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The Hollow Heart

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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. Mean 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.


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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. Mean 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.

30 review for The Hollow Heart

  1. 5 out of 5

    ;3

    #bottoms4sid

  2. 5 out of 5

    theresa

    #1: The Midnight Lie review This review contains spoilers for The Midnight Lie. The Hollow Heart was a brilliant follow up to one of my favourite books of the year, The Midnight Lie. This book had everything I loved about the first and so much more, with looks into Sid’s life and family and the dark, unrelenting nature of Nirrim’s character after the ending of the first book. This book is truly Sid’s book. For the first time we could read from her perspective and understand her character to a new l #1: The Midnight Lie review This review contains spoilers for The Midnight Lie. The Hollow Heart was a brilliant follow up to one of my favourite books of the year, The Midnight Lie. This book had everything I loved about the first and so much more, with looks into Sid’s life and family and the dark, unrelenting nature of Nirrim’s character after the ending of the first book. This book is truly Sid’s book. For the first time we could read from her perspective and understand her character to a new level. I really loved getting to read about her relationships with her family and her love for Nirrim. I think fans of the original Winner’s Trilogy will really enjoy this book as we spend a lot of time with who I assume to be the main characters of that trilogy. I loved Sid’s development here and thought it was so essential to the story, even if I did feel a bit left out for not having read the trilogy. What I love most about this duology is the exploration of lesbian, which is particularly interesting in a fantasy context. Both of our main characters, Sid and Nirrim, are lesbians and through them, we explore comp het and complex relationships with gender which are often intrinsic parts of being a lesbian. In particular, I had never seen comp het explored so well in a book and Nirrim’s character development as she realised there was possibility for something better was heartwarming to read. I also love the world of this duology and seeing it expanded in The Hollow Heart. In particular, I found learning more about the magic system and the gods really interesting and loved learning more about the different countries, including Sid’s home, Herran. In fact, the combination of worldbuilding and meeting Sid’s family has me wanting to pick up the original trilogy! Similar to The Midnight Lie, I also really enjoyed the writing style in this one; it has a lovely simplicity to it, while still describing things beautifully. However, I did have a couple of issues with the book which stopped it from receiving the same 5 star rating as The Midnight Lie. I felt that the structure was very disjointed for the majority of the book as we switched between perspectives with no clear link besides their past relationships. Sid and Nirrim were on such different journeys that switching between the two often felt jarring and I’d have liked to have their paths reunite at least slightly earlier to combat this disjointed feeling. In the same vein, I felt that the ending was over very quickly, especially in comparison to the slow build of the rest of the book and would have liked to be drawn out a bit longer to create a more satisfying finish. Finally, I wasn’t entirely sure what role the third point of view, The God, played in the book. I enjoyed those chapters but they didn’t feel strictly necessary to the story. I also just missed the romance between Sid and Nirrim which I had loved so much in The Midnight Lie. Overall, The Hollow Heart was an imperfect but still incredible follow up to The Midnight Lie. I thoroughly enjoyed this duology and highly recommend it, especially to lesbians hoping to see some of their experiences on page. I also talk about books here: youtube | instagram | twitter *eARC received in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley*

  3. 4 out of 5

    anna (½ of readsrainbow)

    rep: poc lesbian mc, nonbinary lesbian mc, poc gay side character, poc side characters tw: death, murder, poison, blood, executions lesbian pining but make it a fairy tale

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elle (ellexamines)

    I would sell my soul for this

  5. 5 out of 5

    ThatOneCornerReader

    It would be a huge lie to say that I haven't been staring at this web page for a little while longingly. It would be a huge lie to say that I haven't been staring at this web page for a little while longingly.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    cover change pain

