Thursday, March 13, 2014

Kaniesha Reviews: White Hart ARC by Sarah Dalton (Spoiler Warning)

Title: White Hart
Series: White Hart #1
Author: Sarah Dalton
Release date: March 5, 2014
Publisher: Sarah Dalton (Indie)
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Mae never asked to be craft-born. She never wanted that burden.
The realm needs magic again, and the the King of Aegunlund has been waiting for the first craft-born girl to marry his son, Prince Casimir.

In Mae's town of Halts-Walden, the ambitious miller claims his daughter Ellen is craft-born. Mae knows this is a load of hogwash, but she's glad Ellen will have the unfortunate pleasure of becoming queen instead of her. All she has to do is sit back and wait until Casimir and Ellen are married, then she will finally be free of the threat of her fate. But on that day an event so shocking and terrible occurs that Mae finds herself entering the neighbouring cursed forest on a quest she never thought she'd have to follow.

Join Mae as she rides her white stag through the Waerg Woods with a pampered prince at her heels. She's out for revenge and nothing, no one, will get in her way.

This review contains some spoilers.

Review: Received a copy of White Hart via Netgalley for review. Thank you!

I actually had a lot of problems with White Hart. They were very conflicting problems because where I wanted to throw my kindle very far away from me, at the same time I didn't want to put it down. Truly, I'm glad I didn't! So I'm going to write another of my list reviews because I can pinpoint exactly what I liked and disliked.

1. Magic
Mae is the craft-born. She is destined to save the entire land with her magic. Problem? Of course, she has no idea how to use it. And if she reveals herself she has to marry the prince and potentially put her life in danger. (This turns from a potential to a definite).
Negative: There's not a lot of use of her magic in the book until about 80% in and that aggravates me. If the girl is supposed to save everyone with it, why wouldn't she try to get a better grip on it?
Positive: At least she wasn't instantly good at using her magic. It's obvious she's going to need training.

2. Love interest
Negative: This is an obvious hate-turns-to-love plot. She and the prince, Cas, meet and instantly dislike each other but truly, they're supposed to be married. I want to say Mae starts falling for the prince about 40% in? Not a surprise. There's literally no other characters for her to even consider romantically.
Positive: Not instalove. Not guaranteed either (yet).

3. Mae (White Hart)
Negative: Snotty, bratty, obviously not used to human interaction.
Positive: Smart, logical, makes good choices.
It actually takes a while for Mae to really develop as not annoying and smart mouthed. Eventually, she lets her walls down and we get to see that she's actually a decent person. But for the first 40% (mentioned above) she treats Cas like garbage. He hasn't done anything to her to warrant this behavior but if he even as so speaks she tells him to shut up or be quiet and then she internally complains about his "incessant chatter". After pages and pages of them wandering through the forest, I was begging for dialogue at one point and she told him to shut up almost instantly.

4. Character Death
Basic plot device, unnecessary and I felt nothing from it. All it did was give Mae a purpose. (Though she could've had a different one such as, oh I don't know, wanting to have control over her powers in the first place?)

5. Cliche (Spoilers!!!)
- Fog that can be cut with a blade.
- Trees and vines that get mad after being cut to create a path. (Avatar, anyone?)
- A sleeping willow tree with a face. (Pocahontas). Though it was also the center of the forest and gave life to the rest of the forest. (Again, Avatar).

6. Vague/Unclear
Everything in this book is generally unknown. Let's start with Mae and how she hasn't really used her magic before the story begins: she has no idea what it is, what its origins are, what she's capable of or how to use it. Then we go into a forest that is magical that she's never been too far into so she doesn't know anything about it either. She's had basically no human interaction besides her father so she doesn't really understand her emotions or how to deal with them. On top of that, there are very many "somewhats, somethings, seemings, and in-explainable feelings".
"That churning feeling returns, and once again I find myself drawn to the woods."
"Something comes over me, a feeling I can't really explain but seems tied to my powers.""For some reason I find my throat dry and am aware of every part of my body."
"There is something brewing in the dark tonight. I can feel it."
"I feel it deep down in my bones."
"But then, a few moments later, the atmosphere changes and fills me with utter dread."
"I'm part of this, somehow."
"I don't know why, but I know in my gut that Ellen is inside that tent."
Those are all direct quotes. The whole book is led by her feelings which is supposed to be verified by her magic. Part of me thinks "well her feelings don't need to be verified" and another part of me wishes there was a more concrete part of the story.

Overall, I really liked Mae and Cas and their chemistry. Their relationship growth was really nice. Sasha and Finn were really great additions to the story as well. I love that it wasn't completely predicable and I was surprised a majority of the last half of the book. The evil, mystery and magic are interesting and believable. Though a lot of the time, the writing is very basic and monotonous. I look forward to the sequel and hope it's written better.

Rating: 3.5 stars
Would recommend to: people with an interest in opinionated, take-charge heroines, patience for a plot to develop and cute princes.


  1. Sounds kinda interesting, I actually like the cliches you listed lol.
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    1. I like them too but it's just so obvious at some point, I just kind of rolled my eyes. It's probably because of the state that everything's in. (Magic is dormant).