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Frail Human Heart: The Name of the Blade, Book Three Hardcover – November 8, 2016
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About the Author
- Publisher : Candlewick (November 8, 2016)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0763669598
- ISBN-13 : 978-0763669591
- Reading age : 12 - 17 years
- Grade level : 7 - 9
- Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.56 x 1.06 x 8.06 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,533,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I was nervous about starting this series on book three. I liked how the author got me up-to-speed in the first couple pages, I knew I wouldn’t know everything but knowing the major points was a huge plus for me. There were a lot of strange and bizarre words in this novel, words I guess only individuals in this realm would know so I quickly started to write them down so I would know them when I came upon them again in my reading. This book moved along quickly, I mean quickly! I liked the Hikaru in this novel, they were foxes and they had an important relationship with the humans in this novel. The swords or blades as they came to be known also had an interesting history. I would like to go back and read the first two books in this series this summer and actually get the full account of what happened, I think I would really enjoy it. I received a free copy of this novel, so I read it before reading the previous two novels. The cover on this novel is beautiful, the jellyfish and the contrasting colors, very cool. Yes, the jellyfish do have something to do with the novel.
I received a free copy of this novel from Candlewick Press. This review is my own opinion of this novel. Thank you Candlewick for sending me this novel, it was greatly appreciated.
I think all readers were probably left reeling at the end of Darkness Hidden (well I know I was!) so it's been a long wait for this book. Mio paid the ultimate price for saving the world and I was absolutely heartbroken right alongside her. Now she's grief stricken and terrified of losing anyone else that she cares about, she knows that she has to stop Izanami but she's worried about the upcoming battle and doesn't think she'll survive it. Luckily her friends and family aren't going to let her face her enemies alone, it was great to see how everyone had Mio's back and I loved that they all have a role to play in what is happening.
I really don't want to say much about the plot but you should be prepared for epic battles, terrifying monsters, heartbreak and grief but also the strong bonds of love between friends and family. Zoe Marriott is an expert when it comes to Japanese mythology and I've loved the variety of creatures she has introduced us to from the friendly kitsune like Hikaru to the horrifying Jorogumo and many more in between. I have to also give a shout out to the side characters because they've all been fantastic and I particularly loved some certain developments in Jack's love life but I'm not going to say more about that for fear of spoilers. Frail Human Heart was an absolutely fantastic conclusion to this trilogy and I'm sure fans are going to love it just as much as I did.
Top reviews from other countries
I have long been a follower of Zoe Marriott's writing, and this final instalment of The Name of the Blade absolutely cements my love for her writing. Mio's journey, both physical and emotional, is completely addictive and I love it. While she is the protagonist of this trilogy, the supporting cast are provided with plenty of space to grow themselves, and their side-plots are a delight to read. The London portrayed is a realistic, complex environment for a complex plot which nonetheless never becomes confusing.
This book is a joy to read. I felt the characters' pain and joy as they experienced it. Anger, weariness, frustration... but also the shy beginnings of love, the solid strength of familial protectiveness, and the unflinching care of friendship. I don't want to give anything away when it comes to this book, but for those who have been disappointed in the past, this book will not let you down. It is incredible from start to finish. Especially at the finish.
I can't say too much about Frail Human Heart without spoiling the final instalment of the trilogy, but I'll say that after the heartbreak of book 2, I was left very, very satisfied with how things turned out. And what a ride. The story kept me continuously on my toes, and took me to places I'd never have dreamed of going (there's a bit of a pun in that sentence, which you'll realise if you read the book...!). I loved Mio - she's so gutsy and brave, yet also achingly vulnerable and real - and loved her friends Jack and Hikaru (particularly Hikaru, the good-hearted fox spirit who stole a tiny bit of my heart).
As always, Marriott delights in turning tropes upside-down. There's a romance with a wonderful gender-twist to it, and the main romance between Mio and Shinobu may not quite be over, despite the ending of book 2. There's a moment that truly gave me chills in regards to the history of these two. Never saw it coming but it made so much sense. Kudos also to Marriott for portraying parents as an essential and even (gasp!) helpful part of a teenager's life, rather than as story-hindrances to be shoved in a closet or killed off before the tale even begins.
If you like urban fantasy, you MUST read this trilogy. You'll love it. And then you should go back and read everything else that Marriott has done. Some of it's very different in style, but it's all wonderful. Curl up and enjoy!
Prepare yourself for plenty of action, tears, horrifying choices and mythical monsters. Lots of them.
Just as in the first two books that precede it in the Name of the Blade series, Frail Human Heart is bursting with amazingly detailed pieces of description, a ship-load of emotional roller-coasters and characters that never back down from a fight. Zoë Marriott doesn’t just ramp up the action and the tension though, she also builds up the relationships between the characters and is totally unafraid to break them down and put them back together again in a way that completely undermines everything you (and Mio) thought you understood. As the last in the series, it definitely doesn’t disappoint.
I won’t go into too much detail, but particular highlights for me include: the kitsune and their world, the memory scenes, Mio and her family relationships, the beautifully integrated Japanese mythology that underpins everything (you can tell a ton of research went into this book) and, though it might be a little spoiler-y, I have to add Ebisu’s jellyfish and the dragon to this list too – the scenes with her had a gorgeous dreamlike quality.
An interesting detail of this book - and Darkness Hidden – that I have not really encountered before is the ‘Previously in…’ section at the start of the book. For some readers who are reading all three books quite close together this could seem annoying and unnecessary, but I found it quite helpful and less annoying than having the previous events in the last books constantly reiterated as the story could continue faster and build up tension without having to slow down to reflect on past events.
Overall I loved this book, as I have loved all of Zoë Marriott’s since I first discovered The Swan Kingdom. It’s a real departure for her as an author that I was initially a little wary of as I wasn’t sure how the mythology was going to blend together with London as a gritty, urban setting, but it really pays off and shows how she can be equally at home in urban fantasy as she is in high fantasy.
I’d thoroughly recommend Frail Human Heart and the rest of the Name of the Blade series to readers who loved Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series as it has a similar mixture of urban and fantasy and nail-biting action scenes - or to anyone who has even a little interest in Japanese mythology.
And, if you’ve read and loved Frail Human Heart because of those Japanese influences and you want to read more of Zoë Marriott’s novels, I’d definitely recommend Shadows on the Moon as your next book to curl up with.
- Writing convincing and genuine father-daughter relationships
- Writing convincing and genuine friendships
- Representing the world (in this case London) as it really is (in all its beautiful diverse glory)
- Dropping a bit of historical Japan into the mix
- Keeping you guessing until the last minute.
I really enjoyed this trilogy. It's an original urban fantasy that makes you want to hug people. And fox spirits.