The Hollow Heart

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Pub Date 9 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 9 Sep 2021

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'A doorway to a world of magic, vengeance and romance that will keep you guessing until the last pages' Cassandra Clare, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shadowhunter Chronicles

Intrigue, romance, and magic abound in The Hollow Heart, the heart-stopping conclusion to Marie Rutkoski's Forgotten Gods duology.

Nirrim's heart is lost, traded to the god of thieves in order to restore her people's memories of their city's history. Meanwhile, Sid, the person she once loved most, has returned to Herran to take up her duty to the crown.

But frightening rumours are growing in the Herrani court: of a new threat rising across the sea, of magic unleashed upon the world, and of a cruel, black-haired queen who can push false memories into your mind, so that you believe your dearest friends to be your enemies.

Sid doesn't know that this queen is Nirrim, seeking revenge against a world that has wronged her. Can Sid save Nirrim from herself? And does Nirrim even want to be saved?

As blood is shed and war begins, Sid and Nirrim find that it might not matter what they want . . . for the gods have their own plans.

*** Praise for Marie Rutkoski ***

'Lush, romantic, and powerful. In The Midnight Lie, Marie Rutkoski spins a sensuous tale about awakening to the truth' Malinda Lo, author of Ash

'Utterly immersive and gorgeous' Roshani Chokshi, New York Times-bestselling author of The Gilded Wolves

'A doorway to a world of magic, vengeance and romance that will keep you guessing until the last pages' Cassandra Clare, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shadowhunter Chronicles


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ISBN 9781529357516
PRICE £14.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

What is there to say besides I'd eat my heart out over this series? Sid emphatically stole the show in the second half of the Forgotten Gods duology; the sheer and semi-everlasting pining that pulses between these star-crossed and so terribly, tragically stubborn sapphics is truly the stuff of epics, and I was teetering on the edge of my seat with pins-and-needles for a surefire 99.9% of the events of this dark, despairing story. I wholly expected to suffer in the extreme going in, but (please skip over the subsequent sentence to skirt a subtle spoiler or two) wasn't prepared (and didn't dare hope) for an ending so spherically satisfying, and I'm eternally in Marie Rutkoski's debt for hitting the ball such a good way out of the park with this sequel. Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for kindly passing on this ARC! 💫

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This was definitely one of my most anticipated books of 2021 for sure and I’m so happy and pleased and appreciative that I was able to receive an advanced readers copy. I really loved the PoV changes between the characters even the unknown god telling its own story throughout. It’s always fun to read from different perspectives and I think Rutkoski’s done an excellent job at handling it, especially because it can get a little difficult to follow along when there are so many but it was executed very well in this instance. I loved the characters and the plot and the journeys and everything about it really it was perfect. It definitely topped book one for me. Credit to Marie Rutkoski.

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In order to prepare for this review I did a reread of The Midnight Lie and I have to say I think that is the best thing you can do if you're planning to read this book. You *might* be able to pick it up cold but the emotional payoff you would get would pale in comparison to how it feels to see the journey both Nirrim and Sid go on in this duology. Those looking for some sapphic yearning you will not be dissapointed. As with The Midnight Lie this book surprised me with just how compelling it was, I found that in the case of The Hollow Heart I was almost more nervous going in - I've been burned by a sequel one too many times - but as soon as I started reading the writing enveloped me, the story was fast and thrilling and I was hooked enough to read the book in one sitting. I think conceptually the first book is strongest but in terms of character and themes, I think this second book is more interesting. It really could have gone down the 'bog standard YA' route and instead we get more of a look at power and retribution and morality, as well as perception of those things from the outside. I thought it worked very well and seemed to pull off the tricky character arcs that I've seen other books attempt and catastrophically bungle. This is an incredibly strong duology from start to finish and one I will definitely be revisiting in the future. I'll be hugely excited to see what Marie Rutkoski has next in store - be sure I will be reading it.

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An unforgettable tale of independence, love, and being true to one's self, THE HOLLOW HEART is the perfect ending to the tale started in THE MIDNIGHT LIE.

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4.5 stars Headlines: A treat for Winner's Trilogy fans Emotions in shreds Ooof, what a read and culmination to this duology set within The Winner's Trilogy world. I have been on an emotional roller coaster, I'm a little dizzy and sad it's over. The Sid and Nirrim from The Midnight Lie were different in this story, one more mature and the other completely different; I was utterly glued to the page. I lived for the time in with Sid and others (trying not to give too much away here) in Herrani and I simply loved time with those characters of old, seeing them in a different light, through a different lens. Sid really grew from that cad-ish character we saw in book one to a person with self-realisation over a number of factors. There were a number of clever twists to the tale in Herrani. Seeing Sid's mother in a state of weakness was kind of shocking, her father was warm and strong. Ohhh, the feels here. I found reading about Nirrim discomforting, her situation was painful as were her actions. I longed for restoration of her lost self and connection with those she had loved. I found the whole separation of these two painful, emotional and compelling. The weaving in of the forgotten gods was also clever plotting. It wrapped up quickly towards the finish and I definitely could have managed some more of what happened after but I'm not complaining. This is one of the strongest and enjoyable fantasy duologies I've read in a while and both installments were equally as good as one another. Marie Rutkoski remains one of those authors who I am drawn to on plot and characterisation with a unique fantasy world. Roll on her next incarnation. "Mortals say it as though they can feel the hand of the beloved inside their ribs, palm supporting the heart, fingers curled lightly around the trembling muscle. Pain could come so easily. All it would take is a good, hard squeeze." Thank you to Hodder Books for the finished review copy.

