Cover Image: Heart of the Impaler

Heart of the Impaler

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Love seeing books inspired by real historical events! It's always so interesting to see lives play out, even if the characters involved are fictional. Really enjoyed this one!
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed the world building and epic fantasy of this storyline. The character development was well done, but I did have difficulty with the extra details the author added to the plot line which distracted from the main story.
Was this review helpful?
This book was fantastic. I read it very quickly and loved the characters. Really enjoyed it and looking forward to more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
Oof okay so I was really happy that the love triangle trope had mostly retired. Especially between a jerk, a blandly nice guy, and a "not like other girls" girl...

But the real killer (ha!) is the way the story is told. Pivotal scenes happen almost entirely off-screen, whether that's battles, an assassination, or even certain key conversations between characters. Instead of showing us these moments and how the characters act, we instead get play-by-play summaries (via dialogue) after the fact. Which is both less interesting and involves less detail / interpretation on the part of the reader. It leaves us feeling totally detached from characters we don't get to see grow/change/adapt and makes us not want to root for them.

I'm kinda disappointed because I was really hoping for an interesting Vlad the impaler book, but this ain't it.
Was this review helpful?
Fascinating period piece. Paints Vladimir Dracula as a person, who grows into his reputation, rather than a force from the beyond. Shoes the cart intricacies that made him who he became.
Worth the read, to a long time fane of the subject. Also worth the read for anyone who enjoys period dramas.
Was this review helpful?
I wanted to like this so much more then I did!!! It has so much potential! The setting, the characters, the story…. But the execution fell short.  The characters didn’t connect well with what was happening. It felt like it just went along with whatever the author decided- whether it made sense or not. I didn’t care for Vlad and Andrei preening their feathers for Ilona. Especially when it was glaringly obvious that it’s not a contest.
Was this review helpful?
I was so excited to read Heart of the Impaler, but it honestly fell short for me. The idea of the love triangle was originally intriguing but just did not live up to the expectations that I had going into this book. Honestly, I rate this two stars out of five. 

I received an ARC copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I was too late to read this on netgalley but I did pick up a copy and I really tried to like it, but I just couldn't get into it. The story was not for me, sadly.
Was this review helpful?
This is a book that anyone could probably read in one sitting. The historical aspect of it was very interesting. Although I am a person who is a fan of love triangles, I seem to have had a hard time connecting and rooting for anyone in particular. I feel that this book needed to be developed more- especially the characters. As someone who loves a character-driven story, when I can't connect with the characters I seem to have a hard time. The setting and vibes are really cool and well-done, I just needed a little more.
Was this review helpful?
This was an interesting read. Not exactly what I'd hoped for, but still very.good. great world building, characters that I liked, and a story that held my attention!
Was this review helpful?
great book and had me on my seat. I enjoyed the characters and all that happened in the book.  I enjoyed being in this world and seeing the growth of the characters. I enjoyed the drama of the story and I can't wait to read others books by this author.
Was this review helpful?
Based on my feelings alone, I would just give it 3 stars. I just liked this one. I didn't get a lot of feels in this. But there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. It was written well, it had a good plot, the characters were well rounded. I was happy about the ending but I think I expected it to be a fantasy and it was a historical fiction. Which is completely fine! I just wasn't blown away. HOWEVER I would actually highly recommend this to high schoolers! I think it's a really good introduction to the history of Dracula. I found myself doing some quick reading on the history!
Was this review helpful?
I'm not sure if I liked this. I really love love-triangles but I didn't like either of the characters much to get invested. I like the title of the book plus the concept but the direction this novel took me on wasn't it for me.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed the multiple POV'S and the love triangle in Heart of the Impaler. I liked the characters and the historical fiction. It was a cute romance but I do wish it had been explored more. Overall it was a quick read and if you like retellings this is a book for you. (Genre: YA Fantasy) 

I did receive a free e-ARC from netgally in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Steeped in 15th-century blood, Delacroix has brought Transylvanian and Wallachian history vividly to life. The fact that one central character is a young Vlad Dracul III (aka Dracula) makes the novel even more enticing. Vlad Dracul II was a ruthless and unpopular voivode (although, as “Impaler,” his son eventually upstaged his father’s many efforts at brutality!) and the boyars (warlords) frequently staged uprisings against him. A dangerous time to be anywhere near court.

