Heartless are humans which have had their hearts removed and stored in jars by witches. They cannot be killed easily, as the connected witch can heal them immediately. The only way to kill a Heartless is to shatter their heart (kept safe in a jar by the witch) or to kill the witch that controls them. The Heartless have an appetite for death and struggle to fight this nature- eating raw animal organs helps to maintain their sanity. At the end of the day, the Heartless can be completely controlled by the witch who made them (orders must be followed). Occasionally, a witch will return their heart and they will become human again; however, during the time that they are Heartless, they are frozen in time, unable to age.
Zera became a Heartless when she was 16, and she and her merchant family were killed by thieves. Nightsinger, a witch, found her and made her Heartless, saving her life in a way- however, Zera sees being Heartless as a curse and would do anything to get her heart back. Nightsinger has two other Heartless, Crav and Peligli, also children who would have died without being turned into Heartless. When Zera is offered a bargain- steal the crown prince's heart (literally) in exchange for that of hers, Crav, and Peligli's- Zera is willing to do so.
However, things are not as simple as Zera had hoped, and Lucien is not as easy to hate as she would wish. As she becomes ingrained in the upper class society of the human realm, Zera finds that she may be more human than she previously thought. Filled with witty moments and stunning revelations, this book is one you shouldn't miss!
"Almosts, I'm starting to learn, are fuller of regret than absolutes- much sadder than certain yeses and nos. Yes and no mark ends and beginnings. But almosts cling, hovering on the boundary, never quite realized yet still there."
This book is a must-read! You won't regret picking up, and you'll be demanding book 2 as much as I am! Zera's journey is intense and wonderful with moments of love and humor so endearing you can't help but feel enthralled with the "monster" that is her Heartless. Not to mention all the incredible side characters that you will absolutely fall in love with, including her "auntie" and some of the other court schemers. This book is definitely one of my new favorites! I highly recommend.
Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.