Heart of the Fae (The Otherworld #1) by Emma Hamm (2017)
NA Fiction | Fantasy | Romance
“Beauty and the Beast meets Irish Mythology in this sweeping retelling of the beloved fairytale….
Once upon a time…
A plague sweeps across the emerald hills of Uí Néill, leaving a young midwife’s father with months to live. To save her people, Sorcha makes a deal with a dangerous Fae. She must travel across the sea, through merrow and kelpie lands, to find a forgotten king on a crumbling throne.
Born king of the Seelie Fae, Eamonn fought battles unnumbered to uphold honor, duty, and freedom… until his twin brother sank a blade between his shoulders. Crystals grew from the wound, splitting open skin and bone. His people banished him to a cursed isle for his disfigurement, now king of criminals and fools.
With the help of brownies, pixies, and will-o’-the-wisps, Sorcha battles to break through his crystalline shell and persuade him to take back his stolen throne.
This determined beauty could come dangerously close to stealing his beastly heart.”
pooled ink Review:
This story truly is Beauty and the Beast set in the realm of Irish mythology and I loved that. That classic story arc was still the center of this book yet it managed to be wholly unique and captivating, not just another remake of a fairytale.
For me it was the Irish mythology, the fae, the Druid practices, etc. along with Sorcha’s ferocity that made me truly enjoy this story. There were many great characters but Sorcha really stood out because she was an unyielding heroine. Too often books with romantic plot lines feature heroines who perhaps start out sure of their self, fierce, strong, and good, but all too quickly weaken in character once a male is introduced and throws their world off-kilter. This story however does not allow for such a thing. Sorcha managed to be a good balance between soft-hearted and sweet while also being confident and fierce. No matter how she began to feel about other characters, even Eammon, nothing could change her original goal of saving her family.
Sorcha remained a steady character with her priorities always at the forefront of her mind. Did she come to enjoy life on the fae island? Did she find friendship with the faeries there? Did she fall in love with a jilted king? Perhaps so, but not once did she forget why she sought out the island in the first place. And this didn’t make her irritating, and it didn’t create an overabundance of romantic tension or drama to overshadow the inciting plot. In my own opinion I felt all the elements of this story were rather well balanced.
As for the world-building I really loved how true it rooted itself in faerie lore. Many times when I read books featuring the fae they are altered to suit the author’s vision, which is perfectly fine and fun of course, but I personally liked how this one kept to the old ways no matter how nightmarish or dazzling.
Overall I really enjoyed spending the weekend pouring over this tale and my only complaint is that it requires me to seek out the sequel to read how Sorcha and Eammon’s story will end. Thank goodness there’s only two books for this particular plot! (I’m not the type of reader who hopes for a series to go on and on, I prefer something I can start and finish then read all over again).
A tale birthed from Irish legends of old, Heart of the Fae spins a tale of a fae king with no throne, an Irish healer with no cure, and a clash of fate worthy of ballads long told. Romantic, fierce, and beautifully steeped in mythology, this is a definite recommendation for fantasy readers everywhere.
Purchase Here: Heart of the Fae
Similar Recommended Reads: Radiance by Grace Draven, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson, Rhapsodic by Laura Thalassa, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Meet Emma Hamm!
I am from a very small rural town in Maine. I grew up amid blueberry fields, a farm full of animals, and surrounded by family. It was one of the best ways for a child to grow up. Horses blew puffs of sweet smelling breath in my hair, goats teased me until I giggled, and someone who loved me was always there to pick me up when I fell. I am truly blessed to have grown up in such a fashion.
The love of creative story telling started when I was very young. I used to “act out” the way a story should have gone and argued with my mother constantly about the endings of movies. I wrote a little bit, and eventually found myself in the online writing community. My love of characters blossomed and grew thanks to the ever vigilant parents who convinced me that imagination was one of the greatest gifts of the human mind. I wrote, I created, I read as many books as I could next to the fireplace.