These Hollow Vows
a dark, romantic young adult fantasy about a girl caught between two faerie princes
by Lexi Ryan
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 20 Jul 2021 | Archive Date 20 Jul 2021
'Sexy, surprising, and full of secrets' Stephanie Garber, #1 Sunday Times bestselling author of the Caraval series
A heart is a dangerous thing to steal.
From New York Times bestselling author Lexi Ryan, Cruel Prince meets A Court of Thorns and Roses in this sexy, action-packed fantasy about a girl who is caught between two treacherous faerie courts and their dangerously seductive princes.
Brie would do anything before making a deal with the Fae; death is better than their vicious schemes. But when her sister is taken by the sadistic king of the Unseelie court, there is nothing Brie wouldn't do to get her back-including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the rival Seelie court.
Gaining unfettered access to the Seelie court is easier said than done. Brie's only choice is to pose as a potential bride for the Seelie Prince, Ronan-a prince who's not quite as wicked as she once thought. Unwilling to let her heart distract her, she accepts help from a band of Unseelie misfits with their own secret agenda. But as Brie spends time with their mysterious leader, Finn, she finds herself struggling to resist his seductive charm.
Caught between two dangerous courts, Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty . . . and with her heart.
'Beautifully broken and epic . . . A must read for fans of Sarah J Maas and Jennifer L Armentrout' Carrie Ann Ryan, NYT Bestselling Author of the Elements of Five Series
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 183 members
Please take in mind it’s my opinion, and everyone is allowed to have one. This book was honestly so amazing, truly one of my favorite reads of this year. I got sucked in the story since the first page. The story and plot were so great, and it was well written. It was so great to see how Abriella grew as a character. Than we’ve Ronan and Finn. It was kind of predictable who Ronan was, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to know more. Finn was my favorite character. The ending though!!! I’m here for the next book because you can’t leave me hanging like that.
I loved this book so much I’ve read it twice in practically as many days. This book is just everything you want in a YA dipping into New Adult fantasy. If you love the top fantasy series at the moment e.g The Folk of the Air trilogy, ACOTAR, The Grisha series you will love this; just mix them with the Selection series and that is this book. Brie could think of nothing worse than having to deal with the Fae, but when her sister is sold as a slave to a Fae King she has to make a deal in order to get her back. With two opposing Fae males fighting for her attention, she has to decide who she can trust; whilst also finding out about how her mother’s past links in with her destiny. This book was such a good start to a series. It was very fast paced, but not lacking in world building. Although, I do wish we had a few more scenes outside of the palace/castle or Finn’s homes. It sort of is an introduction book, setting the world and characters up for the next book - which I already know is going to be epic from that ending. Brie is a strong but trusting character. From the world she came from I thought she would’ve been a little less trusting, but she fell in with characters quite easy. It made the plot interesting, just didn’t really go with what we were being told of her. However, I do see her character having a massive development in the next book and I cannot wait. Sebastian, on the other hand, had the most character development and it was really well done. As in, very, very well done. I feel we’ve not had enough scenes with Finn to really see a change, but I loved how sincere he was. All of the characters each had their own focus and I liked that they didn’t move from what they wanted. The book is very family oriented, with all of the characters doing what they think is right for the people they love. The plot was really well written. Some things did move a little too fast at times and I would’ve loved to have lingered on certain scenes just to get a better feel for them. The book was a little predictable at times, but there was a big plot twist that I never saw coming. All of the book just flowed really well and everything naturally clicked into place. I would love to see more POV’s in the next book though, I think it would just add that little extra depth to the love interests. Overall, I loved this book and I really need the next one! As in, I literally cannot wait for it and will probably have a countdown going when they release a date. The book is such a good addition to the fantasy genre and is more in the New Adult category, which is something readers have been craving more books in. Thank you so much to Netgalley, Hodder & Stoughton and the author for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I throughly enjoyed reading These Hollow Vows, so much so I read it in 1 day! The story is gripping, full of adventure and so much deceit it’s just amazing!! The story is a twist on Cinderella and how the main character Abriella (and her sister) is trying to get out of serving her aunt Madame V and cousins. When they fail to come up with this months pay Abriella’s sister is sold to the faeries. Humans know that faeries exist and that they live in another dimension to theirs, they also know that getting sold to the fae is not a good thing. In a bid to try and save her sister Abriella goes to the seelie fairy kingdom so she can search for her sister. Along the way she encounters friendly faces as well as evil ones. What she doesn’t expect is for a familiar face to be in fairie! Abriella navigates her way through faerie and her attraction to a prince all the while looking for her sister. The writing in the book is amazing and full of layers! I really liked Abriella and her sister Jas and was rooting for them throughout. There’s so many twists, turns and deception you don’t know who to trust and have faith in, but this makes it all the better! There is another book on the way and I will be buying it as soon as I can, I need to know what happens next! I’d recommend the book for ages 14+ - theses mild sex scenes and a few swear words but used in context.
This one felt like a loose Cinderella retelling - yeah, it has Cinderella vibes - combined with some elements from The Cruel Prince, ACOTAR and The Selection. I have a soft spot for faerie books so even though the idea does not feel super new, and it felt WAY too predictable, I have enjoyed this book very much. It was a captivating read. It really kept me turning the pages. It delivered what was promised. I loved the characters. Abriella (Brie) is courageous and I was rooting for her. She deeply hates Fae, but love for her sister Jas is stronger. For her, Brie would do anything, even going into the Fae lands and make a bargain with the king of Unseelie to retrieve three artifacts stolen from his court in the Seelie court in exchange for her sister's safe return home. I usually hate love triangles, but I did not mind this one that much. I've grown fond of both Fae princes even though I knew where was going. Well, if you keep in mind how Fae act, it is not surprising at all. The story has got some great side characters too. Especially one goblin and Finn's band of misfits. They really bring in some humor. I really need more of them. I loved the world building. Like I said, I am a huge fan of Fae books and this one did not disappoint. Yeah, I loved Seelie and Unseelie courts and all the creatures. It works with familiar concepts, but I did not mind at all. I´ve enjoyed the folklore depicted in this book even though we just got to see a glimpse and I cannot wait to learn more about this world and its politics in the sequel. I love how Fae books always feel so.... fairy tale like. The book includes: - magic... healing, shadows, illusions and more - a love triangle with two hot Fae princes - a goblin that takes hair as payment - pixies, banshee and some other creatures from Faerie lore - political intrigue - a lot of secrets, twists and turns - a sex scene described in details - magical drugs Huge thanks to publisher and Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for honest review.
