Lovely Vicious trilogy author Sara Wolf is diving into a new fantasy world while keeping her characters as razor-sharp as ever in Bring Me Their Hearts!
The novel follows Zera, a “heartless” who unwillingly does the bidding of the witch Nightsinger after having her heart stolen. When Nightsinger longs for a new heart– that of Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane– she makes a deal with Zera: If Zera infiltrates the royal palace and steals Lucien’s heart, Nightsinger will set her free. However, if she’s identified as one of Nightsinger’s soldiers, Zera’s heart will be destroyed and she’ll die. Let the cat and mouse game begin.
We chatted with Sara Wolf about why she decided to write a fantasy, crafting the characters and their relationships, and important themes of female agency. Check it out below!
Bring Me Their Hearts marks your first dive into a fantasy world. What inspired the move from contemporary to something more magical?
Mostly the fact I grew up on YA/Fantasy – the Wind on Fire series was super impactful for me. I love contemporary because it’s so much fun, but fantasy is a chance to make things up no one ever has before, and I love that idea. I wanna create the coolest stuff! And contemporary doesn’t let you do that, most of the time.
How did you go about building your novel’s world? Did you take lots of notes and storyboard or did you see where the writing took you?
I’m definitely a pantser – I let the story shape itself over the course of the three or so times I rewrote the whole thing from scratch! I kept little stuff from old versions of the manuscript, and it just sort of built on itself to become this world.
If you could control someone’s heart like Nightsinger does (perhaps ignoring the fact that it’s super evil,) what would have them do for you?
Nothing. The book touches on how messed up the entire concept is, and I’m not one of those people who like (are immoral enough) to take advantage of crappy situations.
Other than following the whims of the Nightsinger, what makes Zera a formidable main character in her own right?
Zera is intensely sharp-witted and vivacious young lady and I adore her. She’s plucky, she knows what she wants and goes for it, and she’s a good person at heart, even if her situation forces her to be bad.
This book thematically focuses free will and maintaining agency, which feels more relevant than ever. Why do you personally feel these themes should be explored?
Definitely. In a world that constantly shoves rules and unspoken limits down girls’ throats (don’t wear this, wear makeup like this, be sexy and confident but not bitchy, etcetc) it’s super important to have books that tackle that, that show girls we are so much more than the contents of our presentation. Girls can be anything they want to be, and shouldn’t have to apologize or be afraid of it, and that’s why I always write my protagonists like I do – kick ass and snarky and unapologetic about it.
Could you tell us a bit about the relationship and chemistry between Zera and Lucien?
Zera and Lucien are a touch ball of yarn to untangle – on the one hand, Zera really wants her freedom, which comes with taking Lucien’s heart. But on the other hand, she starts to fall for him, even knowing she’s leading him into a trap. She’s definitely conflicted, especially when Lucien genuinely falls for her and starts being tender to her – she feels like she doesn’t deserve it, and it stings as equally as it elates her. Lucien, on the other hand, is overjoyed to find a girl in Vetris who just treats him like a person, instead of an object to be used to gain power or influence, and so he falls head over heels not knowing what she really is. When he finds out, will he break completely? That’s for book two and three to decide. 😉
Bring Me Their Hearts hits bookshelves on June 5, 2018. You can preorder it via…
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Indiebound | Kobo | Entangled Publishing
ABOUT THE BOOK
Zera is a Heartless—the immortal, unaging soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.
Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum: if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy Zera’s heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.
Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him—every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him—until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.
So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.
Winner takes the loser’s heart.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sara Wolf is a twenty-something author who adores baking, screaming at her cats, and screaming at herself while she types hilarious things. When she was a kid, she was too busy eating dirt to write her first terrible book. Twenty years later, she picked up a keyboard and started mashing her fists on it and created the monster known as Lovely Vicious. She lives in San Diego with two cats, a crippling-yet-refreshing sense of self-doubt, and not enough fruit tarts ever.