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine from How Useful It Is

    I enjoyed reading this sequel. It was not what I was expecting to be honest. I wanted Sid’s view which I got but I wanted to see the fun she got in winning her conquests, instead I got to see her vulnerability. In book one, Sid came off as untouchable, a good looking confident someone every woman wanted to be with. In this book she craved for her mom’s and Nirrim’s love. It’s more serious and less fun. However, I do liked how she solve problems. She learned of why her mom’s sick and she’s vigila I enjoyed reading this sequel. It was not what I was expecting to be honest. I wanted Sid’s view which I got but I wanted to see the fun she got in winning her conquests, instead I got to see her vulnerability. In book one, Sid came off as untouchable, a good looking confident someone every woman wanted to be with. In this book she craved for her mom’s and Nirrim’s love. It’s more serious and less fun. However, I do liked how she solve problems. She learned of why her mom’s sick and she’s vigilant in finding out the source. I liked Sid’s quick thinking and how she unravel mysteries on the spot. Nirrim’s role was also unexpected but well deserved because she needed the strength to stand up to Raven and even Aden. This book started with the view of the God. The God of Thieves and Nirrim made a bargain. Now the people behind the wall knew about their history and why they were separated. He’s free from his post and Nirrim’s a self-crowned ruler, a Queen, replacing him. The God’s view (mystery God until reveal at the end) will weave into the story every now and then to tell a story about how he met Raven. Then the story began with Nirrim. She thought she made the bargain so she wouldn’t miss Sid anymore but it wasn’t the case. Nirrim went back behind the wall and everyone were uneasy around her. She’s using the bird to see who can do magic. She’s dividing them out because she’s planning on a revenge against the High Kith for robbing them of their freedom in the past. The second view was Sid. She’s on the boat back to her country because her mom’s sick. She’s missing Nirrim and felt heart broken that Nirrim refused to go back home with her. At home she learned why her mom’s sick and realized what she truly wanted. The Hollow Heart was well written and a fast paced read. The magic system was good and new to me. I will have to think twice about drinking pink tea if I ever come across it. The LGBT romance was light and just enough. I enjoyed Sid’s humor. I wonder how did the rose have a child when it was a rose at the time it met her. I wonder if Killian can see truth like his mom when he came to warn Nirrim. I don’t connect the gods in this story to Greek mythology until the term demigod appeared. It was because the term used in this story were god of foresight, god of thieves, god of death, god of games, etc. This duology was a good read but I think I enjoyed The Winner series more. xoxo, Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for more details Many thanks to Macmillan Publishers for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Party Poison [Disco Freak Show]

    *HYPERVENTILATING* SEPTEMBER 14, 2021?????? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA WE HAVE A TITLE. AND A RELEASE DATE. THERE’S HOPE. AND A COVER. I've seen people complaining about the cover, but not gonna lie, I kinda like it. Sure I'm annoyed that it doesn't match the first book, but it's still a nice cover. I wait not so patiently for this book to be released. *HYPERVENTILATING* SEPTEMBER 14, 2021?????? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA WE HAVE A TITLE. AND A RELEASE DATE. THERE’S HOPE. AND A COVER. I've seen people complaining about the cover, but not gonna lie, I kinda like it. Sure I'm annoyed that it doesn't match the first book, but it's still a nice cover. I wait not so patiently for this book to be released.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    1. It bothers me that the cover doesn't match the original 2. That said, this cover is much, much prettier 3. And I am dying for the sequel to one of my favorite queer books of 2020 1. It bothers me that the cover doesn't match the original 2. That said, this cover is much, much prettier 3. And I am dying for the sequel to one of my favorite queer books of 2020

