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This is book number 1 in the Heart of Thorns series.
Mia has grown up believing two things: any woman could be a Gwyrach, and all Gwyrach are evil and must be killed. She's spent her life training to hunt and kill these Gwyrach -- witches -- especially the one who killed her mother. But on the day of her (forced) marriage to Prince Quin, her life beings to unravel when an assassin tries to kill Quin and Mia discovers that everything is not what she thought it to be. In this strong debut fantasy, Barton explores the dangers of patriarchy and keeping secrets from each other. She also gives us more than one compelling female character, plus an engaging plot to keep us reading. Yes, it's a feminist book, but it's also a rollicking good adventure. Fantastic for Marissa Meyer and Leigh Bardugo fans.— Melissa Fox
Inventive and heart-racing, this fierce feminist teen fantasy from debut author Bree Barton explores a dark kingdom in which only women can possess magic—and every woman is suspected of having it.
Fans of Leigh Bardugo and Laini Taylor won’t want to miss this gorgeously written, bold novel, the first in the Heart of Thorns trilogy.
In the ancient river kingdom, where touch is a battlefield and bodies the instruments of war, Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood. The same women who killed her mother without a single scratch.
But when Mia's father announces an alliance with the royal family, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers for a sumptuous silk gown. Determined to forge her own path forward, Mia plots a daring escape, but could never predict the greatest betrayal of all: her own body. Mia possesses the very magic she has sworn to destroy.
Now, as she untangles the secrets of her past, Mia must learn to trust her heart…even if it kills her.