Of course, is this only my personal opinion on the book and just because I give this rating to the book doesn't mean, that everyone will have that opinion. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for this ARC. All my opinions are my own. To be honest: I WOULD REREAD THIS BOOK IN A SECOND AND I CAN NOT WAIT FOR BOOK 2!! So after this is off my chest we can start. I think, that "Cruel Prince meets A Court of Thorns and Roses" fits the story perfectly. Normally I hate it when books are marketed this way (this is the new harry potter and so on. Can you see my eye roll?) but in this case, the description is right. Of course, the plot is not the same as in the ones named above but there are fae and a badass female protagonist, which I adored. The writing style was really easy to get into and I was hooked from the first page and read until 1 am to finish this book. The world is kind of familiar, because we have the Seelie and Unseelie Court which we know from multiple other fae stories. However, this story doesn't lack originality in my opinion. There were some plot twist, that really took me by surprise and I can't wait to read the second book because the first book ends with a cliffhanger. I liked the main protagonist a lot and I am curious how her character development will be in the second book. I also liked the two males that have an important part in her story. The love triangle, that was teased in the synopsis had me a little bit scared but I liked how the author wrote it and I already have my favourite picked! I can't wait for the second book and I hope many people will read this story! This book is a possible 2021 highlight for me and to be honest, there is only one thing that could be done a little bit better in my opinion and that is "more spice" but we will see how book two will turn out! Conclusion: A fantastic new fae fantasy! Can´t wait to read book 2 I give 5+ from 5 Stars
Thank you so much to Netgalley and the publisher for kindly providing me with an eArc! Do you love books with fae in? How about high stakes and a swoon-worthy romance? Well then this book is for you! Highly reminiscent of well-loved books such as “the cruel prince” and “a court of thorns and roses” this book lives up to every expectation and more!!
This enthralling YA Fantasy was deliciously action-packed and utterly addictive. It’s Cinderella meets The Cruel Prince but with A Court of Thorns and Roses-style twist,that had me absolutely riveted from beginning to end. Brie has vowed never to make a deal with the fae,until the day her sister is taken by the cruel King of The Unseelie Court. Now Brie must steal back three magical relics from the Seelie Court. But, to gain access to them she must pose as a potential bride to the Seelie Prince, Ronan—who’s not nearly as wicked as she believed. To succeed in her task, she also accepts the help of a band of Unseelie misfits, and their mysterious leader Finn, whose charm is difficult for Brie to resist. “Caught between two dangerous courts and their dangerously seducative Princes,Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty—and her heart.” I literally cannot put into words how breathtakingly incredible this was.After seeing it compared to two of my favourite YA Fantasy series’ and having read it, I can honestly say it’s as marvellous as it sounds. Brie was a fantastically strong protagonist though, I’d say a little too trusting at times but l loved her nonetheless. The chemistry between Brie and both Princes was swoonworthy—the love triangle was soo well written, I had a difficult time deciding which prince I liked best, or for that matter whom to trust. I enjoyed the world building and the setting though, I would’ve like more of it. Hopefully it’ll be explored further in the next book which, after reading that spectacular Sarah J.Mass-worthy ending, I’ll be impatiently awaiting. All I can say is—WOW! If you love YA fantasy about Fae and are massive Holly Black or Sarah J. Mass fans then you absolutely must read this! It’s got mystery, romance, deceit and of course dashing fae princes, I mean what more could you want. And of course a huge thank you to Hodder&Stoughton and Net Galley for the ARC.
This book was a massive surprise, I really didn’t expect to love it so much. These Hollow Vows tell you the story of Brie. Brie has no means to survive, other than stealing here and there for her and for her sister, to try to make their way out of debts. But when her sister is sold to the evil Fae of the Unseelie court, she will do everything to save her. Even if she has to pretend she wants to get married to the prince of the Seelie Fae, even if she is forced to make a deal with the evil King of the Unseelie court. Brie finds herself caught up with the politics between these two courts and working side by side with a group of rebels. For the first time, I found myself agreeing with the synopsis, this story is perfect for ACOTAR and The Cruel Prince fans. Dare I say, it has the potential to become ACOTAR readers’ next obsession. The only difference is that it has a few Cinderella influences and then there is a love triangle, which is exquisitely executed. The plot per se is already fast-paced and intriguing, but I have to admit, the love triangle made this book really difficult to put down because you keep wondering who Brie should trust, who is lying and who is just another Tamlin-tool. The writing is brilliant and the plot doesn’t give you a moment of break. Overall the story has similarities with ACOTAR, and some parts were easy to predict and I knew that person was a jerk and he couldn’t be trusted. Still, the plot never failed to surprise me. There are a lot of things happening towards the end I couldn’t see it coming at all. In a few chapters, the writer manages to put all the pieces together, make your jaw drop with all the secrets and revelations, and stab you in the back and leave you dry… I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. The world building and the magic system are flawless. Everything is explored and explained well enough to give the reader a clear idea of how diverse the Fae courts are compared to the human world, together with their history and relationships. On top of that, the writer created a great range of characters, fully developed, with all their backstories and complex personalities. The main character as well, Brie, is strong and determined, you root for her every step and turn. It has been a while since I last had the pleasure of following a character growth that actually makes sense, according to the events of the plot. While it is marked as YA, I wouldn’t be too shocked if it moves into the NA genre for certain thematic of slavery and human sacrifices, the politics of the Unseelie court are dark and brutal, but also because of a specific scene in the story, which was quite “steamy”, and for what will happen to Brie in the second book. Anyway, this was absolutely perfect, haha, which is why this review is short. I am a massive fan of Sarah J. Maas and this book is worth the comparison and the hype. The last time I had such a that-was-a-great-book vibe was for ACOMAF. Gosh, it’s so difficult to write a review without spoilers, and I can’t wait for this book to be officially out so I can fangirl about it with the book community.
First of all, I want to say that I am really grateful to have been provided with an ARC for this book by NetGalley ! I'm a big Cruel Prince and A Court of Thorns and Roses fan so this book was right up my street. Finn....Sebastian...I couldn't put this book down and read it in one sitting! And the ending!! Bring on Spring 2022 now!
I have a love / hate relationship with YA. I've always found it a little hard to review the ones I didn't enjoy because obviously I'm not the target audience! However, I fell in love with These Hollow Vows as it has everything I enjoy most about YA fantasy. It has been compared to The Cruel Prince and also A Court of Thorns and Roses - so obviously I had to read it. I can see the reason for the comparison, but to be honest THV is a typical YA and I'm sure others will pick out similarities to other books too. It has the predictability of the genre, but its very compelling and certainly one of the best YA books I've read since, well, The Cruel Prince. In the first chapter I also had a Six of Crows vibe, however that was fleeting and I feel like the opening chapters had more of a Cinderella feel. The main plot is overshadowed by the love triangle, but I didn't enjoy it any the less. I'm a sucker for romance heavy stories at the moment and the angsty young torturous love in this hits the spot. The swift scene changes were something else I liked too... I hate the faff with transition scenes and nonsequential fillers. THV cuts to the chase each time and its easy to flip through the pages as the story moves along very quickly. There was limited world building as its very character driven so I would love to see more of Faerie in the next installment. I feel like all the characters are morally grey, they will stop at nothing to get what they want and their actions and manipulations entwine right up to the climax - long after the reader suspects what's going on. I was still surprised at the slight twist at the end and I should have known right along with Brie. I couldn’t put this book down and wanted to savour it at the same time. After reading the final page I *need* the next book ASAP! Although YA, this does have some older themes. Considering the target age audience - I would hope there are trigger/content warnings for the published book. Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stroughton for the E-arc for an honest review.