Based around historical figures of the time, the nub of the story is the friendly threesome between Vlad, his fictional cousin Andrei Musat, and Ilona Csáki, forcibly betrothed by Vlad II to Mircea, young Vlad’s loathsome older brother, as part of a bargain to elevate and subjugate her boyar father. Ilona’s affections waver between Vlad’s boorish and possessive advances as he romanticises the idea of her becoming his queen (after he has murdered Mircea), and Andrei’s gentle, compassionate nature. When circumstances force Andrei and Ilona together, sheltering at the home of a boyar ally, they find much in common through her love of artistry and science.

The novel is equal part mystery and adventure, and the denouement leaves the door ajar for a sequel in which Andrei and Ilona may be sorely tested. Filled with murder, mayhem and treachery, the narrative moves at the speed of the galloping horses the boys ride to vie for Ilona’s affections. Vlad is rather wooden and a stereotypical bully, unsurprisingly, and his sense of entitlement furthers more dislike. There’s plenty of action and derring-do which will appeal to young adult readers, but for readers seeking romance this might not do the trick. The appendix of Hungarian and Romanian words is informative, and the history is positively moreish, even though Delacroix admits to certain poetic license.
Was this review helpful?
I was not able to finish this book, but my library did purchase it. If I get a chance to read this I will update my goodreads with my review.
Was this review helpful?
Don't be deceived into thinking this is a book about vampire / vampire themes. While it is a dark atmosphere it's more dark romance in the time you would think about Dracula. 

Our main character Llona doesn't want to marry for politics and certainly isn't interested in the man she is betrothed to. Instead, she is drawn to another (and another!) 

Certainly not my favorite young adult romance fantasy. I think a few people hit the nail on the head when they said the writing style is right for the genre you're reading just not executed in some ways and characters aren't boy favorite.
Was this review helpful?
A longer review to come soon! I didn’t like this book and I could not finish it.. Thanks for the chance to try it.
Was this review helpful?
Based on the real Dracula family, this novel focuses on the people striving to make alliances with them and how that impacted their daughters. While it had a basis in history, the story was speculative. The book was solid intrigue and had decent characters. If you're looking for a good YA historical romp, this is it.
Was this review helpful?
Heart of the Impaler is a young adult fantasy by Alexander Delacroix. I enjoyed this book, but I didn’t love it as much as I initially thought I would. The summary for Heart of the Impaler makes it seem like this is going to be a fantasy romance with an epic love triangle between two great friends. And then you throw in a betrothal to a third guy, and I was really pumped. I love some good love triangle action. And while all of that is true- there was a betrothal, and there was a love triangle between her Llona, her betrothed’s younger brother and the younger brother’s best friend, the story seemed much more focused on the political aspect of the warring factions than on the romance. And I wasn’t really invested in the love triangle aspect of the story. I liked one of the guys, barely saw the betrothed and strongly disliked the other guy from the very second meeting of him.

In Heart of the Impaler, my favorite character was our main character, Llona. I loved how strong she was and such an independent thinker. She was by far my favorite out of everyone. I also quite enjoyed Llona’s new friend Magda and the sweet Andrei. I was rooting for Andrei the entire time. Vlad creeped me out and seemed way too self centered for me to care about him as a love interest. I wasn’t connected to him at all. I was at their first encounter by by their second encounter it didn’t feel like he cared about who Llona was at all. (which might have been Alexander Delacroix’s point, I’m not really sure, but it did alienate me from enjoying Vlad’s side of the love triangle. Andrei was a winner for me though. He cared about Llona and getting to know her and her likes.

A large part of the story were the political tensions between Vlad and his family and between Vlad’s father and his enemies. That aspect of the plot kind of took over the story in my opinion, which leads me to believe that this book will resonate most with readers who enjoy political YA fantasy with action heavy plotlines. I think those readers will absolutely devour Heart of the Impaler. There are many darker themes of war and battle explored, and some of the characters are pretty grey/dark. I enjoyed those aspects of the story, but I did think they was a bit slow in parts. The book overall was an easy read that I finished in a couple of days. Overall, I thought Heart of the Impaler was a good read.
Was this review helpful?