Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Evangeline Fox was raised in her beloved father’s curiosity shop, where she grew up on legends about immortals, like the tragic Prince of Hearts. She knows his powers are mythic, his kiss is worth dying for, and that bargains with him rarely end well.
But when Evangeline learns that the love of her life is about to marry another, she becomes desperate enough to offer the Prince of Hearts whatever he wants in exchange for his help to stop the wedding. The prince only asks for three kisses. But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. And he has plans for Evangeline that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy…
First of all, I have to say I loved being back in the Caraval universe again!
It took a while to warm to Evangeline as a character. She didn’t immediately standout to me like Donatella and Scarlett did in the Caraval series, so I wasn’t really rooting for her. At the start of the novel I felt like she lacked that gumption that the Dragna sisters had which is weird because her actions reflect a strong female character. I am not sure why but I just couldn’t get on board with it so I wasn’t rooting for her at the start – though I do love the fact that she has rose gold hair! Equally it took me a little while to get into the storyline, maybe because I wasn’t warming to Evangeline; I would say that it wasn’t till about halfway to two thirds of the way through where the pace really picks up and the mystery starts unravelling. Everything starts getting more interesting and at that point I couldn’t put it down, I wanted to know how it would all play out. And then the ending -OH MY GOD- I need the sequel now please!
I think Stephanie Garber has done a brilliant job of expanding the Caraval world. Her writing makes it so easy to imagine yourself in the story watching it all play out. I loved all the magic weaved in and Evangeline’s interpretation of it. And of course Jacks. What can I say about Jacks except he is the same ol’ loveable fate that we saw in Finale, still keeping his cards close to his chest and leaving the reader to try and figure out just what his plan is.
Overall, whilst it took me a while to get into the story (and I think I ultimately still prefer Scarlett and Tella as protagonists), this was a great foray into a new branch of the Caraval world and I will still read everything Stephanie Garber writes.
Trigger Warnings: Death of a Parent, Death, Murder, Blood, Violence, Emotional Abuse.