I absolutely loved this book and couldn’t put it down. From the very first page it had my attention and the story was brilliant. Abriella (Brie) was a fantastic female character and her strength and love for her sister never wavered throughout the story. The wonderful descriptions brought the world of the Fae to life and I loved all the characters. When Brie’s sister is sold to the King of the Unseelie she must steal three magical relics from the Seelie Court to get her back. This is not as easy as she thinks and with her task comes betrayal of the man she loves. The plot is well paced throughout the story and the characters well formed. I didn’t see the twist at the end coming but I loved it. I loved everything about the story and if you’ve read and enjoyed ACOTAR you’ll definitely enjoy reading Abriella’s story and the two magical princes that may or may not steal her heart. I can’t wait for a book 2 in this story to see what Abriella is going to do next and if it had of been available I would have dived straight into it even though it was after 1am when I finished this book.
Buckle in your seatbelts ladies and gents, this book is a wild ride. I literally devoured this - so much so I tried to read slower so the book would last longer. I was really invested in both the characters and the story and I really think Lexi Ryan has such a talent. The love triangle: usually I hate them as they are so hard to do right but this was done well and although from the start I had my favourite (Finn), I could see it from both angles. The development between the characters was good. I really liked our side characters too and the witty remarks they would make. The premise took something that had been done and made it original and I liked how the fae met the selection in this book. The ending honestly left me reeling and if book two doesn’t appear in my hands soon I might just die. I would 100% recommend for fantasy and romance readers. I ADORED this. <i>I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.</I>
Thank you to Netgalley and Kate Keehan at Hodder & Stoughton for giving me the opportunity to review this book early! I devoured this in a day. This is one of those books that’s so compelling, you cannot put it down. It’s a fun, easy read that will get you out of a reading slump, or recharge you after a hard read in a different genre. Spoiler warning: I was on team Finn from the beginning, so the ending has definitely reinforced my decision and shown me I chose right - I found Sebastian cringey and creepy from the moment he’s shown up in Faerie, and I cannot wait to see how the next book turns out! I would say that I don’t usually like character art on book covers, but I definitely prefer the US cover to the UK one. As far as I know, this will be FairyLoot’s August book choice, so I cannot wait to have a special edition of it! Loved it, here for it!
I will update the review with a link to our blog closer to publication date. I'd like to thank the publisher and netgalley for providing me with an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
These Hollow Vows sounded like a good read, so hey, I read it. I was not prepared for how much I would love it 😱! These Hollow Vows is perfect for Sarah J Maas fans and lovers of YA fantasy with a new faerie realm, a choice between the light and the shadow (and plenty of dramaaaaa). Brie is the sister we all wish we had - she is fierce, fae-hating and protective... anddddd finds herself facing a royal marriage. The ending had me screaming okay, I need another book and I need it now. I NEED ANSWERS. Lexi, hit me up okay?! 5 stars. These Hollow Vows is your next book hangover and fae obsession - you’re welcome! Oh, and I am going to say this loudly and clearly: FINN IS MINE. MINE. I will fight you.
Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Brie hates the Fae and refuses to have anything to do with them, even if that means starving on the street. But when her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court to pay a debt, she'll do whatever it takes to get her back—including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the Seelie court. Gaining unfettered access to the Seelie court is easier said than done. Brie's only choice is to pose as a potential bride for Prince Ronan, and she soon finds herself falling for him. Unwilling to let her heart distract her, she accepts help from a band of Unseelie misfits with their own secret agenda. As Brie spends time with their mysterious leader, Finn, she struggles to resist his seductive charm. Caught between two dangerous courts, Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty. And with her heart. Brie is determined, she’s sassy and she’s brave. Perfection in my eyes! We really get to go on a journey with her and see her make discoveries that flip her world on its head. I never felt bored getting to see more of her story. I was so engaged in it that it seemed to pass by in the blink of an eye! Sebastian is charismatic, charming, and bashful. But we also see glimpses of him as a manipulator, and cruel. He’s an interesting one, that’s for sure, because we see so many different sides to him. Reading in Brie’s POV means we’re unable to see “behind the scenes” and know his true intentions. But I love that pieces of it shine through. Particularly at the end of the book. Holy moly, I’m impressed. Dear Finn. Deadly Finn. What a villain you are and yet a pure cinnamon roll. I really liked the Finn moments we got to see because whilst he has his own agenda, I feel we got to see more of what’s underneath than we did with Sebastian. I’m really hoping we get to see more! Yes, I am trash. Love triangles usually frustrate me but god golly I enjoyed this one. I can tell that Brie drifts more to one than the other, but I rather liked that her feelings seemed genuine for both. It happens! Attraction can be based on a variety of factors and you can be attracted to more than one person at a time. There’s magic, intrigue, adventure and desperation. What more could I want?! THAT ENDING TOO. HOLY SMOKES. I NEED MORE. THE ANGST. THE DRAMA. IT BETTER NOT BE THE END. GIVE ME MOOOOORE! Overall, These Hollow Vows is definitely a book that’s hitting my favourites list! Wow! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 Thank you again to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an advanced copy of this book. Review will be live on my blog on release day.
I usually detest love triangles but somehow this one was different. I usually know right away who I ship the MC with but this book had me spinning even until the very end. I think I’m still recovering from the whiplash this book gave me. I throughly enjoyed every minute of this book and I am dying for the sequel. Thank you so much Hodder & Stoughton and Netgalley for approving me for this ARC. Wow wow wow I highly recommend this book. I absolutely adored the MC and the love interests were amazing. I personally loved Finn but I’m a total sucker for the bad broody morally grey character. I will say the cliffhanger ending is driving me nuts and cannot wait to see how the story continues.
OH MY. I knew I'd enjoy this book just from it being sold as "steamy fae romance" and it certainly didn't disappoint...although, we're not talking Sarah J Maas level of steam so it is a bit more of a stepping stone up to New Adult from YA rather than full blown make younger readers aware of the content! Nevertheless, I absolutely loved These Hollow Vows and was kept wanting more every time I paused reading, and by the end I was left desperate for more! I found this book so easy to get into; the writing is really engaging but not too complex with world and character building; there's just enough information to create a really gripping story and image in your mind. The twists and turns throughout also helped; nothing is as you'd expect it to be and right up to the end I was kept second guessing all my assumptions! I also liked how real Brie was as a character; the conflict between wanting to save her sister and that sisterly bond and her own needs and wants with her romantic interests made for a really believable character because she isn't perfect. The characters met throughout the story were also a really interesting bunch! Part of me would've liked the book to have a bit more content in terms of being able to explore these characters a bit more, but on the other hand it was so nice to have a really good fantasy that wasn't a daunting size! I really hope that there is more to come after that ending! I'd love to revisit these characters and know what happens next.
