A curse, a wall and an adventure. An ARC review for The Northern Heart by Sasha L. Miller

Tell us about Northern Heart.
Northern Heart is the second book in the Kingdom Curses series and focuses on Emmerich and Pearce, whom we saw in the first book of the series. The story is set at “the wall”. A great big protective wall that divides the kingdom of Imaria and is designed to keep the elves of Camlien out. As we know from the previous book, the elves of this world are not quite as nice as we normally see elves.

What is the story about?
Emmerich was struck by a curse when he saved the royal family from a sabotage of one of the nodes. Nodes are where the magic in this world flows from and there are several all over this world. The nature of the curse is that it takes him over and he starts to wander. No one but Pearce can bring him safely out of it. Unfortunately, no one has any clue as how to break the curse and reading the story from the beginning, you understand both Emmerich and Pearce’s frustration with the lack of a solution. Another frustration is between Emmerich and Peace. They clearly like each other. Well, more than like, but there is a barrier between them that needs to be solved just as much as the curse.

 What are your thoughts on Northern Heart?
The story is slow going and as a reader you’re drawn into the frustration of trying to break the curse and the wall that is between Emmerich and Pearce. Just when you think it’s getting too long winded, the story starts flowing. I thought it was well done. You can see from the story that it’s part of a larger whole and that there will be more in this series.

I liked both Emmerich and Pearce as characters and I thought the plot was interesting enough to keep you on the edge of wondering. I didn’t quite see the romance between Pearce and Emmerich as the author relies too much on the feelings of both characters rather than the action. Overall I liked this story.

How is the writing?
The writing was well done, balanced and flowing with enough worldbuilding without an information dump. I liked the way the characters were shaped as was the conflict between the Elves and the people of Imaria.

 How do you rate the story?
With four stars

The Northern Heart Book Cover The Northern Heart
Kingdom Curses 2
Sasha L. Miller
Fantasy
Less than Three Press
March 8, 2017
210
A copy was provided through Netgalley

Several weeks ago Emmerich saved the royal family—but at great cost to himself. He keeps going into trances and wandering off, and the problem is getting worse. If they don't figure out a solution soon, whatever's wrong will kill him. As if that's not enough, the person stuck babysitting him is a man he desperately wishes had wanted him for more than one night.

Pearce is at his wits end trying to save the man he cares about. Nothing he tries helps for more than a moment, and each time Emmerich falls asleep and slips into a trance, bringing him back out requires greater and greater magic—if the trance doesn't kill him first, waking him most certainly will.

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