I love a good speculative fiction book, this particular book I would even classify as allegorical. It is original and unique. The characters are a parade of contradictions and exaggerations and the setting is a very interesting world. I really liked Princess Una and her brother Prince Felix along with their father King Fidel, the other characters filled in around them nicely. The story started along very nicely with Una turning 18 and accepting suitors, then it got a little long in the middle when I was trying to figure out the allegorical respect of everything (sometimes I think a little too hard) but then pulled together very nicely for the last part when all the pieces fell right into place like a beautiful puzzle that suddenly deserves a frame. A nice fantasy book and it will be interesting to see where Anne takes the series from here.
As a huge fan of Christian allegorical fiction, yet not a fan of fantasy...this book was a tough read for me. Not for the quality of the writing, Anne is quite gifted, but simply because of the genre.I would, though, give this as a recommendation for someone who is new to Christian fiction, or even just "good fiction". An engaging story about the quest for love and protection of a Kingdom. The main character, Princess Una has become a young woman, and her thoughts have turned to finding whom she will marry. When presented with the true prince, her attentions are not won. Instead, she is smitten with the much more striking - yet dangerous - prince.A great lesson in what the heart really needs, and reminder of the impact of our choices - Anne creatively paints that picture for us. Yet, the reader must glean these lessons for themselves. While not my first choice for a captivating read - I remain impressed, and it will certainly be added to the "must -have" list for church and Christian School libraries.Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.
"Heartless" is an enjoyable fantasy novel for young adults and adults (though teen boys probably won't find it quite as interesting since the teen girl gets more point-of-view time than her brother).The world-building was excellent, skillfully immersing the reader in a unique and fantastical world without bogging the pace down with long descriptions or hard-to-pronounce names. The characters were engaging and complex. The princess and prince were occasionally arrogant, but overall they were admirable and brave.Initially, the tension was created by wondering who Una would choose to marry, but I mainly kept reading because of the enjoyable humor woven into the story and the charming writing style. Then the story shifted into adventure mode where the tension was created by physical dangers but also by the question about whether or not the princess would chose to trust the right person. I had a hard time putting the book down once the adventure section began.There was an underlying Christian allegory that I found very moving. The allegory wasn't overt, and I think the story would still be quite enjoyable and exciting even if the reader didn't realize the allegory--though they might think Prince Aethelbald's love for Una wasn't realistic (at least, for a human, so it's a good thing that he's not precisely human).There was no sex or bad language (that we'd call bad language). Overall, I'd highly recommend this well-written novel as engaging, clean reading. I look forward to reading this author's future novels.I received this book as a review copy from the publisher.
Heartless is a beautiful allegory about our choices and how they affect us, and those around us. It is also a touching story about Jesus redeeming love for each of us. This is definitely a book unto itself. Ive never read anything quite like it in the fantasy genre or any other for that matter. Very original, and unique! Annes writing style is great, with lots of richness to it that will draw you into the story. I loved this book and I would recommend it to all ages!