Ryan really pulled me in with this book where I didn't want to come back. The storytelling was immaculately weaved and the seamless and intricacy was an all read one more chapter kind of book. The love triangle is one for those who love the genre and anybody who think they'll like the concept this is the book for you. Overall the book takes a few chapters to get into but once it gets going there's no stopping the fantasy with a side of romance leaving you wanting more till the very last page.
At the end of the day I am basic. Give me a love triangle, fae or a dark brooding prince and you can have my money. These Hollow Vows gave me all of the above and overall I’m a very happy customer. The plot: Brie hates the Fae and refuses to have anything to do with them. But when her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court to pay a debt, she'll do whatever it takes to get her back—including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the Seelie. Brie's only choice is to pose as a potential bride for Prince Ronan, and she soon finds herself falling for him. Unwilling to let her heart distract her, she accepts help from a band of Unseelie misfits with their own secret agenda. As Brie spends time with their mysterious leader, Finn, she struggles to resist his seductive charm. Caught between two dangerous courts, Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty. And with her heart. My thoughts: I was well and truly surprised by some of the plot twists, especially at the end. THV was one of the weirdest reading experiences I’ve had in awhile. At first it seemed basic, very basic. However, as the plot progressed more and more I found it original. Is that even possible in YA fantasy today? While I can see why they call it ACOTAR meets TCP, but it managed to take similar points and make it it’s own. While I was like oh this happened in ACOTAR it never felt like a rip off (aka when every dystopian was a carbon copy of THG). There were a lot of directions I thought it would go in at first which initially put me off. However, as the book progressed a lot of negatives I’d picked up were explained at about 30% so I’m glad I stuck with it. Characters: Brie - I’ll make a disclaimer here - I rarely like main characters. I don’t know if it’s because we’re in their heads I can’t connect with them. I prefer the side characters and watching them through the eyes of the protagonist. So my thoughts on Brie are those I have of most MCs, she’s okay? However, the one thing that made me want to throw the kindle across the room was the “I don’t wear stupid restrictive dresses” trope coming out in full force. What is it with new YA fantasy that does this. Yes we get it you like pants when all girls normally wear dresses. It’s always put across as a more movement thing but a flowy skirt will give you more movement than tight pants. But of course authors ignore this in an attempt at “look at my different feminist character she wears pants!!!” I’m side eying The Shadows Between Us right now. Luckily this book did not fall into the feminist issues that book had. Finn - look, gimme a dark broody smirking prince and I’m happy. I liked his character. Personally I think he had more to him than just the dark-forbidden-romance-choice-for-the-main-character. But even if he’s just that the author did a good job of writing it Sebastian - when I started reading and I thought I knew where this book was going I was very meh about this dude. For every broody darkling character you need standard-blond-American-high-school-jock-character (Mal, Tamlin etc don’t try and deny it you know I’m right). When we progress in the book and certain plot points develop I was pleasantly surprised at the character development and found him interesting Side characters- there aren’t actually a huge amount that really stand out. For those that were there the main ones that I can remember were Finn’s little rebel group. I must admit though I do have a soft spot for Kane This isn’t a spoiler as it’s in the description. There are two princes and it’s obvious the first is Finn and then there’s the Prince of the Seelie. WHY YALL IN THE GOODREADS REVIEWS LOVE THIS DUDE I DO NOT KNOW. Like why. After that ending he has your heart?? I fell like when I read ACOTAR was first released and I was the only one in my friend group yelling about Rhys and booing Tamlin (feelings on the first changed later lol). The negativeish points: 1. When I did the first few chapters I started taking notes on what I didn’t like. As I got further into the book I had to delete them all as all the plot conveniences I’d found frustrating were explained perfectly. So for anyone thinking of DNFing early cause you think you know where it’s going and presume it’s another carbon copy fantasy just stick with it. 2. I will start this by saying this was an ARC provided by NetGalley so I do think this may be the issue with the following. There were a couple scenes that were set up incredibly confusing. I wasn’t sure if we were in a dream, but we’d actually changed settings. As mentioned this is likely an ARC issue as there were some typos and the formatting was a bit skewed. Positives: 1. I loved the world Lexi Ryan created. I really liked the different creatures and how the society works as a whole. 2. Finn. That is all for point 2. 3. The plot twists and turns. Final thoughts: I really enjoyed this one. The plot felt different and took me on twists I did not see coming (honestly some of them I’m kicking myself I didn’t see). The world was well fleshed out and I enjoyed reading all the different characters. Overall a really fun reading experience and would recommend. 4.5/5 stars
I got "These hollow vows" by Lexi Ryan of Netgalley. For an honest review. OH MY GOSH..... I'm really happy I got this ARC, and I really wanted it. Cause the description sold me and I got what I was promised. I couldn't put this book away, I had to keep reading. That's how good I think it is and I'm picky. The book has - hot fae male - love triangle - mystery, secrets and a curse This book seduced me, made me yell at my kindle "noo don't do it!!!" And it broke me in pieces and now I want revenge. And I really hope there will be a second book, cause that cliffhanger. I can deffently recoment this book.
What can I say? I loved this book. This is definitely a must read book if you enjoy YA faerie novels - definitely for fans of SJM and Holly Black. Although this faerie idea nothing new, I love the way that Lexi Ryan built the world and really stuck to the rules of faerie as well as sprinkling in interesting facts about both the Seelie and Unseelie Court, which really engaged me and kept me interested, as well as that dash of heart melting romance which I am a HUGE SUCKER for. I really loved all three characters, and I'm excited for the next part of the story!
As soon as I saw “Cruel Prince meets A Court of Thorns and Roses” I knew I had to get my grubby little hands on this book (and it did also say “sexy” soo… count me in!) Abriella (Brie) absolutely hates the Fae. After her mother runs away to Faerie, Brie becomes a thief in order to pay for the roof over her and her sister’s heads. But when her sister is sold to the cruel Unseelie king, Brie will do whatever it takes to get her back, even if that means making a deal with the king himself. This book had me hooked straight away! The writing is so engaging, the characters *chefs kiss*, and the world building was so so good - the different courts, the human world, the creatures… I loved it all! Plenty of twist and turns, magic, fae, romance, and broody hot males… need I say more?? Brie finds herself torn between two hot AF fae princes, each with their own agenda. Can she trust either of them? Now, I’m not usually a “love triangle” kind of gal, but listen, I didn’t mind it. Even if I KNOW who she should end up with, I still love the dynamics of each relationship as we go. Just saying, my book bf cart has a new addition *I see you Finn*. I’m still not over how much I liked this book! UUUGHFFF THE ENDING!!! How am I going to manage waiting a WHOLE YEAR for book 2?! So, incase you can’t tell, I really really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it for all you fae lovers out there!
