The Heartwood Crown by Matt Mikalatos
Reviewed by Sam!
**We received an advanced copy of this book from BookCon! We’d like to thank Matt and Wander for the opportunity! This book comes out on Aug 6th and you can get it here.**
This is the sequel to The Crescent Stone so there will be spoilers for book 1. If you’re interested in my drunk thoughts on this book, HERE YOU GO!
After destroying the Crescent Stone, Madeline returns home, bringing Shula and Yenil with her. As her health continues to deteriorate, Madeline feels the Sunlit Lands calling her back. Meanwhile, Jason, Darius, and the rest of the inhabitants of the Sunlit Lands fight for survival and freedom. The magic that fuels the land is failing, threatening to destroy them all. Will Madeline’s return save the land and its people? Matt’s signature humor and epic storytelling are once again on full display in The Heartwood Crown.
Synopsis from Goodreads
What I drank prior: Guys Parker had an unexpected delay (boo) but that means he’s staying on my couch for two whole days (yay!). Needless to say we got hella drunk watching Mad Men. Our newest drinking game. Heavily poured vodka sodas. At least 3 of them.
Spoiler-free Overview: ok what book am I reviewing? Oh yeah. Ok so this is the sequel to The Crescent Stone. A book that utterly surprised me last year with how great it was. I saw Matt was back at BookCon so I stole (read: politely asked for) a copy. So our boo Madeline is back at home, literally dying. Jason and Darius are still in the portal world, tryna figure shit out. Clearly after Madeline’s debauchery there is some unrest. Jason is also accidentally engaged and literally all cultures are ready to kill him. K? K.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: I loved this guys. I’d forgotten how completely and utterly delightful this series is. It’s both beautiful and tragic, serious and hysterical, magical and strange. I canNOT wait for more.
Characters: I love these characters so flipping much I can’t. The all love each other so much. They all work together towards the greater goal (whatever their personal goal is tbh) and it’s stunning.
- Madeline – my bae. My only. My precious thing. She makes some tough choices in this but I trust her so much.
- Darius – he’s kinda annoying tbh. He’s got too much revenge in his heart.
- Shula – god. Shula. Idk even know what to say about her except I would be so lucky to have a friend like her.
- Bey – !! The. Best. Seriously, what a wise lady.
- That leaves me with Jason – god I love Jason. I want me a Jason. Not the poor broken kid but the fiercely loyal kid. The one who will fight tooth and nail for you. God I live him.
Plot: the plot was great. I sorta called some of the twists but that didn’t make them any less real, and that’s what makes a good author. We knew what was gonna happen but it was still significant. And still made me hella emotional.
I will say that there is a bit about racial inequality in this book. About what it’s like to be a person of color in OUR world. If you struggle with a white person trying to convey that message you might struggle with this. I (for all of my white skin) thought it was pretty well done.
Writing Style: I cannot get over how well these books are written. So funny yet so so real at the same time. The struggles are super relatable all the way to the parents. Relatable to Hamburger. Relatable to the flippin necromancers for god’s sake. I found myself both crying from laughter and then crying from sadness in the same chapter. WHO DOES THAT?!
World Building: DAMMIT MATT HOW CAN YOU MAKE ME WANT MORE?! I loved it k sorry I’m done now thanks.
What to pair it with: I said a wheat beer before and I stand by that. Great summer fantasy read. I need boom 3 now thanks.
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,