I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Kirin D’Velt, son of the Kovor (the village’s leader), goes through his coming of age tests, but as he’s returning from his final test, he finds a horrible scene of devastation and death. The rest of the story involves his true coming of age as his experiences mold him into a man.
Aaaaand that’s pretty much it. Oh, and there’s plenty of tropes, sexism, and the objectification of the very few women who show up along the way. After the halfway point, the plot becomes ridiculously predictable, and Kirin (who takes on the name Aeden) turns into the generic male Fantasy character. Sometimes the descriptions feel a bit repetitive, and lines that seem wise end up coming off as moralizing or, at the very least, trying too hard. The story often feels like a rip off of real world history. Most of Aeden’s time is spent at a monastery of a religion that is a copy of Medieval Christianity, and one of the monks, whose personality and statements are stereotypically Arab, is from a place that resembles South West Asia. Towards the end of the story, they end up in this monk’s homeland, where it is obvious that the people hate the monks and their religion. To top it all off, we don’t even find out the rest of Aeden’s story. I don’t know if we’re not supposed to know, or if the author intends to write a sequel, but either way, the non-ending made me even more angry than I already was. If there will be a sequel, I won’t be buying it.
I really thought this was going to be a great Fantasy story. I wanted to like it. I kept my eye out for anything good about it that I could write in this review so that it wouldn’t seem all bad. Even with all the things I’ve mentioned, this isn’t the worst book I’ve read this year. I tolerated it enough to finish it, but I definitely didn’t enjoy it. The only people I can recommend Tears of a Heart to are those who absolutely love Fantasy and/or coming of age tales no matter how contrived or poorly written, or perhaps die-hard fans of Terry Goodkind who thought Stone of Tears was a great book. Both titles include the word “tears”, and both are on my list of books that made me decide to not continue reading an author’s books.