I really really loved 'These Hollow Vows', the author has created such a beautiful yet complex faerie world which although is full of monsters and deceit, I somehow still want to be there right now. Even though there are very few wholly good characters within this story I somehow still adore them all, especially Sebastian and Finn, usually in a love triangle there's a clear winner for me, but I just couldn't choose in this case! I will recommend this book to everyone I love it so much, if you love faerie stories then 100% you should give this a go!!
This book gripped me from the first page. I thoroughly enjoyed this, It reminded me of SJM and it felt like a classic ya book. The characters were lovable and you never knew who to trust which I loved and the entire book carried a great sense of urgency that spurred the story on. I would highly picking this book up as I devoured it in a couple of sittings. The world was extremely well built as was the magic system and the politics and deception's of the other courts just added another layer of story building that was fascinating.
Wow! I don't even know where to start with this review. This book was absolutely incredible. This is the first book by Lexi Ryan I have picked up. I know she writes Contemporary Romance and as someone who rarely reads that genre, I've just never read any of them. After hearing that she was bringing out a fantasy novel, I couldn't wait to pick it up. And let me tell you... she has arrived on the fantasy scene with a bang! I loved every single moment of These Hollow Vows! Right from the very first page I was super intrigued about this story and I couldn't put it down! I don't think I have enjoyed a Fae book this much since Sarah J Maas.... yes it was THAT good! These Hollow Vows follows the story of Brie. Brie is struggling to survive paying off the debts that she owes. She could easily make the money from bargaining with the Fae, but she refuses to do that as she despises them. But when her sister is sold to a dangerous Fae, she plunges headfirst into the Fae lands and will do anything to save her sister. I seriously cannot put my love for this book into coherent words. I fell head over heels in love with Lexi's superb character development and world building. I absolutely loved this concept of someone who hates the fae having to work with not only one, but two of the fae courts to try and save her sister. Now, before reading this book I was a little bit worried as the blurb shows that there is obviously a love triangle and I have never been one to love a love triangle. If you're having the same concerns, let me put your mind to rest... this book is phenomenal and THIS is how you do a love triangle right! There was none of this 'oh who should I choose' or 'OMG two guys are in love with me' that I feel like you often find in a YA love triangle. Instead Brie was this totally kick ass heroine who was like who should I trust? Can I trust these guys to help me get my sister back? Why am I feeling like this? It was done PERFECTLY!! And I loved both guys so, so much! I switched my "team" like every couple of chapters. It was utterly brilliant. These Hollow Vows was such a fantastic, romantic and steamy read! If you think YA books can't have steam... read this book and you will eat your damn words! I loved this book so much. I guessed some of the twists and turns, but that didn't stop me enjoying the book. I actually ended up getting super excited when I'd guessed things right. And those that I guessed right? They happened in a way I would never have expected so it was still surprising and kept me on the edge of my seat. If you're a lover of Fae romances then this one is a must-read! I cannot wait to see how everything plays out in the second book. So what are you waiting for? Go pre-order it now!!
Thank you NetGallery and Hodder & Stoughton for the eARC of These Hollow Vows. First up, the US cover of this book is absolutely stunning, and I will definitely have to add a physical copy to my bookshelves as soon as it’s published. The synopsis of this book which markets it at fans of ACOTAR, one of my favourite series, catapulted it right to the top of my TBR list, so I was delighted when I was approved for an ARC. When her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie, Brie enters the fairy realm to try and free her at all costs. To gain access, she poses as a potential bride for the Seelie prince. Brie is forced to enter a deal with the Unseelie King, agreeing to steal three magical relics from the Seelie court. She accepts the help of a band of Unseelie rebels, and soon her loyalties are divided between the Seelie and Unseelie courts, as she finds herself falling for the charms of Prince Ronan, as well as the brooding and charismatic Finn. The story contains magic and romance, betrayal, and while I found some plot twists predictable, I was totally engrossed in the story and couldn’t put this book down. I adore a story with a love triangle, and this YA fantasy certainly delivered on that count. These Hollow Vows is the first instalment in a duology, and while it took me most of the book to pick a side, I’m firmly on #teamfinn and can’t wait for the sequel to find out who Brie ends up with.
Loving all things fantasy and fae I was looking forward to reading this book. It has an interesting world build and characters that develop along the way. What I wasn't prepared for was all of the plot twists along the way. Seriously! I thought I'd be safe reading this book, it'd be a nice fantasy but oh no, by the end of it my heart was torn out from that plot twist of an ending! I need a sequel ASAP.
I was waiting to be approved for this book and was very excited to read it as it was all of bookstagram. The book is a YA fantasy about magic, fairies, kingdoms and of course intrigue and suspense. I found it very easy and quick to read. I devoured it within two days! I loved the world building and actually served the plot progression without giving too much details. The writing for me is addictive and makes you want to read the book in one sitting. I found the plot really interesting and although had a lot of common fantasy characteristics/tropes, it had its own personality. I also liked a lot the characters in this book! Each one of them is well developed, strong and have qualities that makes them memorable and relatable in a way. There will be another book as readers realise by the ending and I can’t wait to learn what happens next!
First and foremost, I want to thank NetGalley for sharing this ARC with me in exchange for an honest review. I love a Fae YA romance, I am a simple woman so this immediately ticked all the boxes. Brie has grown up hating the Fae world but when her sister's life depends on her joining a world that she swore she hated, she has to give up her pride. Playing the Seelie and Unseelie Court against one another, especially when she begins to fall for both Fae princes. I usually hate love triangles, but I appreciated this one a bit more than usual. Mostly because I saw it as a young woman battling with two sides of herself. Trying to stay with what she knows and the allure of the new and unknown. Think Shadow and Bone. While this novel isn't reinventing the wheel I just hate it up and could not recommend it more highly. I cannot wait for book two! Five stars!