  10. 4 out of 5

    say

    sidnirrim happy ending or im fighting someone

  11. 5 out of 5

    charlotte,

    On my blog. Rep: lesbian mc, nonbinary lesbian mc, gay side character CWs: gore, violence Galley provided by publisher The Hollow Heart is a book that feels like a fairytale. Or, more accurately, the story told in it, and across the duology as a whole, feels like one. That’s why I’d say it’s a very good idea to reread The Midnight Lie before this one, so you can see the story as a whole. Because, in part, it picks off immediately after The Midnight Lie ends. Nirrim has just bartered her heart to On my blog. Rep: lesbian mc, nonbinary lesbian mc, gay side character CWs: gore, violence Galley provided by publisher The Hollow Heart is a book that feels like a fairytale. Or, more accurately, the story told in it, and across the duology as a whole, feels like one. That’s why I’d say it’s a very good idea to reread The Midnight Lie before this one, so you can see the story as a whole. Because, in part, it picks off immediately after The Midnight Lie ends. Nirrim has just bartered her heart to the god of thieves, and Sid is leaving, heading back to a mother who is ill and may be dying. Honestly, I really enjoyed the way the plot unfolded. I’ve seen mixed reactions to it, but I did like it. I think it helped that I made an effort to go into reading it with zero expectations. All I really wanted from the book was for Sid and Nirrim to end up together, so everything else was less important (in a sense). And, like I said, that helped. I could just let the story be told without any sense of it not going the way I wanted. I also think it helped that I reread book one just days before starting this, so I almost read it as one long book instead of two individual ones. There’s not a whole lot I can say about this book without it verging on spoilery. As with The Midnight Lie, the writing here was absolutely gorgeous. The kind of writing that just consumes you the tiniest bit. I, selfishly, want Marie Rutkoski to be writing in this world forever because of this writing. Add onto that getting to see familiar faces from The Winner’s Trilogy? I loved seeing Kestrel and Arin as parents themselves, as well as the way Sid acts with them. Also the way she denies herself what she wants, or puts herself through something she doesn’t, for the perceived good of her country? Can I say parallels? Of course, Sid and Nirrim’s relationship was the real reason that I was here and it didn’t, for me, disappoint, although they didn’t get a lot of pagetime together (something to perhaps be aware of, if you were expecting more). I was a little bit disappointed that it ended where it did (where’s Nirrim meeting the in-laws?), but overall satisfied with the progression of their story.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Vee_Bookish

    -september most anticipated releases -

  13. 5 out of 5

    h o l l i s

    I think I had promised myself a reread not just of THE MIDNIGHT LIE but also the main Winners Trilogy series before diving into this finale and.. whoops? None of that happened. I was so desperate to dive into this that I'd actually forgotten my plans until, like, halfway through.  The grabby hands were just too too real. As for what you can expect with this one, well.. everything is a spoiler. How book one ended was so huge, so unreal, that any hints to what that is will just ruin it if you haven' I think I had promised myself a reread not just of THE MIDNIGHT LIE but also the main Winners Trilogy series before diving into this finale and.. whoops? None of that happened. I was so desperate to dive into this that I'd actually forgotten my plans until, like, halfway through.  The grabby hands were just too too real. As for what you can expect with this one, well.. everything is a spoiler. How book one ended was so huge, so unreal, that any hints to what that is will just ruin it if you haven't yet decided to start this series. But suffice it to say that a character we had seen go through so much, but remain true, kind, and gentle, well. She's a whole different person for this book. And so was the love interest; but in a very different way. "You've changed." "Good." "You used to be kind, Nirrim. Gentle. I liked you better before." "Of course. I was easier for you to use." Said love interest has connections back to characters from Rutkoski's other series and to say they would be complicated connections would be an understatement. In some ways, her journey is a nostalgic throwback to some of the themes from said series as webs have to be traced back to their weaver and somewhere, somehow, there is a plot to uncover.  It remains the fate of all humans who lack compassion to never understand that they lack it. How these two reunite, how it all gets resolved, well.. it was both satisfying and, keeping this from a five star, was a little unsatisfying. We are both living the story and being told this story, in a way, and there were definitely events, conflicts, that kind of happen outside of the main and get brushed over. Though this book isn't short I think had there been another hundred pages, and we'd had some of that beefed up, it would've been perfect. The ending, for all that some of it works so well, feels unbalanced. And that isn't me just complaining because I wanted more. Though that's true, too. I think about the wrong people do for the sake of love, and how it is possible to love a villain. With this series wrapped (so nice to have duologies pop up again) I have no idea what Rutkoski has planned for the future but after the long wait for this series, and because I was already such a fan, I don't care. She's an auto-read author for sure. --- This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    DUDE. LOOK AT THIS FREAKING COVER! HOLY GD GORGEOUS!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brittany Smith

