Blog Tour: Giveaway: Review: Buried Heart by Kate Elliott

Book Covertitle: Buried Heart
author: Kate Elliott
pages: 448
format: Hardcover
buy it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks | TBD
rating: 5/5 (from hated to loved) or 8.5/10 (all books I've ever read)
recommended for: Fans of The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkowski, Red Rising by Pierce Brown, The Scorpion Rule by Erin Bow, and other gritty, epic sci-fi/fantasy.
The explosive finale to World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott's captivating, New York Times bestselling young adult series.

In this third book in the epic Court of Fives series, Jessamy is the crux of a revolution forged by the Commoner class hoping to overthrow their longtime Patron overlords. But enemies from foreign lands have attacked the kingdom, and Jes must find a way to unite the Commoners and Patrons to defend their home and all the people she loves. Will her status as a prominent champion athlete be enough to bring together those who have despised one another since long before her birth? Will she be able to keep her family out of the clutches of the evil Lord Gargaron? And will her relationship with Prince Kalliarkos remain strong when they find themselves on opposite sides of a war? Find all the answers in this beautifully written and exciting conclusion to World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott's debut New York Times bestselling young adult trilogy!

in depth

  • It's difficult to say goodbye to such a powerful series, and even more difficult to finish it on a strong, satisfying note. I should never have doubted Kate Elliott. She is a true master of fantasy, from her fluid, lush prose to her atmospheric worldbuilding to her multifaceted characters. From the first page of Court of Fives to the last page of Buried Heart, she spins a story of oppression, adventure, love, loss, rebellion, and redemption that eclipses almost any other series in the genre. 

  • We return to Jes in crisis. I was so afraid for this book. The climax of Poisoned Blade left Jes' world in shambles, and just from that and the blurb, I knew there would be difficult waters ahead. Elliott pulls no punches in her plotting. Characters are run through the wringer, forced into impossible choices, made to suffer grandly and break their own hearts. I was never sure of the outcome. Although I trusted Elliott to deliver something monumental and realistic, I just didn't trust her not to kill my darlings. 

  • It's no surprise, then, that it's a tense novel. Elliott weaves a plot of rebellion and betrayal, political machinations and war, into a familiar narrative of colonizer and colonized, Saroese and Efean. Will good Saroese like Kal take risks to undo injustice, or will they choose comfort over justice? Given the racial injustices in the US right now, with similar exhortations from some privileged liberals--be patient, slow change, etc.--it was an uncomfortable narrative to swallow. I could identify well with Kal, who never asked to be in this position, who could only do the right thing if he sacrificed the world he knew. 

  • That discomfort is essential, because you can't think deeply without it. This third book is an incisive criticism and exploration of how broken systems fail everyone within them. It doesn't flinch from calling out even unintentional oppressors, and when redemption is given, there is a cost, there are reparations, and it's messy and real. It did feel like every Efean tradition was better than every Saroese tradition (a bit of overkill), but for the most part, Elliott did a good job of considering the gray realities of war. 

  • I won't tell you how it all works out. I couldn't possibly do it justice. Buried Heart is full of surprises. Elliott drops bombs and ties up loose threads so cleverly, threads you'd forgotten about until she brings them back and you're gasping in shocked satisfaction. We get to see Jes grow so much in this book. She's forced to reckon with the two halves of herself, to deal with the fact that even though she is one whole person, she can only align with one way of life. Jes is a heroine worthy to stand next to Lyra Silvertongue, Hermione Granger, and Katniss Everdeen. The cast around her is varied and complex, real people with personal motives and moral ambiguity. 

  • If I haven't sold you on these books, I can only say: you're missing out on one of the best young adult fantasy series of all time. No exaggeration. It has the intricacy of Marie Rutkowski, the magic of Tamora Pierce, and a precision and flair that is all Elliott's own. Buried Heart is a dazzling conclusion to a breathtaking journey. My only regret is that, for now, I have to leave Efea behind. 

        in a sentence

        Buried Heart is a dazzling conclusion to a breathtaking journey, gorgeously written and intricately plotted. 


        will i read this author again?  Yes probably immediately or as soon as humanly possible  
        will i continue the series?  It's perfect as is, but also I kind of want more... 

        Note: I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  The price of the book and its origin in no way affected my stated opinions. 

        meet the author 

        Kate Elliott has been writing stories since she was nine years old, which has led her to believe that writing, like breathing, keeps her alive. As a child in rural Oregon, she made up stories because she longed to escape to a world of lurid adventure fiction. She now writes fantasy, steampunk, science fiction, and YA, including recent works Black Wolves, Court of Fives, and Cold Magic.

        It should come as no surprise that she met her future husband in a sword fight. When he gave up police work to study archaeology, they and their three children fell into an entirely new set of adventures amid dusty Mexican ruins and mouthwatering European pastry shops. Eventually her spouse’s work forced them to move to Hawaii, where she took up outrigger canoe paddling. With the three children out of the house, they now spoil the schnauzer.

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        Week One:
        7/17/2017- YA Books Central- Interview
        7/18/2017- The Eater of Books!Review
        7/19/2017- Novel NoviceGuest Post
        7/20/2017- Just CommonlyReview
        7/21/2017- Two Chicks on BooksInterview

        Week Two:
        7/24/2017- My Thoughts LiterallyReview
        7/25/2017- Sarcasm & LemonsReview
        7/26/2017- Stephanie PlotkinReview
        7/27/2017- PaperTrailYAExcerpt
        7/28/2017- Seeing Double In NeverlandReview

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