Title: The Hollow Heart
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Series: Forgotten Gods #2
Audience: Young Adult
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Length: 9 hours (384 pages)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (BYR); Macmillan Audio
Release Date: September 14, 2021
Recommended for fans of: The Midnight Lie, The Winner’s Trilogy
Content Warnings: violence
Intrigue, romance, and magic abound in the heart-stopping conclusion to Marie Rutkoski’s Forgotten Gods duology.
At the end of The Midnight Lie, Nirrim offered up her heart to the God of Thieves in order to restore her people’s memories of their city’s history. The Half Kith who once lived imprisoned behind the city’s wall now realize that many among them are powerful. Meanwhile, the person Nirrim once loved most, Sid, has returned to her home country of Herran, where she must navigate the politics of being a rogue princess who has finally agreed to do her duty.
In the Herrani court, rumors begin to grow of a new threat rising across the sea, of magic unleashed on the world, and of a cruel, black-haired queen who can push false memories into your mind, so that you believe your dearest friends to be your enemies.
Sid doesn’t know that this queen is Nirrim, who seeks her revenge against a world that has wronged her. Can Sid save Nirrim from herself? Does Nirrim even want to be saved? As blood is shed and war begins, Sid and Nirrim find that it might not matter what they want…for the gods have their own plans.
I really enjoyed this sequel to The Midnight Lie, a spin off of The Winner’s Trilogy. I really like the world building and mythology in this series.
This book has dual POV between Nirrim and Sid (with intermittent chapters narrated by a god). This almost felt like two books in one since Nirrim and Sid were separated for most of the book on very different journeys. I really liked both of their storylines, but I wished they spent more time together since I loved their romance in book 1. Fans of the Winner’s Trilogy will enjoy how Sid’s journey brings back Kestrel and Aren, with several nods to the original series.
The book is under 400 pages, and there were times I didn’t see how it could possibly wrap up a duology satisfactorily, but I needn’t have worried. Some moments felt a bit rushed, but this book told the story that it needed to tell.
[Insert complaint about changing the cover design for book 2 in a DUOLOGY]