    Thank you to the publishers and Edelweiss for the ARC of this book. The Hollow Heart was one of my most anticipated reads of the year because The Midnight Lie was one of my favorite YA books of modern times. The Hollow Heart picks up right where The Midnight Lie left off, Sid going home to see her sick and dying mother (Kestrel) and Nirrim, freshly heartless after her deal with the god of thieves, declaring herself their queen. Because of their separation, the book has two clearly defined arcs. Nir Thank you to the publishers and Edelweiss for the ARC of this book. The Hollow Heart was one of my most anticipated reads of the year because The Midnight Lie was one of my favorite YA books of modern times. The Hollow Heart picks up right where The Midnight Lie left off, Sid going home to see her sick and dying mother (Kestrel) and Nirrim, freshly heartless after her deal with the god of thieves, declaring herself their queen. Because of their separation, the book has two clearly defined arcs. Nirrim trying to garner support and take over the island and free her people by any—and I mean ANY—means possible. Whether it be outright fear and displays of her power or more subtle means of manipulation, bribes, and using the other descendants of demigods with powers to help her. Sid returning to Herran to discover her mother truly is dying, but not of sickness—of poison! It’s up to Sid, Kestrel’s daughter and spy, to save her mother and stop the assassin... and fix her relationship with her parents. In between these POV changes, we see another perspective: an unknown god telling their own story and omnisciently telling the readers what they see (sometimes it’s things related to Nirrim, sometimes it’s related to Sid, sometimes even Kestrel and Arin) All perspectives were equally interesting and entertaining to me (which barely ever happens) and I was flying, FLYING through this book. I need to know more. I needed Sid and Nirrim to be together again. But with all the separate story arcs, many things were happening, and it wasn’t until towards the end of the book that Sid and Nirrim reunited, so we unfortunately do not get many scenes of them together. I still loved the book, but in this regard it’s VERY different than the first book, since the first was very focused on their romance, and this more about the story and plot. I’m not sure how others will receive it because of these reasons, so it will be interesting to see what the feedback is once this is published. My only complaint about this book is that, since it’s the last book in this duology, I wish we had been given more time with Sid and Nirrim together. I am greedy and I need more! I wish there had been more falling action so the book could ease out of the tense action of the climax and into warm, tranquil waters so we could enjoy a few more moments of happiness and hope and dreams of the future. Because of this, my true rating might be more of a 4.5 stars than a true 5 star review. But I did really enjoy it, I loved the plot and the story and the character growth and the mending of fences, evil Nirrim, seeing Kestrel and Arin (now a silver fox, btw) again, the PINING, the handful of sidnirrim scenes, discovering more of Nirrim and Sid’s backstories, more intimate look at the gods, everything. So many times reading this my heart lodged in my throat and tears gathered in my eyes. I can tell Marie put so much love into these books. It shines through in these stories, in these characters, in this unwavering hope. I have been so invested in Nirrim and Sid... I’m sad to let them go. I don’t want it to be over. But now it is. But I will be starting a GoFundMe for bribes to send to Marie Rutkoski for a post-THH fluff novella. Please Marie. I’ll do anything.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    4.5 stars rounded up I have been WAITING for this book!! The Hollow Heart concludes this duology and while I didn't love it quite as much as Midnight Lie, I still liked it a lot and felt this was a very satisfying conclusion. Rutkoski delivers on a twisty plot, gods interfering with human affairs, and a fraught sapphic romance. Also, for fans of the Winners Curse trilogy, you get a lot more crossover in this book with characters from that series! I don't want to spoil things, but this duology is 4.5 stars rounded up I have been WAITING for this book!! The Hollow Heart concludes this duology and while I didn't love it quite as much as Midnight Lie, I still liked it a lot and felt this was a very satisfying conclusion. Rutkoski delivers on a twisty plot, gods interfering with human affairs, and a fraught sapphic romance. Also, for fans of the Winners Curse trilogy, you get a lot more crossover in this book with characters from that series! I don't want to spoil things, but this duology is set in the same world, about 20+ years in the future. It was cool to see how things have shaped up for the characters in that original series. In this book Nirrim no longer has her heart and is heading a revolution while Sid returns home to her dying mother. This is full of court intrigue, violence, and difficult choices, as well as sapphic angst. My only issue with the book didn't end up being a big deal for me, but might really bother some readers. A LOT of the conflict occurs because Sid is horrendously bad at communication- both misunderstanding what other people are trying to say, and refusing to communicate her feelings, wants and needs because of pride and assumptions of what other people want from her. This is definitely frustrating for part of the book because Sid willfully makes things harder than they need to be. I know some readers have zero patience for that, but I loved everything else enough I wasn't too bothered by it. Plus Sid does learn and grow through the book. If that's not a deal breaker for you, I highly recommend this duology! The audiobook was pretty good and we get appropriately different voices for the two character perspectives. I received an audio review copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bookphenomena (Micky)

