Books, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Buried Heart by Kate Elliott


A rebellion is brewing in Efea. For too long, the Efeans have been ruled by the Saroese and now they are ready to take back their land. For Jes, it is a fight that threatens to tear her apart. Caught between her Efean mother and her Saroese father, between her love for her Efean friends and her love for Kalliarkos, the Saroese future king, Jes finds herself at the center of a revolution. From a dusty Fives Court in a rural Efean village to the Royal Fives Court itself, Jes struggles to decide where she stands in the fight that is sweeping through Efea. And all the while, foreign enemies bring war to Efea, putting those Jes loves most in danger.

The first two books in the Court of Fives series were among my favorite fantasy reads this year, so I was surprised to find myself less than enamored with Buried Heart. There were just too many plot lines up in the air at any one time, and none of them got the attention they deserved. Additionally, Buried Heart was missing the complicated interactions between the Saroese and Efeans that made the previous two books so interesting. It led to the Saroese as a whole coming off as singularly evil, rather than complex people with lives of their own. That’s not to say I hated the book. Jes was as spunky and clever as ever, and the interactions between her and Kalliarkos were as tender as they were fraught with tension. That simply wasn’t enough to counterbalance the often sluggish plot.

I think the most memorable thing about Buried Heart was the ending. It was a little bittersweet, but it was also hopeful and rather unexpected. With everything that had happened over the course of the book and the series, Buried Heart ended with a more positive note than I would have thought possible.


Reviewed by Stephanie, Grade 12, Glen Allen Library

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