Am I posting two reviews in a row? Yes, I am. I’ve been making good progress reading some of my most anticipated releases of this year, one of which was These Hollow Vows.
These Hollow Vows has actually been out for a while now. Actually it’s been out so long that there’s already a cover and release date for its sequel. This series is a duology, so that sequel will be the final book. I’m already excited for it, though!
These Hollow Vows
By Lexi RyanMy Rating: ★★★.75☆
Published 20 July 2021 by HMH
Faeries | Young adult | Magic
Brie hates the Fae and refuses to have anything to do with them, even if that means starving on the street. But when her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court to pay a debt, she’ll do whatever it takes to get her back—including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the Seelie court.
Gaining unfettered access to the Seelie court is easier said than done. Brie’s only choice is to pose as a potential bride for Prince Ronan, and she soon finds herself falling for him. Unwilling to let her heart distract her, she accepts help from a band of Unseelie misfits with their own secret agenda. As Brie spends time with their mysterious leader, Finn, she struggles to resist his seductive charm.
Caught between two dangerous courts, Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty. And with her heart.
I actually had a lot of fun reading this book. It was fairly fact-paced and incredibly twisty, which meant I was kept on my toes constantly. Also it’s kind of funny that I always scream I hate love triangles in books and then pick up this book which actually has a love triangle. The MC, Brie, is caught between the Seelie prince, and the dark, broody boy she meets in the land of the Fae. However, I didn’t feel like this love triangle was standard. It’s honestly not Brie’s biggest problem and therefore, even though it is a major part of the story, the love triangle didn’t feel like it took up the entire plot.
Speaking of plot I greatly enjoyed this one. Even though I knew beforehand it would probably not end happily, I did gasp a little when I got to the ending. This story has lots of scheming, and lots of twisty Fae-isms. The only drawback I see to having this many twists is that at one point I kind of went “okay, I get it.” There are many betrayals, and at some point I found them to be a little repetitive. I would’ve been so much more shocking if there was one ginormous betrayal instead of many smaller ones.
On to the world building. Honestly, not my favorite. I enjoyed the two courts, and the history behind them, but I felt like because almost the whole story took place in one spot, the world seemed very limited. I’d like to have seen more of the Fae castles’ surroundings, more of the human world, more of everything. I really had some trouble visualizing Brie’s surroundings at times. Maybe the next book will elaborate a little more.
Lastly, I want to talk about the characters. I think all of them are quite likable. There are three that take the spotlight in this story; Brie, prince Ronan, and Finn. I did feel like Brie kind of got put in some outdated YA-protagonist tropes, but it wasn’t too bothersome overall. My favorite part about all of the characters is that they are all in it for themselves. None of them are truly bad, but they also won’t give up on their goals just because someone they kind of like came along. This makes the story very backstabby, too, and it’s great.