    4.5 stars Headlines: A treat for Winner's Trilogy fans Emotions in shreds Ooof, what a read and culmination to this duology set within The Winner's Trilogy world. I have been on an emotional roller coaster, I'm a little dizzy and sad it's over. The Sid and Nirrim from The Midnight Lie were different in this story, one more mature and the other completely different; I was utterly glued to the page. I lived for the time in with Sid and others (trying not to give too much away here) in Herrani and I sim 4.5 stars Headlines: A treat for Winner's Trilogy fans Emotions in shreds Ooof, what a read and culmination to this duology set within The Winner's Trilogy world. I have been on an emotional roller coaster, I'm a little dizzy and sad it's over. The Sid and Nirrim from The Midnight Lie were different in this story, one more mature and the other completely different; I was utterly glued to the page. I lived for the time in with Sid and others (trying not to give too much away here) in Herrani and I simply loved time with those characters of old, seeing them in a different light, through a different lens. Sid really grew from that cad-ish character we saw in book one to a person with self-realisation over a number of factors. There were a number of clever twists to the tale in Herrani. Seeing Sid's mother in a state of weakness was kind of shocking, her father was warm and strong. Ohhh, the feels here. I found reading about Nirrim discomforting, her situation was painful as were her actions. I longed for restoration of her lost self and connection with those she had loved. I found the whole separation of these two painful, emotional and compelling. The weaving in of the forgotten gods was also clever plotting. It wrapped up quickly towards the finish and I definitely could have managed some more of what happened after but I'm not complaining. This is one of the strongest and enjoyable fantasy duologies I've read in a while and both installments were equally as good as one another. Marie Rutkoski remains one of those authors who I am drawn to on plot and characterisation with a unique fantasy world. Roll on her next incarnation. Mortals say it as though they can feel the hand of the beloved inside their ribs, palm supporting the heart, fingers curled lightly around the trembling muscle. Pain could come so easily. All it would take is a good, hard squeeze. Thank you to Hodder Books for the finished review copy. Find this review at A Take From Two Cities Blog.

  18. 5 out of 5

    маја

    objectively speaking, is this a five star read? not really, i think the book could've been a lot longer, especially at the end. (marie if u see this, we need a novella!!!) but objectivity aside, i haven't felt this much love for fictional characters (both old and new) and serotonin while reading a book since like... 2018? for the fans of the winner's trilogy, this book felt like a warm hug. even though you can treat the forgotten gods series as its own, separate thing - the experience of revisiti objectively speaking, is this a five star read? not really, i think the book could've been a lot longer, especially at the end. (marie if u see this, we need a novella!!!) but objectivity aside, i haven't felt this much love for fictional characters (both old and new) and serotonin while reading a book since like... 2018? for the fans of the winner's trilogy, this book felt like a warm hug. even though you can treat the forgotten gods series as its own, separate thing - the experience of revisiting your favourite characters as the parents in this book is absolutely unmatched. if you see me rereading the winner's trilogy, it's because of this. marie rutkoski you got me, i WILL read anything you write, even if it's your grocery shopping list.

