Book Title: To Carve a Fae Heart (The Fair Isle Trilogy #1)
Author: Tessonja Odette
Published Date: May 20th 2020
Number of Pages: 332 pages
Book Rating: 4 stars
Every young woman dreams of marrying a king.
Everyone except for me.
Because the king I am to wed has razor sharp fangs and a thirst for blood.
All my life I knew I’d come of age during the Hundred Year Reaping. According to the ridiculous treaty, two human girls are sent to the faelands as brides for the fearsome fae king and his devilish younger brother.
Not me. I was supposed to be safe. Two girls were chosen from my village already. But when they are executed for offending the king, my sister and I are sent in their place.
What a mess. Then again, maybe it’s not so bad. The younger brother I’m paired with doesn’t seem as monstrous as I’d expected. He’s delightfully handsome too. But nothing compares to the chilling, dangerous beauty of the fae king. And when my sister flees the castle and her terrifying husband-to-be, I’m left to marry him instead.
If I go through with this, I might not survive my wedding night. If I don’t, no one is safe, neither human nor fae. An ancient war will return, bringing devastation we haven’t seen in a thousand years. Can I sacrifice myself for the good of my people? Or will a dangerous desire be the death of me first?
If I don’t lose my heart, the king will certainly lose his. I’ll carve it out with an iron blade if I have to.
To Carve a Fae Heart is an enemies-to-lovers fantasy, perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince, ACOTAR, and The Iron King. If you like snarky fae, brooding fae royals, sizzling romance, and fierce heroines, you'll love this breathtaking fae fantasy.
I enjoyed this book. It was a weird mix of moment where I was like "woahhhh, this might become a new favorite" and "meh, this is not the best". This might be a mood thing (i.e the book was better when I was in a better mood), or maybe it was simply that some parts of the book were more polished and developed and some could have used a bit more cleaning and polish. It's hard to say which of those options it was. The moments which jared me out of the story and felt a bit slow and uninteresting were not prolonged enough for me to come to a solid conclusion on why they felt that way.
Let's talk about the characthers next :) For the MC and her love interest, I wouldn't say I am super into their love story, but it was better than many love stories I have read in the past. I think there is a lot of potential for their story and romance to grow and evolve.
I did love that the love interest had these vulnerable moments, it really spoke to me. It makes me think the love interest is just a big softy at heart and made me care for him a lot more. I am a strong believer that characthers need to be believable and three dimensional and he was in this book. The emotions and actions made logical sens (as much as a magical book can make logical sense) and that is an accomplishement in my books.
When it comes to the MC I would have liked a bit more depth to her? I did like the whole mental battle she had between magic and logic, I think it's something which added some whimsy to it and maybe thought us readers to believe a bit more in the unbelivable. I also liked how we started to see some growth in her throughout the book too. However, I do think she has a lot more development and growth to do in future books,
As for the side characthers I would have liked a bit more of that emotional development, and would have also liked to know more about them and their backstory. I think they were the most two dimensional characthers in this book which is sad because I think they have a lot to offer and I have an inkling they also have an interesting past.
The villain in this book was also well done, he could use some more development on motives, but I am assuming this will come in the next book. For a first book he played his part well. I had my suspicion about this person from the start so I wans't shocked when the villain was revealed but it wasn't too obvious as to ruin the reading experience.
I would like the setting to be explored more in the next books. By the end of the book I have a clear picture of the castle but not really of anywhere else. There is a lot of characthers and different types of creatures in this world, which means a lot of potential for different setting and worldbuilding that could have been a bit more dweled into.
Now for the ending. For some reason my brain thought this book a standalone? I know why, the previous book I was reading (which I have yet to finish) was a faerie, arranged marriage book as well and that book was a standalone. Somehow, somehwere in this book I got the two confused. Regardless, I didn't appreciate the ending as I might have if I new this was a series. Instead I was reading the whole time with the thought "how the H**l will this be wrapped up with 2% left?!". Needless to say it didn't get wrapped up. I wouldn't call it a cliffhanger though, I don't think I enjoyed the ending to be honest. It's not even a day later and I only briefly remember it? I think someone who might be more invested in the story might find it to be a cliifhanger though. I can't put my finger on why then ending was just "meh" to me, I liked the story and the characthers but maybe I just didn't like them enough to go like "oh shit," when it came to the news we got in the last page (being vague because I don't want to spoil). I didn't predict that something/piece of news at the end would happen (though thinking back maybe I should have), so thats a big plus for this book. I am usually REALLY good at seeing plot twists coming.
So overall a good book! I would recommend if you like fairies, arranged marriages, medieval type worlds, healing magic and broody heroes. I think I will pick up the next book. Not sure exactly when but it's on my list :)