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Heart Sworn (Hellhind Wood #1) by Cia Petrichor
Disclaimer -This is a New Adult Fantasy book. Please make sure to be mindful of your triggers.
Triggers include explicit monster-form sex scenes, adult language/cursing, violent/disturbing imagery, murder/blood/gore/death, human sacrifice, illness, loss, & grief of a parent, Non-consent (not between FMC & MMC), flashbacks of sexual assault, and potentially triggering thoughts/depictions of mental health-related topics.
Summary | Darkness Shames Us. Magic Claims Us. Love Inflames Us.
The forest is my refuge from the lies of my people and the wounds I keep hidden—but the forest is changing and no one is safe. A monster saves me from the brink of death, his midnight eyes promising more than I ever thought to find. When my father falls ill with a mysterious sickness, I have to race against the clock to find the connection between the secrets of Hellhind Wood—or lose him forever. But my beast has secrets too, with the power to ruin everything.
As the firstborn son of a cruel and greedy lord, my soul was already forfeit. Our crimes enraged an enchantress, cursing everyone I love to a fate worse than death and leaving Hellhind vulnerable. Cursed and surrounded by evil on all sides, I must fight to free my family and right our wrongs. When I save my beauty, she sees beyond the curse, her soul just as broken and lonely as mine. I try to stay away, but our connection refuses to be ignored—and she may be the key to everything.
Although this was a Beauty and the Beast retelling of sorts, the world and the story that the author created was so much more than the original story we know and love.
It took me about 1/3 of the book to really get into it, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down and was constantly wondering if Lu was ok. I admittedly didn’t highlight or annotate much in this story, and it’s largely due to how connected I felt to the story and Lu’s journey. There is nothing like losing a parent, and reliving some of the pain through Lu’s journey was both painful and immensely healing in a way I can barely put into words. ** read the freaking trigger warnings! They are there for a reason! Loss of a parent plays a significant role in this novel and the character’s actions**
Lu’s father was the mayor of their quaint town, and came down with an illness without a cure. Theo was the handsome, reliable, golden boy that the whole town knew and loved. And then there was Luciana, an outcast of sorts in her small town. Whispers and rumors followed her seemingly everywhere she went. But after her mom left, everything Lu did was out of love. Her only goals were to protect her little brother Theo, and take care of him and their father in the only ways she knew how, at whatever cost.
As Lu’s dads health starts to decline and the emotional turmoil her and Theo go through, I felt like I started to connect with her so much more than I could’ve imagined. I love when a FMC has the hard IDGAF exterior and keeps her vulnerable side shoved deep down for so long that the most unexpected person/being brings it out and she feels safe enough to be herself with all of her emotions, vulnerabilities, flaws, etc. Thats’s where Dorran or “Beast” comes in. Their connection was almost instant, and hit Lu hard. Where most would fear the monstrous beast, she felt no fear, and was uncharacteristically comfortable in his presence. Opening up to him in ways that she never could with others, not to mention the incredible spicy moments between them in the forest, it seemed like Lu had finally met her heart’s match.
Some moments did feel a bit predictable, but not enough to affect my overall love for the story. There were definitely unexpected plot twists that I did not see coming.
Heart Sworn was hands down one of my favorite reads of 2022. Cia, you did an outstanding job with this one, and I can’t wait to find out what happens to Luciana and Dorran in Hellhind Woods next!
“You alone have the power to destroy me,”
“I’m not a hero in anyone’s story, I was the villain. I still am.”
“Was it so selfish to seek any glimmer of happiness or spark of pleasure when everything else seemed to fall apart no matter what I did?”
“there was no black or white in our world. Nothing was purely good, and nothing was purely evil.
Check out Heart Sworn by Cia Petrichor if you’re looking for
✔️A Beauty & The Beast retelling
✔️Touch her and you die
✔️A curvy FMC
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆/5
Read 11/15/22 – 12/21/22
Be sure to check out Heart Sworn on Amazon and head to Cia’s website to learn more and to keep up with what’s coming next!
Are you a fan of retellings? Let me know some of your favorite retellings in the comments below, and we’ll chat soon!