  19. 4 out of 5

    dani

    This is the book of longing. Just every other page is yearning lesbians across the sea from each other. It should come with some kind of warning on it. This one felt way more plot/world driven where the previous one felt more character driven. Each narrator was on a separate journey and I have to say that Sid’s brought me to tears at points. And Nirrim’s was like reading a completely new, terrifying character. The ending felt a little abrupt to me but that just could be me being entirely selfish This is the book of longing. Just every other page is yearning lesbians across the sea from each other. It should come with some kind of warning on it. This one felt way more plot/world driven where the previous one felt more character driven. Each narrator was on a separate journey and I have to say that Sid’s brought me to tears at points. And Nirrim’s was like reading a completely new, terrifying character. The ending felt a little abrupt to me but that just could be me being entirely selfish and wanting more sidnirrim and more and more. Maybe it could never be enough, ya know? I felt like I could read a whole other book just about what happens after the events at the end. All in all I was satisfied, but devastated to finish this book. One of my all time favorite duologies. <3

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elle

    If you’d asked me at the beginning of the year what my most anticipated read of 2021 was, I’d have answered instantly that it was this book. The Midnight Lie took my breath away when I read it, and THAT ENDING had me desperate to get my hands on the sequel. Which makes it all the more disappointing that The Hollow Heart didn’t meet my (admittedly high) expectations. With Nirrim’s sacrifice and Sid’s departure at the end of book one, The Hollow Heart sees both women on very different paths. Sid ret If you’d asked me at the beginning of the year what my most anticipated read of 2021 was, I’d have answered instantly that it was this book. The Midnight Lie took my breath away when I read it, and THAT ENDING had me desperate to get my hands on the sequel. Which makes it all the more disappointing that The Hollow Heart didn’t meet my (admittedly high) expectations. With Nirrim’s sacrifice and Sid’s departure at the end of book one, The Hollow Heart sees both women on very different paths. Sid returns to Herran, only to find that her gravely ill mother needs her to play the part of palace spy once more. Meanwhile in Herrath, the heartless Nirrim begins a reign of terror over the people who subjugated her. While The Midnight Lie is set in the same universe as The Winner’s Curse, it holds its own as a separate story. The Hollow Heart, however, does not. Sid’s quest to investigate her mother’s illness feels disjointed from the events happening on the island of Herrath - and feels more like a sequel to the Winner’s Curse trilogy, rather than a sequel to The Midnight Lie. Don’t get me wrong, I loved getting to see Sid interact with her parents. But the entire storyline was centred around Sid’s parents and the mistakes they’d made in the past - not around Sid herself. Rutkoski barely touched on what I felt was the most interesting potential aspect of bringing Sid’s parents into the story - her turbulent relationship with them, and her determination not to let them dictate how she choses to dress or who she loves. The focus instead is on characters from The Winner’s Curse and their relationships with each other. Sid felt like an afterthought in her own story. Tonally, Sid’s storyline also felt odd. While Nirrim makes mistake after mistake in Herrath, Sid is miles away playing detective. The two perspectives felt unintentionally jarring, so much so that Sid and Nirrim’s eventual reunion - which happens far, far later in the book than I expected - didn’t have the angsty emotional catharsis that I hoped it would. Reuniting Sid and Nirrim almost feels like an afterthought - something hastily slotted in at the end. If you’ve read my review of The Midnight Lie, you’ll know how gutted I am when I say that I wasn’t a fan of this book. It’s been a few months since I read it, and looking back I think what disappoints me most is that it made such little impression on me. Many thanks to Farrar, Straus and Giroux for providing a copy of The Hollow Heart. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Rating: 2 stars | ★★✰✰✰ Review cross-posted to Paperback'd Reviews

