a mother who betrayed her trust leads her to the snow kingdom, where she hopes to find answers and a way to rescue Prince Quin from her sister Angelyne’s powerful enthrallment. Determined to seek revenge against her powerful mother, Pilar d’Aqila is on the run from the river kingdom when she runs into a recently escaped Prince Quin—the boy whose sister she killed. Pilar and Quin join forces to travel together into the snow kingdom in search of Pilar’s long-lost father. Chapters alternate viewpoints between Mia and Pilar, who are on a collision course that connects ongoing family secrets and betrayals, the failings of previous generations, and a thoughtful examination of agency, female empowerment, and the history of magic. In this world, “magic is born of a power imbalance,” and while this conceit showed a lot of promise in the overtly feminist first book, the sequel is effectively bogged down by an extended magical system that leads to convoluted worldbuilding, a love triangle, and trivial twists. Mia and Quin are white, Pilar has golden skin and black hair, and there are multiple queer characters.
A sequel that builds on its predecessor with mixed results. (map, author’s note, resources) (Fantasy. 13-16)