Sep 20, 2021

ARC Review--Once Upon A Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber


From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Caraval, the first book in a new series about love, curses, and the lengths that people will go to for happily ever after.

Evangeline Fox was raised in her beloved father’s curiosity shop, where she grew up on legends about immortals, like the tragic Prince of Hearts. She knows his powers are mythic, his kiss is worth dying for, and that bargains with him rarely end well.

But when Evangeline learns that the love of her life is about to marry another, she becomes desperate enough to offer the Prince of Hearts whatever he wants in exchange for his help to stop the wedding. The prince only asks for three kisses. But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’s pledged. And he has plans for Evangeline that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy…




I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


Stephanie Garber returns to the magic world of Caraval with a brand new story, Once Upon A Broken Heart. As we all know by now, this story will involve our favorite Fate, Jacks, and new heroine Evangeline. This story takes place after the events of Finale, so new readers can happily read this one without prior knowledge of the original series, but as a fan of the series, I’d still recommend them!

As you probably know by now I am HUGE fan of Stephanie Garber's Caraval series! Returning to this world was a little like returning home. There is just something so magically wonderful about this series, I can't really explain it in words at times. There's just this happy feeling I get when I am reading the words and living the story with Evangeline! This story held me captivated from the very first lines and didn't let me go until I closed the back cover.

We open the story to meeting Evangeline in a state of tears. She had officially became an orphan and now her stepsister was marrying the boy she loves most. She is willing to make a deal with the Prince of Hearts in order to stop the wedding, but of course any deal with Jacks isn’t going to turn out well for anyone other than Jacks. Jacks agrees to her request, but she must kiss three people of his choosing when and where he tells her and Evangeline agrees to his terms. When Evangeline sees the results of her wish come true, and sees her beloved, stepsister and the entire wedding party turned into stone, she takes their place and frees them.

Evangeline wakes up six weeks later with the help of the Fate, Poison, and sees that a lot of things have changed in that time. Luc, her beloved was injured once again and sequestered himself off to heal and refuses to see her or even her stepsister, Marisol. Evangeline and Marisol have a fragile relationship. Evangeline has a somewhat trusting nature and doesn’t believe that Marisol did anything to actually hurt Evangeline, she believes that was more her stepmother’s ideas.

We do get a happy encounter with Evangeline meeting Scarlett and Donatella, no boys sadly. Scarlett was amazed to hear about Evangeline’s sacrifice. She wants Evangeline to attend the Nocte Neverending, a celebration of sorts where the prince in the north, Apollo, will try to find a bride at a series of balls. Evangeline asks for Marisol to join her, for she feels sorry for his stepsister and the way her mother treats her and with what the gossip columns have been saying about her.

Then naturally at the first ball, Evangeline runs into Jacks. The moody, post-Finale Jacks…who now has blue hair! I was a bit curious about the how and why of the color change but since it’s Evangeline’s point of view, we don’t really get that reason. It’s safe to say it was due to what he went through after Finale. Jacks tells her she has to kiss the prince, Apollo. Doesn’t tell her why and Evangeline has no choice but to do it or else, she’ll die. Her kiss magically makes Apollo fall in love with her and Evangeline can’t help but fall a little for him too.

The story really takes off when murder comes into play and Evangeline is the number one suspect and when her life is on the line, Jacks is the one to be there for her. Surprising, yes? The story then evolves more into Jacks’ possible plans. We get an inkling of what he’s after, we know what he’s willing to do to get it, but he still don’t really know what he wants it for.

Stephanie Garber really amps up the magic in this story and I was all for it! There’s talks of fairy tales we have yet to know and how Evangeline was raised on her mother’s stories. There’s also just a very fairy tale like feel in the air of this one from the balls and fancy dresses to even Evangeline’s pink hair! What made this one even more exciting for me was my favorite kind of character popped into this story! If you know Stephanie and how she came to create Jacks, it’s related to that! Otherwise I will leave even that minute detail a surprise for you.

Once Upon A Broken Heart was filled with surprises at every turn! Just when you think things are running smoothly, she shakes things up with a shocking character reveal or a startling backstory. I’m eager to learn more about Jacks and his plans and oh how I wish we could get his point of view! Not only because he was somewhat villainous but because he is such a complex character! You never know what he’s going to do next. Yes, he’s a liar and manipulative and self-serving, but I still think there’s something more to that guy! It’s amazing how one can love the most deplorable characters in books! Despite his dark intentions…I still think he’s going to surprise us in the next book!

Fans of Caraval will rave over this one and it’s a perfect read for fans of fantasies and fairy tales. It’s the right blend of magic and danger. This is a book I ended up cherishing from beginning to end! I loved returning to this magical world, if on the other side of town.  Once Upon A Broken Heart will sweep you away into a magical world alongside ours where just about anything is possible!


Overall Rating 5/5 stars



Once Upon A Broken Heart releases September 28, 2021






No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are an award all on their own! So my blog is an award free one! Thanks for any consideration though!