Brie hates fairies and the Seelie world but when her sister is sold to the cruel king she has no choice but to travel through the portal in order to save her. Very simply; I loved this book. Brie was a strong and captivating character to follow and the politics and intrigue of the faerie world was gripping. I finished the book in one sitting and now I'm counting down the days until the next one! Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review
Ok so when is the next one coming?! I knew from the first few pages thats I would love this book, it’s so up my street and such an easy quick paced read. The story is a bit of a love triangle. Brie is a thief and a good one, so good that she’s attracted the attention of a Fae king to help him steal artefacts from his rival to bring him more power with the realm. When Brie agrees to the deal, she finds herself having to gain the trust of the prince to get close to the artefacts and enlists the help of Finn and his band of misfits. Brie needs to gain and hold their trust, whilst taking liberties and remain undetected in her mission. I just loved it. Every page of it. I will say elements of the plot were predictable but I don’t mind that at all. There is so there too unpack that it keeps you reading regardless. Brie is kind of a cool character she’s pretty determined and fairly stubborn which I like. It feels like she developed through the book in waves, from cocky thief, to insecure, to vulnerable, to scorned and fiery. I particularly loved the way we left her character in this book with all she experienced becoming an exposed part of her. It was really amazing and the cliffhanger ending leaves me reeling for the next instalment. Sebastian, sickly sweet and ‘too good’ for Brie, one of those Il die for you characters which sometimes comes off a as needy but I believe is exactly what is intended of his character and that comes off well. Finn I loved. I really would like a lot more with him in the next book, smouldering, mysterious and broody, love love love. The world building in this book isn’t huge but the law and politics is well explained and easy to follow, the various courts are well developed with solid back stories that make sense and present themselves well throughout. The pacing of this book I felt was really great, I never had a lull or break in the story, it felt like it moved along at a great rate and I couldn’t put it down. Prepare for smut, that right there is a little sexy time in this book and it’s smoking with sexual tension. All in all it was a fabulous read for me and I’m off to investigate the release date for book two! Thank you to the Publisher, Lexi Ryan and to Netgalley for allowing me an advanced ecopy of this fantastic book to read for my impartial review, it was thoroughly enjoyable.
Thank you to NetGalley for this arc! I was immediately drawn into These Hollow Vows from the very beginning, because who doesn’t love reading about a red-haired thief? The writing style was also very easy to follow while being compelling so my attention was quickly gained. We also jump into the plot only a few chapters in! I instantly felt The Cruel Prince/ACOTAR vibes and for someone who loved both series, I knew I’d find yet another novel about fae to add to my favourites. Also received Cinderella/The Selection vibes as well! A white haired seelie male who wears his locks in a bun? What’s not to love about Sebastian?! But that’s not all... we also have a dark haired unseelie fae with silver eyes, often caught with a book in his hands. (Yikes Finn sounds delicious huh) These two males are on opposing sides and Abriella needs to capture the seelie’s heart while resisting Finn’s charms. Yes yes Lexi Ryan gave us all of this to devour, she did not hold back We follow Abriella into the fae kingdom, when the doors open to their realm, inviting women to find the best match for their seelie prince. Of course Abriella sneaks in to rescue her sister who was sold and snatched away by none other than the Shadow King himself. The plot grows deeper when we learn about the two opposing sides: light vs dark. Sun vs Shadow. Seelie vs Unseelie Lexi Ryan sets scenes perfectly. I could imagine the ball scene so vividly and the atmosphere was always described so well, I felt the anticipation in the air and the tension that was consistently built. There is of course a love triangle and the love triangle required more spice. Definitely had so much potential and opportunities for a dark and twisted romance. If only Finn appeared more often and with longer scenes, I would been high from dark fae smut *sighs* I’m not sure if it was the format but inner monologue wasn’t differentiated with the use of italics so that was confusing. Overall, the plot never failed to have me second guessing every character and their motives and I loved how I needed to theorise every chapter or so because I couldn’t for the life of me figure anything out! I couldn’t pick a side until the very end.. and even when I reached the end, I was gasping because the final reveal really took me by surprise. Some of the tropes/topics in this that I loved: Opposing sides in faerie, Unseelie and Seelie, shadow powers, love triangle, magical artefacts, questionable motives, human girls selected for the fae prince to choose a princess, villains and more.
My bookish heart has rarely felt so full of love and emotional for a book like this! Other times has been with books like the ACOTAR series and The Invisible Life of Addie Larue. I was in the book, heart and soul, from page 1 until far past when I finished the last sentence. It takes a mix of several elements to create a piece of writing that is beyond five stars but my fae Goddess does this have it all! The writing style and wording lets it flow into your mind like it’s faerie wine; combining this with the vividly captivating plotline and characters you can’t help but get emotionally attached to at a heart level, and you have yourself a book that I will be recommending to every person I can. Lexi Ryan has created an in-depth world that vividly comes to life through her writing and imagination put to paper. Every detail is thought out so well that you lose yourself in the realm and characters effortlessly, never being able to predict what will happen next. I have never read a book where time literally disappeared in a flash. Four to five hours felt like thirty minutes, if that, as I read through the night wanting and needing to follow the story and Abriella more. Even then just as I had a few chapters left and thought it was just going to wrap up for the ending I thought it would be, it again surprised me and dragged me even deeper into the story. It is so easy to relate to Abriella on a personal level and the writing let you feel every emotion she does. The characters are nowhere close to 2D ones like in some young adult stories; these are full blooded come to live people and Fae who live in the world you read of. If there was a way to describe something that is deeper than your imagination and closer to reality, that would be how it feels reading each word as they flow off the page. I know I have a very vivid imagination, but every time I had to put this book down, I physically had to blink myself back into reality. I only have one last thing to say. That last page I felt deep in my heart and damn time can not go quick enough for the sequel to be in my hands and I can continue this story that every reader will not only fall in love with, but emotional connect to on so many levels.
this was so magical and twisty and oh my god, i loved it! if you love the fae, goblins, magic, betrayal and court intrigue then you will LOVE this book. these hollow vows is a ya fantasy debut about brie, a girl shrouded in mystery and desperate to save her sister from the grasp of the unseelie king. the heroine, brie, was 100% one of my favourite things about this novel. she is unapologetically herself and willing to partake in deception and betrayal to save her family, a quality that she does not relinquish all the way through the book. what i loved about this book was that whilst there was a love triangle, it was done so well that i went back and forth between the interests just as brie did. i felt connected to both of them and they each brought their own qualities to the table, with them both being equally fleshed out. it's a testament to lexi ryan that in each scene that the love interests had with brie, i though 'they're my favourite' and then completely backtracked on the next scene with the other prince and thought, 'wait, they're my favourite now'. i loved how fairytale-esque this book was. so many fantasy books seem to shy away from fairytale monsters and so i was so excited when goblins came into the picture. with magic mirrors, portals and magical relics, these hollow vows is 100% a world brimming with magic, legends and power and i loved it so much. thank you so much to netgalley and hodder stoughton for this e-arc for me to review!
Amazing, spellbinding, scheming, heated and powerful, These Hollow Vows quickly drew me in and just never let me go. So full of intrigue and complex twists, you can never be sure just what lies in wait for Brie next. Whilst I had some suspicions, and perhaps even expected a few of the twists, just how they were then woven together, the consequences that resulted from them, left me breathless with awe. Truths were painstakingly revealed as each layer of the story was slowly peeled away. Not that the pace ever felt slow, every detail held purpose and meaning, foreshadowing allowed us to consider possibilities but each new truth also managed to distract from the next one. There wasn't a single part of this book that I would change, not one thing. I can not wait for the next book, I do hope the wait isn't too long, because oh I have to know what Brie will do now, as a woman scorned. The book is written entirely from Brie's point of view, a necessary step so that we learn about the fae world, the Seelie and Unseelie courts along with her. I adored her, along with what was quite a cast of supporting characters. I'm hoping we learn a lot more about some of Finn's crew in the next book, some of them felt more like convenient pegs to hand a plot twist on, but even that couldn't manage to lower my rating. Lexi Blake has been hiding an amazing talent for writing high quality and entertaining fantasy. I'm just happy that she has finally decided to share it with the world. That final twist, well it certainly explained some things about Sebastian's seemingly calm reaction to Brie's revelations.. I am already looking forward to re-reading this in preparation for the release of book #2.