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I feel like I spend half my life railing against cover changes. But seriously publishers, WHY DO YOU DO THIS. The cover for the first book was SO nice. This is...so not.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nastassja

    Nirrim could have wondered about the truth of what she had lost for every moment of her little life, but she could not have named it, for it was compassion, and it remains the fate of all humans who lack compassion never to understand that they lack it. The Hollow Heart is the second installment in the Forgotten Gods duology and a spin off to the oriignal trilogy -The Winner's Curse. The second book continues the story of two doomed lovers Nirrim and Sid. They both are separated and face a lo Nirrim could have wondered about the truth of what she had lost for every moment of her little life, but she could not have named it, for it was compassion, and it remains the fate of all humans who lack compassion never to understand that they lack it. The Hollow Heart is the second installment in the Forgotten Gods duology and a spin off to the oriignal trilogy -The Winner's Curse. The second book continues the story of two doomed lovers Nirrim and Sid. They both are separated and face a lot of challenges including the changes inside their hearts. Will they survive and meet again? You will have to find the answers on the pages of this book. I am a little bit confused about the Forgotten Gods. From one side, Marie promised she would write another story taking place in the Winner's Curse universe. I was delighted to know about it. But then I found out that one of the main characters is a child of the main characters from the original trilogy and I was afraid because I knew we will meet my beloved Arin and Kestrel in this book, years later and older. And it was a shock. I still can't match the characters from the original with the ones I see now. Don't get me wrong, I am still delighted to read about them, to see how they fared all these years, but the age gap is always a hard thing when you still see and love the characters when they were in their prime. I don't want them to get old! I don't want to know they have kids! I don't want to... But deep down I was curious and if I am honest with myself, I loved all the references and connections to the original. It is such a wonder how Arin and Kestrel's story turned to myth. I saw it from a different perspective; Marie added something I never knew about them. And it was magical and terrifying. She smoothed flyaway hair off my brow. Yes, he imprisoned me, but I imprisoned him first. Do not worry, tadpole. He is mine, and I am his. Always. If The Winner's Curse wasn't really a fantasy and did not contain magic, Forgotten Gods is a fantasy and contains magic. It is a widening of the Winner's Curse Universe; unrevealing of its white spots on the map. Gods are real and magic is real. I wasn't really connected to Nirrim or Sid in the previous book, but in this one I loved Sid. She is such a complex and tormented character! Nirrim too, for sure, but she just did not click with me on the same level, and Sid's and Nirrim's romance did not click as well, because I was comparing it to the Winner's Curse, and nothing can slay that book, I swear! Sid perfectly understands that she can't match her parents' story but she would like to find someone she could have an epic love story with. Does Marie try to make Sid's and Nirrim's story epic? Sure. But she cheats a little bit by saying through Sid that no one can have what Kestrel and Arin had. I would love to learn more about Gods and their story. It was a fascinating tale of immortal life full of love, betrayals, and jealousy. And Marie is a perfect storyteller who delivered the Gods' story with the behind-the-scenes voice of one of the Gods. I seriously had goosebumps reading those passages. All in all, Forgotten Gods is a must-read if you are a fan of the original trilogy. If you haven't read The Winner's Curse but want to read this duology - you might, but I would advise against it because you'll lose a lot of references and surely one or two emotional breakdowns so necessary for a true book lover. So choose wisely.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Annie (Sad Water Bottle)

    I am 99% sure the only hollow heart after I finish this book will be mine Edit 12/31: HOLY SHIT THE COVER I--- Is it bad that I actually love this?

  24. 5 out of 5

    chantelle

    the ONLY reason i'm not rating this a full 5 stars, is because i selfishly want more sidnirrim. the ONLY reason i'm not rating this a full 5 stars, is because i selfishly want more sidnirrim.

