Happy Friday everyone! And happy reading! What books have you read lately? I recently decided to dive back into YA Fantasy with this novel White Hart by Sarah Dalton. It is a story of a young girl named Mae who lives in a small village with her father. They are woodcutters and the outcasts of their neighbors because they make a living by going into the haunted forest that surrounds the village. But Mae is special, a craft-born who can call nature to herself. The bad part about it is that the next craft-born must marry the prince. And Mae could never see herself in a stuffy castle. So, when a neighbor claims she is the craft-born Mae is happy that she won’t have to hide who she is any longer.
Then something happens. While Prince Casimir, or Cas, as he likes to be called is inspecting his new bride, bandits attack the small village killing Cas’ attendants and Mae’s father, kidnapping Ellen, who everyone believes is the craft-born. Mae couldn’t care less about Ellen but she wants revenge and will do anything to get it. When Cas decides to join her on her quest to find the future queen. To bad he seems completely useless and is a total jerk.
Overall Score: 3.5⭐
This story was interesting and very refreshing. Dalton doesn’t give us any new ideas but she does add a bit more to the concepts that we are all familiar with especially in YA: loneliness, social awkwardness, anger and self-esteem. While Mae and Cas journey through the separate parts of the forest and find themselves in a lot of tough scrapes, Mae is burdened with opening up about who she is, Cas has already made it clear to her how much he dislikes her, he would never believe her. Mae is driven by her love for her father, the one person who never judged her and we see that, not explicitly, but in the little ways she reacts.
While there were some things about this book that I did not like such as the obvious stupidity of the prince and how the author chose to use darker skin to symbolize barbarism and evil, the narrative had a lot of interesting qualities. I am so used to reading fantasy with a haunted or cursed forest and then getting the same eerie description but that is not the case here. As Mae and Cas travel through the woods, we get to see a fresh set of wonders and peculiarities such as trees with faces and birds that can rain acid. Which sounds kind of ridiculous while I am writing it but works wonders in the setting.
What do you think? Is this a book you would read?
Thanks for stopping by! If you liked this review be sure to share it with friends ans let me know what you thought down below in the comments. I know that this is my first book review in a while but I promise to get better! Now I just need you to hold me to it!
Oh, and I recently published a short story with Peculiar Magazine. Feel free to check it out Here.