White Hart. Sarah Dalton
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
I like some YA/NA fantasy novels, they aren’t always just an early teen read but suitable for all ages. White Hart is a well written YA, I was hoping for romance too but there’s very little in this book. I didn’t know it wasn’t a standalone – and it ends on a really bad cliffhanger! One of those where you think there’s another page, chapter etc but there isn’t – it just ends with characters left in limbo, and regular readers of my reviews will Know How I Hate That. Argghh….I was looking anxiously at the % when it got to 90%, and I suspected that there were going to be more books. If I know in advance at least I can allow for it in my expectations. For choice I like to read these sort of books back to back, so I don’t lose the plot and emotion waiting for next part. If its a couple of months then OK, but often its a year or more 😦 and I lose the enjoyment with that long gap. I can’t find info on when next book out either, or how many more there will be, though I have messaged Sarah via her blog. I’ll edit if I get more info 🙂
Anyway, too many straight contemporary romances on my list, so this looked a treat and it was ( except for that ending!!) Its really well written, Mae is a great lead character, and the main thrust of the book is the journey through the woods with Casimir the prince, for her to take revenge on those who killed her father and for Cas to rescue Ellen who he thinks is the Craft-Born and is to be his wife. To begin with there’s lots of friction between Mae and Cas, he sees her as rude and uncouth and she sees him as a spoiled, pampered prince.
The journey takes some time though, through dangerous woods and along the way they both learn more about themselves, and see each other in a different light. Mae is still trying to hide her powers from Cas, she doesn’t want the burden of becoming Queen, especially when Cas is so besotted with Ellen. Even though she’s come to feel a lot for him she won’t be second best, and if he knew the truth he’d have to marry her instead of Ellen. They face real threats to their lives and each rescue each other a few times, Mae still hiding her powers, though in truth she’s so rarely used them that she doesn’t know much about what she can do. I really enjoyed this getting to know and appreciate each other time, and the way Sarah avoided the all too common ploy of having the heroine use some new and unknown talent to get them out of danger. Mae does use her powers at times, but we’re talked through it by way of her thoughts and can see that she’s struggling with how to do it, and how to keep it hidden from Cas. They meet other people along the way, and face danger from them too when they see Mae riding Anta, her white stag. He was perfect, he’d been with her since birth and made the mystery of her birth and heritage so much more uncanny.
In all a terrific read, one I’d re read and one that all age groups can enjoy. I wanted to smack Cas at times for not appreciating and seeing Mae for what she is, rather than just the peasant she appears, though he does come to regard her as his best friend. Knowing how she’s grown to feel about him, I was really hurt for her at times when he’s talking about her future where she can perhaps marry a baker or something! Jerk….I just want him to see and love her for herself, and not the milkweed Ellen, ambitious, pretty but vacuous IMO. Then there’s That Ending…..and I’ll say no more on that 🙂 Its what’s brought my star rating down, as I’ve no idea on how long we have to wait and how many more books.
Stars: Four, solid, well written fantasy and one I’d re read. ( if it was one complete novel I’d have gone five!)
ARC supplied by Netgalley