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Jack of Hearts: Volume 1 (A Novel of the Seven Courts) Kindle Edition

54 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • File Size: 553 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (April 30, 2013)
  • Publication Date: April 30, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BWTUF1W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #438,123 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Ricardo Bare was born in Madrid, Spain, the son of an American fighter jet mechanic and a Spanish damsel. Roman aqueducts, crumbling castles, Moorish arches, churros and chocolate, and carving slices off a leg of jamon serrano that hung next to his aunt's kitchen door are still etched in his childhood memory.

It was probably finding an old copy of John Carter of Mars in his grandfather's attic that first seriously ignited his love of reading and eventually led to his high school English teacher recommending he join the creative writing group after finding that a "free writing" exercise she'd assigned turned into a long description of battles between monsters and knights wielding magic swords.

Deeply connected to his love of stories is his love of games. Ricardo grew up playing computer games, board games, and table top RPGs, cutting his teeth on the Commodore 64 version of the The Bard's Tale. Many years later, he joined the video games industry as a designer where he helped create the award winning Deus Ex series. Most recently Ricardo worked with Arkane Studios on Dishonored, 2012's Game of the Year.

Eventually he found his way to Texas, the land of tongue-scalding food and infernal summers, where he now lives close to Austin with his beloved family.

Ricardo writes in the slim spaces left between making games, time with his family, and trying to grow all the ingredients necessary for salsa and gazpacho in his backyard garden. He's written dozens of short stories, a few of which have been presentable enough to be shown in public. His first two novels, Jack of Hearts and Fool of Fate are published by Bell Bridge books.

He hopes readers will take as much enjoyment from his works as he's had in creating them.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michael G. Manning on May 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I picked up this book on the recommendation of a friend and soon found myself drawn into the dark story of Jack, the boy with no heart. This is Ricardo Bare's first book but I sincerly hope he continues as I'm dying to find out more about the lonely adventures of the hero. I'll be recommending this to my friends.

On a more technical note, the editing was perfect and the story well written, without annoying grammar or spelling errors that so often detract from many of the books we see published today.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christine Czerniejewski on June 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
Jack of Hearts by Ricardo Bare hooked me with its beautiful cover art and the tagline - "Some boys throw their hearts away. Jack let a witch take his." Yes, I bought the book for its cover which is never a good idea unless you will be satisfied with owning a small piece of art, however, in this case, the contents of the book lived up to the promise of the cover. Lucky me!

The book is essentially a chase scene as the titular character, Jack, at the behest of the Lady of Twilight pursues the wizard, Moribrand. The Lady's reason for wanting the wizard dead remains unknown to Jack, nor will he ask her. He lives by the simple credo - obey the Lady, but do not act like the Lady.

During the course of their travels, Jack's and Moribrand's fates become increasingly entangled with each other and a small cast of characters including the Salt Baron Jacosta, the giant Minnow, and Cassandra, a young girl imprisoned in an unknown location who communicates through a mirror that Jack finds and carries with him. Each character feels well-developed and as richly drawn as the world they inhabit. Bare did a particularly good job with maintaining Jack's numb detachment as the heartless boy while at the same time revealing small cracks in his emotionless demeanor. Through a series a flashbacks, Bare relates Jack's painful history which lead him to give his heart to the Lady of Twilight, and if your own heart doesn't ache for the boy, you're made of sterner stuff than I.

The idea of Jack giving his heart to a witch reminded me of ABC's "Once Upon a Time," and there are several traditional Snow White elements at play within the book. Jack of Hearts, however, is not a retread of the old, familiar fairy tale. It is wholly original, standing firmly on its own as the beginning of a great tale. I look forward to returning to the land of the Seven Courts and spending more time with Jack and his companions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jim Magill on June 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For me, there's always that scene in a story that grabs me, sucks me in, and makes me want to see it through. In "Jack of Hearts," it was when the giant ate the mule.

Aside from King's "The Dark Tower" series, I haven't read fantasy in 20 years. Bare's "Jack of Hearts" has me wondering what other great fantasy tales I've missed. I can't wait for book two.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andreas Attic on June 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I very seldom start fantasy series when only the first book is available, because if I like the book, I want to read the next book in the series NOW. But a friend suggested Jack of Hearts by new author Ricardo Bare, and well, I broke my own rule. Well, I loved it. It is so well done. Such a unique concept-a boy with no heart-and the characters really grabbed me. And the writing was exceptional. The only problem . . . I want book two NOW.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kbillingsley on June 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a teacher, I am always looking for great books for my students. This book has a terrific combination of adventure and character development that will capture any audience- young or old. This is a well-written novel that I will definitely recommend to my students. Looking forward to book 2!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andi on August 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
3.5 stars. I don't read much fantasy anymore, but I enjoyed Jack of Hearts. The story follows Jack's hunt for the magician, Moribrand, at the request of the Lady of Twilight.

But even though Jack has no heart--literally (he gave it to the Lady)--he shows heart in his actions along the way. He discovers the Oracle, Cassandra, held in a mirror, and takes her with him on his journey.

While this reads as a young adult novel, there were some violent things that occurred, like the giant, Minnow, eating a live animal that turned my stomach. I'm not sure the book would be good for the very young.

I also felt there were some similarities with Stephen King's story, The Gunslinger. Jack is like a combination of both young Jack and Roland, as the Lady has provided him with special capabilities. And Cassandra seems much like Susanna, who was trapped in a wheelchair. And he's chasing a magician who has his sights on a dark tower in the distance. Is this really meant to be fan fiction?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Spivak on June 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A well written fantasy novel, told from multiple perspectives of very well developed characters. Hope to read more of Jack's adventures in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bryce on October 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This felt like the first half of a story. Now I get that this is a series, or at least 2 books. The thing is it just felt incomplete to me. There is a grand total of 2 real POV characters in the book. Jack and Mori. Mori is, well... boring and useless. Mori is the type of antagonist who has a GREATLY overinflated ego and opinion of himself for seemingly no reason at all. He is more frustrating to read than fun.

Jack is a bit more interesting as he has to deal with echoes of a heart that he should have nothing to do with any longer. The world is boring. There is only on place mentioned repeatedly in a way of importance but we see nothing of it in this book. What little magic in the book is unexplained and quite simply boring.

In the end the book was ok for passing the time but I will not be buying book 2 and I feel that the price too high for the content. For 260 pages very little of import seemed to happen.
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