Thank you so much to Hodderscape for an arc of this book. The book follows Brie, a girl working herself to the bone trying to pay off never ending debts to her cruel aunt and keeping her younger sister alive. The only way to keep up the payments is to steal from the ridiculously rich. Brie has always loved the dark shadows and somehow manages to conceal herself more easily than others. When the debts spiral her younger sister is sold to the Fae, Brie will do anything to get her back, that includes making a deal with the awful Unseelie King. Truths are revealed and Brie must chose between 2 Fae Princes, but the Fae are cunning and devious creatures and not everything is at it seems. Ok I am not a massive fan of love triangles, they make me anxious, but I managed to push aside my weird anxiety and bloody loved this book! I'm not going to lie, the main character got on my nerves, there was just something about her that really irritated me. However as the book progressed I did start to like her more. The 2 fae princes are obviously gorgeous and swoon worthy, as soon as we met a moody fae prince with silver eyes and tattooes I was sold, welcome to the harem Finn. I know who my money was on from the start but holy shit pickles that ending!! The only downside to getting an early arc is the fact you have to wait even longer for the next book! The world building was great, the differences from the human world and fae world were made so clear and I could really visualise the surroundings as everything was described. There was plenty going on in the story to keep me turning the pages and I cannot wait to find out what is going to happen next! 5 stars!!!!
These Hollow Vows starts off in the human world, and we find out that fae kind of just appeared to humans one day. I won’t lie, I wish this would actually happen. Would 100% go jump into the fae world. Our main character, Brie, is basically the most anti-fae person in the story though, and that makes sense due to what we find out about her history. Added to that, humans are being sold to fae as slaves and so she can’t help but be disgusted at the idea of fae. She lives with her sister, Jas, and the story starts off in a very Cinderella way – an evil Aunt keeps them in a small basement room and makes them both do chores for her daughters. It pulls on your heart strings but we find this out after seeing that Brie is willing to go as far as possible to keep those she loves safe. We also meet Bash very early on, her hunky neighbour training to be a mage. I found it a little predictable and expected what happens with him early on in the book but… I still very much so enjoyed the reveal of it. Unfortunately, on the same day that a ball is announced in the Seelie Court, Brie finds out that her aunt has decided to sell her sister to the Unseelie King as a slave. Even though Brie can’t stand the idea, she realises that her best chance to save her sister is to go to the ball and try find her way to the Unseelie Court. Cue one fast-paced main storyline of Brie running around trying to save her sister no matter what. I’m a sucker for fairytale influences and there’s a fair bit in These Hollow Vows. Aside from the early Cinderella comparison we also get a mirror that shows you what you ask it to show… like in Beauty and the Beast. And there’s a wardrobe you head into which takes you elsewhere, I guess a little like the Narnia wardrobe. They’re all elements that fit so well into the fae world though and Lexi does an excellent job at making them work for the story. We also get to meet goblin “Where do you think legends begin, if not from truth?” Princes though. Hot. Damn. I can’t lie, the Unseelie Prince Finn went and stole my heart from the very beginning. You know those characters that act moody as hell but then… actually a cinnamon roll (albeit a confusing one)? Yep. I loved him. He’s the heir to the Unseelie throne but his horrid Uncle is claiming it instead, so he tries to get Brie to help him get the throne back. I’m going to contradict myself here, because usually I don’t like love triangles. But there is one in These Hollow Vows with Brie, the Unseelie Prince and Seelie Prince and it just works so well. Lexi writes it in a believable, natural way and you can really see how conflicted it makes Abriella. (I still rooted for Finn throughout though, definitely Team Finn always). 'Faerie can’t exist without the light and the dark, the sun and the shadow.' In essence, if you can’t tell already… I really loved this and I’m dying for the next part to see what happens to Abriella! More Finn is also needed in my life too. That’s a fact. But yeah, will 100% be getting a finished copy and trying to amass any special editions I can get my hands on too!
"You are only powerless if you believe you are." And Abriella is anything, but powerless. She is in love, confused, torn and throw head first into a world she never wanted to be in. The author takes us along for the ride with ups, downs and blind corners, but it's a ride you'll want to ride again (tell us there's another book! Soon?!) The characters are amazing. I'm Team Finn, but even I had my swooning moments over Bash. Brie is a strong female lead who does what she needs to to survive and does 95% of it in flowy dresses and still kicks ass. The supporting cast of characters are well rounded and make the story come alive. The twists are great. Some you expect and some knock you for a loop. All woven together for an epic fae tale that will leave you wanting more. Please, give us more! Grab this book and prepare to devour it in a single sitting. Binge worthy! Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the arc.