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Rating: 4.5* The hollow heart was my most anticipated release for this year, and i am SO glad that the sequel didn’t disappoint, finding it a really enjoyable read. Marie Rutkoski’s writing was purely magical as usual, and even though the sequel didn’t focus on the romance as much as the first book did, the plot felt so strong and I loved seeing the separate journeys of all the characters join up together through the different POVs. The POV’s alternated between Nirrim, Sid (YES!! A SID POV!!) and a new character, and I found the new characters POV incredibly intriguing, and it greatly complimented the storyline with the added mystery. Watching both Sid and Nirrims relationships with the other characters in the book was incredibly satisfying, especially seeing the further development of their characters through this, and I LOVED the involvement of Kestrin. Personally, I felt like having so much Kestrin content made up slightly for the lack of Sidnirrim - but I feel like if you haven’t read the Winners trilogy you may feel slightly left out by this. Having said that, even though there was a lack of Sid and Nirrim together, the pining this paved way for was incredible!!! My heart ached and was torn apart several times during this book, I just needed them to be reunited!! The ending to this book did feel slightly short, yet still managed to be fulfilling and I finished the book feeling satisfied yet also very empty with having to say goodbye to Sid and Nirrim (Seriously, who am I meant to cry over now?!). I have loved the Forgotten Gods duology so much, Rutkoski really swept me away with her fantastical world building and beautiful writing and these books will forever remain a favourite. I can’t wait to read her future works, and even better if one of them includes any more sidnirrim content ;) ;)

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Thanks to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. This duology was a true joy to read and I can honestly say The Hollow Heart is a great conclusion to the series. At the end of The Midnight Lie, Sid had to leave Nirrim to take care of her sick mother, Queen Kestrel. Nirrim, in turn traded her heart to the God of Thieves, in order to give her people the truth about their history. In this go around, we got to know Sid a lot better and learned about her complicated relationship with her parents. I liked her POV chapters a lot and I think the dual POV really benefitted the story overall. In The Hollow Heart, the pacing was also a lot better compared to the firs book. I also liked how both books in the duology focused on parental relationships, since those can be difficult for queer people. So I think thematically this was very fitting. Fans of the original Winner's trilogy will also be very happy with this, as quite a lot of characters from that series show up. With Nirrim, I had to suspend my disbelief quite a lot since her rise to queenhood seemed a bit too easy. I enjoyed reading her corruption arc, but I wish it had been set up a bit earlier in the series. I feel similarly about the inclusion of the pantheon and the rest of the world. Those things should have been established a bit earlier. Sid and Nirrim's relationship was one of the most compelling things to me in the series and the pining and longing was really well done. Rutkoski's prose is, again, simple yet elegant and just flows really well, I'm in awe of her storytelling abilities. All in all, The Hollow Heart was a great read and I gave it 5/5 stars.

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4.5 stars This Spellbindingly thrilling conclusion to the The Forgotten Gods duology is simply exceptional. The magic. The vengeance. The romance. I was enthralled until the very last page! After trading it away to the god of thieves to restore the memories of her people, Nirrim’s Heart is lost. Sid, the person she loved most has returned to Herran to take up her duty to the crown. But rumours have arisen in the Herrani court;of a growing threat, of a magic unleashed and a cruel, black haired queen who can push false memories into your mind—making you believe your dearest friends to be your enemies. Sid doesn’t know this Queen is Nirrim, seeking vengeance to those who have wronged her. Can Sid save Nirrim from herself? Does Nirrim even want to be saved? But with bloodshed and war on the horizon,Sid and Nirrim will soon find out that it doesn’t matter what they want... for the gods have their own plans. I enjoyed this soo much, it was amazing! I loved the incredibly detailed and immersive setting, as well as returning to Herran (one of the main settings in Rutkoski’s Winner’s Trilogy and getting to see Arin and Kestrel again.) The characters were expertly written and witnessing just how much both Nirrim and Sid have changed since The Midnight Lie was brilliant. Nirrim’s evolution here was really fascinating as was SId’s development,both in her relationship/feelings for Nirrim as well as her complicated relationship with her parents. The narrative is written multiple POV which differs from the previous book where we really only got Nirrim’s perspective. Here,we get the perspectives of Nirrim, Sid and an unnamed God (whose identity isn’t revealed until the end) which I really enjoyed and found very insightful. The pacing towards the end of the book did feel a little too fast, but I did end up really liking the outcome at the end. I was satisfied with it (but I can see the possibility for future novellas/short stories or even another series.) Given this is a sequel and has slot of narrative focus on Sids homeland and characters from The Winner’s Trilogy I do recommend reading the trilogy and The Midnight Lie before checking this one out. If you love a beautifully written YA fantasy with magic, intrigue and a swoon worthy sapphic romance, then I’ve found just the book for you! Thanks to Hodder&Stoughton and NetGalley for the ARC.

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