Review: These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan

From New York Times bestselling author Lexi Ryan, Cruel Prince meets A Court of Thorns and Roses in this sexy, action-packed fantasy about a girl who is caught between two treacherous faerie courts and their dangerously seductive princes.

Brie would do anything before making a deal with the Fae; death is better than their vicious schemes. But when her sister is taken by the sadistic king of the Unseelie court, there is nothing Brie wouldn’t do to get her back-including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the rival Seelie court.

Gaining unfettered access to the Seelie court is easier said than done. Brie’s only choice is to pose as a potential bride for the Seelie Prince, Ronan-a prince who’s not quite as wicked as she once thought. Unwilling to let her heart distract her, she accepts help from a band of Unseelie misfits with their own secret agenda. But as Brie spends time with their mysterious leader, Finn, she finds herself struggling to resist his seductive charm.

Caught between two dangerous courts, Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty . . . and with her heart.

Abriella “Brie” Kincaid and her younger sister Jasalyn live in the rotten quarters of their wicked aunt and cousins home, for a costly monthly fee and where they do all of the household chores. When Brie’s aunt sells Jasalyn to the Unseelie Court’s self-proclaimed King to make up for a late payment, Abriella is distraught.
However, the very same night, the portal between the Fae realm and mortal realm is open, because the Queen of the Seelie Court is holding a ball to find a bride match for her heir. Brie decides to crash this party to find a way to save her sister.
What transpires is a treacherous adventure full of revelations and challenges that will change everything for Brie and both the Fae courts.

UHHH… that??? Ending?? Is the author or Hodder & Stoughton going to pay for my therapy? Because I’m obsessed with this story. I read it within 24 hours yet I still think about it MONTHS later… it literally haunts me in the night. 

These Hollow Vows played so many mind games to the point I never knew who or what to believe. It is a deliciously deceptive introduction into what I can only call an addictive first in series that promises an exciting and dangerous fuelled horizon. 

Brie is a mostly likeable heroine. From the story’s opening you know Brie’s gutsy and committed, through a similar parallel to ACOTAR’s Feyre hunting in the woods to survive, but for Brie, it’s more of a Six of Crows vibe, as she steals from a high security vault to survive instead. Brie’s underdog appeal carries on throughout the story but admittedly she does become rather infuriating. Brie acted in ways contrary to what she knew would be in her best interests as a human in a Fae world, and more or less completely disregarded her own self preservation. Because of this, she made me groan and resist the urge to throw my kindle across the room… all the while still rooting for her. Where Brie starts out is completely different from where she is by the end of the book. The book’s events change everything for her and it equally thrilled and pained me. 

Arguably the biggest part of the book is its tantalising love triangle. I loved it but by gosh did it hurt – which shows it was done well enough to pack such impact. The romance was delightfully saucy and irresistible. Honestly the steam factor was nearly off the charts. I was flipping the pages and sniffling thinking “What does a mere mortal girl like me have to do to have two Faes fawn over her?!”

I kept thinking about that song “torn between two lovers” when it came to the boys… On the one hand you have Sebastian, who is the cute boy next door who Brie’s known for two years, yet you can’t shake it feels too good to be true. Then there’s Finnian, who is moody, cold, aloof and extremely secretive, so much so common sense would tell you to avoid him like the plague. Yet he comes across as the mysterious bad boy you want to know more about and can’t help but rise to the vibes he exudes.

I think the author was very clever in how she fed into both romances to create the triangle. She played my heart like a fiddle and for the entirety of the book had me undecided on where my head and heart lay, until the very last page. The love triangle will undoubtedly continue in the sequeland… *squeals* I CANT WAIT. It’s as much my guilty pleasure as Love Island is!! However, I do wish it had been more explicit – sorry not sorry – no half measures here *blushes and hides face*

As much as it left me in pain, because it was such fun, I’d likely reread it. In short I was in my element. I was beyond invested in the characters and plot turns, especially with its easy YA style readability and great pace. The entire book is an enjoyable blend of romance and fantasy: it’s action packed, underpinned by subtle politics and the heart pounding romance. I’m curious to discover more and hopefully see a greater development of the world building in These Twisted Bonds. I hope to see more of the politics of the seelie and unseelie courts, their different and similar magics, their histories and the people involved. All of this has made me insatiable for the rest of this series.

These Hollow Vows is the newest Fae obsession and I know I won’t be alone. It gives so many questions, so many feelings, so much to theorise and agonise over, and the ending guarantees the sequel is a must read. I can’t wait for the inevitable fandom of this series to take off so I can feed my obsession even more… Until then, quoting the magnificent Jane Austen, I will be half agony, half hope, tortured over what the sequel will deliver, and quite literally count down the days until its release. 

Thank you super super super mega amounts to Hodder & Stoughton, @readeatretreat and Netgalley for giving me an e-ARC in exchange for this honest review.

Buy It Now

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