  25. 5 out of 5

    jules ☆ミ

    3-3.5! i missed sidnirrim so much but i wish we had more scenes with them

  26. 5 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) The Hollow Heart is a story where I thought, "okay I know how I feel" only for my feelings to completely change halfway through. At the beginning, I loved how ruthless Nirrim was. To see a heroine completely give in to ambition? That's my latest obsession. But at the same time, The Hollow Heart is about what happens when we lose touch with who we are. Or when who we are changes and we (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) The Hollow Heart is a story where I thought, "okay I know how I feel" only for my feelings to completely change halfway through. At the beginning, I loved how ruthless Nirrim was. To see a heroine completely give in to ambition? That's my latest obsession. But at the same time, The Hollow Heart is about what happens when we lose touch with who we are. Or when who we are changes and we aren't sure who we are anymore. At the same Sid goes through her own character growth - constantly questioning what she thought about who she was. And this where my feelings began to change. At the beginning, I was entirely immersed in Nirrim, in watching her let loose all the thoughts we hold ourselves back, while also realizing that there's this little voice. This little intuition that whispers to us. But then Sid began to take over as my favorite POV especially with her character growth. The last 30% I was entirely smitten with Sid. full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  27. 5 out of 5

    luce

    i'm going to put this on hold...there is just so much exposition and i'm finding the 'hollow' heart thing cheesy, esp the whole 'other nirrim' thing. and that earrings scene? that scene was desperately trying and failing to be 'edgy'. i will give it another shot in the next few weeks. i'm going to put this on hold...there is just so much exposition and i'm finding the 'hollow' heart thing cheesy, esp the whole 'other nirrim' thing. and that earrings scene? that scene was desperately trying and failing to be 'edgy'. i will give it another shot in the next few weeks.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Karina

    I AM SO READY

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lulu

    Rating: 4.5* The hollow heart was my most anticipated release for this year, and i am SO glad that the sequel didn’t disappoint, finding it a really enjoyable read. Marie Rutkoski’s writing was purely magical as usual, and even though the sequel didn’t focus on the romance as much as the first book did, the plot felt so strong and I loved seeing the separate journeys of all the characters join up together through the different POVs. The POV’s alternated between Nirrim, Sid (YES!! A SID POV!!) and Rating: 4.5* The hollow heart was my most anticipated release for this year, and i am SO glad that the sequel didn’t disappoint, finding it a really enjoyable read. Marie Rutkoski’s writing was purely magical as usual, and even though the sequel didn’t focus on the romance as much as the first book did, the plot felt so strong and I loved seeing the separate journeys of all the characters join up together through the different POVs. The POV’s alternated between Nirrim, Sid (YES!! A SID POV!!) and a new character, and I found the new characters POV incredibly intriguing, and it greatly complimented the storyline with the added mystery. Watching both Sid and Nirrims relationships with the other characters in the book was incredibly satisfying, especially seeing the further development of their characters through this, and I LOVED the involvement of Kestrin. Personally, I felt like having so much Kestrin content made up slightly for the lack of Sidnirrim - but I feel like if you haven’t read the Winners trilogy you may feel slightly left out by this. Having said that, even though there was a lack of Sid and Nirrim together, the pining this paved way for was incredible!!! My heart ached and was torn apart several times during this book, I just needed them to be reunited!! The ending to this book did feel slightly short, yet still managed to be fulfilling and I finished the book feeling satisfied yet also very empty with having to say goodbye to Sid and Nirrim (Seriously, who am I meant to cry over now?!). I have loved the Forgotten Gods duology so much, Rutkoski really swept me away with her fantastical world building and beautiful writing and these books will forever remain a favourite. I can’t wait to read her future works, and even better if one of them includes any more sidnirrim content ;) ;) Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    autumnbugs

    Um.. why the cover change ugh🙄 edit: 3.5 pls tell me this isn’t the end. No no no. The beginning was so slow and the end was so jumbled, but I love nirrim and Sid they’re so amazing and perfect <3

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