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Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Black Heart (Curse Workers #3) by Holly Black


Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: April 3, 2012
Pages: 296
Source: For Review from Simon & Schuster Canada (Thank you!)
Rating: 5 Stars


Cassel Sharpe knows he’s been used as an assassin, but he’s trying to put all that behind him. He’s trying to be good, even though he grew up in a family of con artists and cheating comes as easily as breathing to him. He’s trying to do the right thing, even though the girl he loves is inextricably connected with crime. And he’s trying to convince himself that working for the Feds is smart, even though he’s been raised to believe the government is the enemy. 
But with a mother on the lam, the girl he loves about to take her place in the Mob, and new secrets coming to light, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong becomes increasingly blurred. When the Feds ask Cassel to do the one thing he said he would never do again, he needs to sort out what’s a con and what’s truth. In a dangerous game and with his life on the line, Cassel may have to make his biggest gamble yet—this time on love.
 
In short: Holly Black raises the stakes in Black Heart, the thrilling conclusion to the brilliant and ingenious Curse Workers Trilogy.
I was so excited to return to the dark world of curse workers and con men in Black Heart, the third and final book in the Curse Workers Trilogy. White Cat and Red Glove, the previous two books in the trilogy by Holly Black, were fast-paced and terribly clever, with brilliant characters and effortless writing. I was anxious to find out what would happen to our favourite characters in Black Heart and if Holly Black could best herself to come up with the perfect conclusion to an awesome series. I am happy to say I believe she does!

I am beyond impressed by the skill and proficiency with which Holly Black writes. Black Heart has three main, separate story lines and problems that Cassel finds himself having to deal with all at once. I am amazed that at such a small number of pages - less than 300! - Black Heart never feels cluttered or rushed. Instead, the multiple plot lines makes Black Heart not only the most intense of the three books in the series, but also makes it near impossible to put down.

Cassel is officially one of my most favourite male protagonists of all time. He is the suave and arrogant bad boy on the surface, hiding his true demeanor as a compassionate and often insecure teenager. He faces more pressure and trouble than ever in Black Heart as he is seemingly pulled in multiple different directions with no ideal outcome. And just when you're wondering how is he ever going to get himself out of all these predicaments, Cassel finds a way to cleverly avoid trouble and selflessly give support to those in need.

Black Heart is the prefect conclusion to an ingenious and original fantasy trilogy. The ending is left a bit open, but all major story lines are wrapped up nicely. I am a new and vocal fan of Holly Black's after reading this series and I look forward to reading more from her in the future!

Previously, my review for White Cat and Red Glove.

Other Reviews:
Burning Impossibly Bright
The Bursting Bookshelf
Reading Teen

Author Links:
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20 comments :

  1. I'm so glad the series ended up in a great place!
    I was so intrigued by it and so wanted to read it.
    But I'm still not over the change of covers.

    Cassell does sound awesome :D

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    1. That cursed change in covers! Why do publishers do that?! It's so frustrating. I mean, I like both sets of covers, but I wish they had kept them consistent for the entire series, so we could choose whether we wanted the old or new covers.

      I adore Cassel. I was impressed by how honest he was in this book... unusual and difficult for him, haha.

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  2. Wonderful review, Aylee. I can't wait to get my hands on this one. I'm a huge fan of the first two books and I have no doubt in my mind that this will be a satisfactory conclusion to the trilogy.

    Cassel's hidden vulnerability is what I like most about him too and I'm very excited to see where he'll end up.
    Thanks for the review.
    Maja @ The Nocturnal Library

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    1. Wonderful comment! I hope you find it satisfactory too! I loved being inside Cassel's head. He was a great narrator.

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  3. Aww I miss Cassel! I only read (well listened) to White Cat, I haven't gotten to the 2nd book yet and I really have to since this one is now coming out.

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    1. You should! I really want to listen to the audiobooks!

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  4. My sister loves Cassel! She keeps telling me I have to meet him, and then for you to add he's one of your favorite male protags of all time?! Wow! I hope Harry doesn't get jelly. LOL

    I love it when a trilogy ends with satisfactory conclusion. Now that April is just around the corner, I can look forward to reading them back to back! :)

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    1. haha, there's room for lots of boys in the group with that title of course :) Hmm, that sentence had a double meaning to it which I didn't intend...

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  5. I loved both Red Glove and White Cat- looking forward to this one

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  6. I'm so far behind in so many great series Aylee, it's causing me stress! I need to get caught up, I've heard nothing but fantastic things about Cassel and these books. So glad you thought this was a perfect conclusion, love it when that happens:)

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    1. Ugh, I know! I really have to just NOT think about it, because when I do, it causes me an immense amount of stress too. Hopefully you can make time for it at some point... but if that's unrealistic, then try not to sweat it!

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  7. This is one series I hope to read over summer break. I've heard nothing but good things, and can't wait to get started!

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    1. It would make a great summer read!

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  8. I am really glad that you were happy with the end because I want to start this series soon! Holly Black's writing does sound impressive: three narratives that were well done? Amazing and Cassel sounds like such a great protagonist, it's rare to see a male protagonist. I can't wait to start these series and gush about it too.

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    1. I bow down to Holly Black's writing skills. I knew she must be a good writer before because she had published so many books, but it was good to finally get that confirmation. I wish male protags were more common because I find that all my favourite books feature them! Hope you LOVE this series as much as I did!

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  9. Really glad you liked the third book in the series !! I'm planning to buy a copy of White Cate really soon :)
    Great review Aylee!

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  10. I'm so excited for this one, Aylee! Cassel is one my favourite male protagonists too, and I can't wait to see how Black concludes the trilogy!

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    1. Yay, I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it!

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