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“Once Upon a Broken Heart” by Stephanie Garber Book Review

Book: Once Upon a Broken Heart

Series: Once Upon a Broken Heart #1

Author: Stephanie Garber

408 pages, hardcover

First published on September 28, 2021

Price at Amazon

Price at bookshop.org

“Once Upon a Broken Heart” takes us back to the world of magical Caraval. You don’t need to have read the series, as this is a brand new story. Stephanie Garber’s books feel just right, each is a fairytale story set in a magical world you won’t want to leave.

The book tells us what happens to
Jacks after the finale and introduces us to Evangeline Fox. The Prince of Hearts is a character I really liked in the Caraval series and I wanted to learn more about him.

Eva is hopelessly in love with a boy named Luc. Having grown up with her father’s magical stories and being surrounded by the quirky exhibits in his little store, the heroine thinks she has found the love of her life. Until she finds out that Luc is engaged to her stepsister and is about to have her heart broken. Evangeline believes there is a curse on her lover that she wants to break, even at the cost of a deal with one of the immortals.

Dear reader, if you’ve read Caraval, you already know that a deal with an immortal means big trouble. And this is Eva’s life gone wrong. A deal with the heartless Prince of Hearts makes her his puppet on a string.

If you like “Caraval”, then read this!

Stephanie Garber’s books have magic oozing from every line. I fell in love with “Caraval” from the first book and now I’m captivated all over again. From the very beginning, the author impresses with magic, intricate intrigue and mysterious powers. While elements we often see in books are shoehorned into the plot, the way the author presents them makes them unique. I was delighted to immerse myself in the world of the magnificent North, with little flying dragons buzzing around.

“Once Upon a Broken Heart” will challenge you and make you think about the fact that truth and lies are inseparable. The characters become entangled in their endeavors. Evangeline makes a deal that she regrets almost immediately. She tries to make amends, but that creates new victims. At one point, you wonder if she’s the hero or the villain.

“All stories are made up of both truths and lies”

Evangeline, the hopeless romantic who believes in goodness.

Evangeline is a somewhat shy heroine. I don’t think she’s the typical type we’re used to seeing lately. That’s what makes her charming. Evangeline believes in magic and in love. She’s brave in her own way, stubborn and always wants to do the right thing. Not all her decisions are right. But her naivety and her belief in goodness melted away before my eyes. I was very curious to see how her story would develop. Will she find her happy ending or will she be condemned to never trust again.

After all, girls don’t go for bad boys.

I can’t help but mention Jacks. Since the Caraval series, I really liked his story and was disappointed with his role there. In Once Upon a Broken Heart, he’s just as compelling as I wanted him to be. A mysterious, enigmatic immortal whose story you’re dying to uncover.

I rated Once Upon a Broken Heart 5 stars because once again I enjoyed the plot, which was beyond magical. If you think you’ve seen all the magic the author is capable of in Caraval, be prepared to be surprised! Get ready for a new kind of magic. I enjoyed reading everything Stephanie Garber dished up about the old royal family, the arcs, the prophecy, and how Evangeline came to be at the center of it all.

How far would you go for happily ever after?

For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings… until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic but wicked Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game—and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after or the most exquisite tragedy…

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