Abriella “Brie” Kincaid and her younger sister Jasalyn live in the rotten quarters of their wicked aunt and cousins home, for a costly monthly fee and where they do all of the household chores. When Brie’s aunt sells Jasalyn to the Unseelie Court’s self-proclaimed King to make up for a late payment, Abriella is distraught. However, the very same night, the portal between the Fae realm and mortal realm is open, because the Queen of the Seelie Court is holding a ball to find a bride match for her heir. Brie decides to crash this party to find a way to save her sister. What transpires is a treacherous adventure full of revelations and challenges that will change everything for Brie and both the Fae courts. UHHH… that??? Ending?? Is the author or Hodder & Stoughton going to pay for my therapy? Because I’m obsessed with this story. I still think about it MONTHS later… it literally haunts me in the night. These Hollow Vows played so many mind games to the point I never knew who or what to believe. It is a deliciously deceptive introduction into what I can only call an addictive first in series that promises an exciting and dangerous fuelled horizon. Brie is a mostly likeable heroine. From the story’s opening you know Brie’s gutsy and committed, through a similar parallel to ACOTAR’s Feyre hunting in the woods to survive, but for Brie, it’s more of a Six of Crows vibe, as she steals from a high security vault to survive instead. Brie’s underdog appeal carries on throughout the story but admittedly she does become rather infuriating. Brie acted in ways contrary to what she knew would be in her best interests as a human in a Fae world, and more or less completely disregarded her own self preservation. Because of this, she made me groan and resist the urge to throw my kindle across the room… all the while still rooting for her. Where Brie starts out is completely different from where she is by the end of the book. The book’s events change everything for her and it equally thrilled and pained me. Arguably the biggest part of the book is its tantalising love triangle. I loved it but by gosh did it hurt - which shows it was done well enough to pack such impact. The romance was delightfully saucy and irresistible. Honestly the steam factor was nearly off the charts. I was flipping the pages and sniffling thinking “What does a mere mortal girl like me have to do to have two Faes fawn over her?!” I kept thinking about that song “torn between two lovers” when it came to the boys… On the one hand you have Sebastian, who is the cute boy next door who Brie’s known for two years, yet you can’t shake it feels too good to be true. Then there’s Finnian, who is moody, cold, aloof and extremely secretive, so much so common sense would tell you to avoid him like the plague. Yet he comes across as the mysterious bad boy you want to know more about and can’t help but rise to the vibes he exudes. I think the author was very clever in how she fed into both romances to create the triangle. She played my heart like a fiddle and for the entirety of the book had me undecided on where my head and heart lay, until the very last page. The love triangle will undoubtedly continue in the sequel and… *squeals* I CANT WAIT. It’s as much my guilty pleasure as Love Island is!! However, I do wish it had been more explicit - sorry not sorry - no half measures here *blushes and hides face* As much as it left me in pain, because it was such fun, I’d likely reread it. In short I was in my element. I was beyond invested in the characters and plot turns, especially with its easy YA style readability and great pace. The entire book is an enjoyable blend of romance and fantasy: it’s action packed, underpinned by subtle politics and the heart pounding romance. I’m curious to discover more and hopefully see a greater development of the world building in These Twisted Bonds. I hope to see more of the politics of the seelie and unseelie courts, their different and similar magics, their histories and the people involved. All of this has made me insatiable for the rest of this series. These Hollow Vows is the newest Fae obsession and I know I won’t be alone. It gives so many questions, so many feelings, so much to theorise and agonise over, and the ending guarantees the sequel is a must read. I can’t wait for the inevitable fandom of this series to take off so I can feed my obsession even more… Until then, quoting the magnificent Jane Austen, I will be half agony, half hope, tortured over what the sequel will deliver, and quite literally count down the days until its release. Thank you super super super mega amounts to Hodder & Stoughton, @readeatretreat and Netgalley for giving me an e-ARC in exchange for this honest review.
4.5 stars (rounded up) A huge thank you to Hodder and Stoughton, Lexi Ryan and Netgalley for providing an eArc copy in exchange for my honest opinion of These Hollow Vows. From the get go, the premise of the book hooked me in. I've been on a fantasy romance kick lately, and this did not sound like one I wanted to miss out on. I was a little apprehensive that it had been compared to The Cruel Prince, but ACOTAR? Sign me up. Human girl caught between the Seelie and Unseelie courts, whilst juggling two hot men - yes yes yes. I read this in one sitting and loved it. The bond between Brie and her sister was so refreshing to see. A lot of these books pen the sibling relationship as being strained or distorted in some way, so it was nice to see Brie genuinely caring for her sister and protecting her. Aside from the sibling relationship, I was intrigued by her relationship with Sebastian, and more so by Finn and his group. Whilst I liked Sebastian, I'm a sucker for a dark and brooding type, which fits Finn so well. I enjoyed seeing the shift from suspicion to something else within the group around Brie. Another thing that was refreshing was the plot twists. Whilst I did see some of them coming, it was written in such a way that I just couldn't help but still be surprised after working them out. The ones that I didn't guess had me genuinely shocked. These Hollow Vows lulls you into a false sense of security when you work one plot twist out, only to completely wipe the floor with your theories in the next instant. My only gripe about this would be that I now have to wait forever for the follow up!
"Abriella, every star in that sky shines for you" Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder and Stoughton once again for providing me with an eArc of this book in exchange for an honest review. I'm going to start by saying I simply could not put this book down. This kept me interested the whole way through especially with the twists and turns that I didn't see coming. I loved the world-building in this and I could clearly picture things in my mind's eye from the dresses to the balls and everything else. I also liked the sibling bond and how Abriella was willing to do anything for Jas. Abriella is a strong female character but she can seem a little dense. I know I said I didn't see some twists and turns coming but I saw them more than Brie. Sebastian to me felt like he was putting a lot on Brie and although he knew she was saying no he was still there always at the side waiting for her to change her mind. Finn on the other hand although he's the grump Unseelie Prince I have a soft spot for him. My biggest negative about this book is how long I am going to have to wait to find out what happens next. I honestly cannot wait.
Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder and Stoughton for sending me an E-ARC in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own and any quotes used are subject to change. “If I know anything it’s that I’ll never trust the fae.” Upon finishing this book, my first reaction was “no think, just pain”. My emotions were all over the place. I didn’t know how to feel, what characters to like and not like, what love interest to root for – the ending had me wanting to read more, but alas, the next book isn’t out for another year. The Hollow Vows follows Abriella, or Brie (such a beautiful name, right?) who travels to the land of the fae and is caught between two faerie courts and their very handsome, very seductive princes. The catch? Brie hates the fae. From the synopsis, I knew I would love this book and it did not disappoint. When I saw that it was “The Cruel Prince meets A Court of Thorns and Roses” I was instantly intrigued, however, after reading it, I didn’t feel like it was that. It was quite refreshing and like nothing I’ve read before. “I think of myself more like a shadow, unnoticed and more useful than people bother to notice.” The book started off quite slow but quickly picked up once the main plot started and then I could barely put the book down. The world-building was quite strong, I understood the world and the fantasy creatures they included (fae, goblins, banshees…) and the fae courts and what they stood for. Whilst the fae are not the fae you’re used to (the type that can’t lie but bend the truth, are vicious etc.), it still felt like a book set in the fae world. The magic system was very muted and not as focused on for most of the story which is something new to me and something that I really enjoyed and is only used by some characters. I absolutely love the love triangle trope, and I know some people are sceptical when going into books with love triangles but this a love triangle that is done exceeding, and frustratingly well. Reading the book, I kept going back and forth between which love interest to choose. There were so many intriguing reveals and heart-breaking reveals that I was constantly questioning my choice and changing who I prefer and wanted Brie to end up with. Now for the vibes I got from the book – I got quite a few vibes from different stories and books. I got Robin Hood and Cinderella vibes from Brie and her backstory with her sister and in one scene, I got Baghra from Shadow and Bone vibes. In another scene, I got Kaz Brekker/The Darkling showdown (from Netflix’s Shadow and Bone) vibes. As a reviewer with a disability, I want to touch on the magical healing trope. I’m not a big fan of the magical healing trope as a lot of authors use it to cure characters of something that is usually otherwise incurable (i.e. paralysis). However, Ryan doesn’t do this. She uses it to treat things that would be curable in the real world (cuts, bruises etc.) and I loved that it was only used for these. Sometimes Brie could be a bit annoying but who isn’t? We’re all a bit annoying at times, right? If anything, it made me like Brie more. I would have liked to see a bit more of the side characters and maybe their jealousy (continuing with the Cinderella vibes) but I have a feeling we’ll see more of these characters in book two. All in all, I am in love with this book and I can’t wait for you all to read it later this month! “Good thing I’m anything but common.”