These Hollow Vows

HMH. Jul. 2021. 464p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780358386575.
Gr 9 Up–Brie, a white 17-year-old human, relies on the shadows to survive, thieving in the dark from rich merchants who trade humans to the untrustworthy fae. When her younger sister is sold to the Unseelie king, Brie doesn’t hesitate in making a deal to free her by stealing from the rival Seelie queen. Infiltrating the Seelie court by posing as a potential bride for their golden-skinned crown prince is complicated first when Brie falls for him, and again when an enigmatic Unseelie with light brown skin and a diverse band of outlaws offers his help. Juggling loyalty to and romantic feelings for both Prince Ronan and Finn, Brie soon discovers that she isn’t the only one with a secret agenda in a realm more nuanced than she originally believed. Engaging writing and worldbuilding help balance the uneven pacing and familiar tropes, while unexpected betrayals and a darker romantic tone lend to a faster second half. A cliffhanger ending sets up a compelling hook and chance at meaningful character growth for Brie in the sequel.
VERDICT A readable faerie court fantasy that centers the love triangle over the action quest. Readers will see similarities to Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses and Kiera Cass’s The Selection.

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