Title: These Hollow Vows
Author: Lexi Ryan
Pub. Date: July 20, 2021
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
From New York Times best-selling author Lexi Ryan, Cruel Prince meets A Court of Thorns and Roses in this sexy, action-packed fantasy about a girl who is caught between two treacherous faerie courts and their dangerously seductive princes.
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.
This will be a spoiler free review. I listened to the audiobook via Audible. And omfg this fucking book. It took a bit to truly get into it – but I was coming off a high from another really good book and only wanted to inhale the next one in that series – but damn if this book didn’t have me freaking out at work.
I figured going into this book I was going to love it.
That’s not shocking.
What is shocking is the fucking ending to this book.
When I say I went through the fucking gauntlet of emotions while listening to this – I’m not lying. I was getting whiplash for how many times I was changing my mind about certain characters and trying to figure out how it was all going to work. Sammy over at We Write At Dawn was on the receiving end of all my texts about this book since she’s read it. Feel free to go check out her spoiler free review for this book – I’ve linked it above – like me, she loved it.
But yeah, the ending.
I mean, holy shit.
It’s been a few days since I finished this book and I’m still not over the ending. I loved it. It infuriated me, but damn was it so good. I really didn’t know what to expect. The whole time you’re reading this book, you’re trying to figure out if Sebastian or Finn is the “bad guy”. Legit I was getting Tamlin and Rhys vibes, but since it’s comped with ACOTAR I’m not surprised, and I’m definitely not complaining.
I also couldn’t figure out if it was going to be an obvious breakdown of their characters, playing into well used tropes or if it was going to be straightforward. It’s somehow all of those things…
It’s hard to explain if you haven’t read it – or without spoiling some major shit. But things definitely didn’t play out like I expected them too, not really.
Though I will say, I figured out one of the reveals really early on. Once it actually came to light in the book, I felt vindicated. I knew I was right. And I liked that added element to the book. It made the characters involvement fit in better than just “human enters fae world and is *special*” …does that make sense? God, I hope so. I feel like I still don’t know how to properly articulate how I feel about this book.
As for Brie – I really liked her as a character. She’s loyal, loving and incredibly capable. I loved that she wasn’t outright this strong badass. Her character grew and changed over the course of her journey and became so much more than I think anyone realized. All the relationships and betrayals and drive to save her sister turned her into this really amazing character. And based on where she is…who she is at the end of this book – I really cannot wait to see what she does next. Sebastian and Finn better watch the fuck out, because there’s a new power in town and she’s ready to wreck all sorts of havoc.
I do have my suspicions about the evolution of Brie’s characters, and I’m kind of wondering if we’re going to get a darker protagonist. It would be a really interesting take, but I’m not getting my hopes up. I bet we don’t, but it would be cool and different. I mean, the shit she goes through at the end of the book…the ending is intense. It’s just one thing after another – reveals, betrayals and power. I don’t know if it was jus the narrator or if I’d physically read the book if my reaction would be different – but I was on the edge of my seat. I’m pretty sure my productivity at work was way down, because I was concentrating so hard on what was happening in the book. And then I finished it.
And if I had, had the book with me at work, I might’ve chucked it across the warehouse.
It was so good, so brilliant and unexpected and fucking infuriating.
I loved it.
I loved this book.
If it’s on your TBR, move it up.
Pick it up right now.
It’s a really good take on Cinderella and the love interests will keep you guessing and wondering and Brie will take you on a journey that you won’t forget.