Caroline's Heart Kindle Edition
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- Publication date : December 18, 2017
- File size : 4014 KB
- Print length : 96 pages
- ASIN : B078HV3DRY
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #624,283 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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But I love the messages this book offers. Some of us struggle to be who we really are, and measure our success by not drawing attention to ourselves. So, to be seen and yet accepted without question? That is rare and wonderful. Sometimes being visibly very different is good, sometimes bad. Grief tangles everything up. Grief and obsession can become poison. These themes aren't new, but I do love what the author did with them. If you need a fairly gentle take on these themes, try this book.
How a novella has complete world building and a slow-burn romance in 98 pages, I don't know, but it really does. The magic of the world is cool. Cecily, a witch, can do basic spells like summoning items or teleporting across a room. But the main thing she does is create artificial limbs for injured people. There's not much explanation beyond that, but for the length of the story, the physics of the world sit perfectly and make sense for the forwarding of the plot.
Roy and Cecily were also fantastic leads. Roy, while private and closed off from others, has such a warm heart that everyone seems drawn to him. And Cecily, while extremely prickly, shows her goodness in the righteousness of her actions.
Like all of Chant's work, this is a trans romance - this time with both MCs. This plot works so beautifully as there's so much richness to the metaphors of being at conflict with your own physical body. It's also a blended fantasy and western historical fiction, so well the word "trans" is never used, it has some great exploration about the characters' identities without being a soapbox.
It reminds me of a sort of trans Howl's Moving Castle with a little Fullmetal Alchemist twist (don't attempt human resurrection, y'all!) Definitely dark in places, but a really beautiful story of some memorable characters.
The magic was one of the most unusual and unique systems I ever read.
Ultimately this is a story about letting go of a clenched fist so your hand can be open for whatever goodness next comes to you. The same is true of hearts.
This story was exactly as good as everyone said it would be. It is a magical love story between two trans, bi protagonists in the 1800s, and also about holding on to and moving on from lost loved ones.
I really loved the writing in this story - I was captivated by the story, especially towards the end when everything started unraveling. I also loved the little details or choices, like Cecily making prosthetic limbs and the people loving and remembering her for it even years later.
I'm not very coherent with this review, but trust me when I say that I loved this and you should read it too. <3
Representation: bisexual trans characters
CW: altercation leading to gunfire, death of a loved one, grief, homophobia, transphobia
Roy and Cecily's relationship is so charming from the moment they meet. Roy is polite but persistent, and Cecily is interested and cares despite herself. I love Roy's awe at Cecily after the scene where he realizes they're both trans.
A huge part of the book is Cecily trying to figure out a relationship (of any kind) with Roy while being reluctant to let go of Caroline. Grief and how to grieve healthily are important ideas here.
Top reviews from other countries
I'm not a huge historical romance fan, but Chant's writing style is so lovely and I really enjoyed the soft tone of the story. He has a deft hand at establishing characters in a succinct and precise way that feels meaningful, for instance the small gestures within the text that show Roy's rejection of toxic masculinity. I also love how he sets up the sense of a world and an atmosphere in such a small space of time. Caroline's Heart has a slightly eerie ghost story vibe, and I really like the way that magic is portrayed and utilised within the setting. I'd love to have seen more of it, but I think that's just my fantasy bias talking.
I also wish we could've learnt a bit more about Roy's and Cecily's characters, but I guess the issue with a novella is that you always want more.
I love Roy and Cecily so much they are so pure and precious and should be protected