20 February, 2018

[Review] Serafina and the Splintered Heart by Robert Beatty


Series: Serafina #3
Release Date: 04 July, 2017
Publisher: DisneyHyperion
Genre: Middle Grade/Historical Fiction (1800s)/Mystery
ISBN: 9781524779511
Edition: Audiobook
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Written: 28 October, 2017
Summary: The storms are coming… Something has happened to Serafina. She has awoken into a darkness she does not understand, scarred from a terrible battle, only to find that life at Biltmore Estate has changed in unimaginable ways. Old friends do unthinkable things and enemies seem all around.

A mysterious threat moves towards Biltmore, a force without a name, bringing with it violent storms and flooding that stands to uproot everything in its path. Serafina must uncover the truth about what has happened to her and find a way to harness her strange new powers before it’s too late.

With only days to achieve the impossible, Serafina fights to reclaim herself as the Guardian of Biltmore, friend of Braeden, daughter of her Pa, and heroine of the Blue Ridge Mountains and all the folk and creatures that call it home.

See more at Robert Beatty's Website.

The third installment in the Serafina story is perhaps the most strange and adventurous of the books so far. Serafina wakes in a grave within the glade of the angel uncertain how she got there or who had buried her. Confused and distressed as she starts for home, Serafina worries over everyone in her life during her absence. Her homecoming however is not what she anticipates with the sudden and horrifying realization that no one can see her. No one, that is, except her somewhat enemy Regina. Serafina has been split into three parts, her human body, her spirit, and her catamount form are all split apart when they were attacked by Regina in the Black Cloak.

Serafina and the Splintered Heart truly knows how to draw the reader in. The opening idea of having to claw one’s self out of the dirt and muck touches on the fear many have of being buried alive. The story treats everything as a mystery that needs to be solved. Who buried Serafina and what was their motive? What caused her to split into three parts? Can those parts be reunited? Is it really Uriah returned to destroy the Vanderbilts once and for all? Throughout the novel, readers will see and grow along with Serafina in her realization that sometimes we cannot control everything and must relinquish control. This is especially hard for Serafina who must trust Rowena in the plan of how to reunited all 3 parts of Serafina to create a single little girl again.

Thankfully Serafina is ultimately restored to her full self, just in time to take on Uriah with the animals of the forest and the help of her friends. They must succeed in order to protect everything they love including their home. Readers will be entertained and held at the edge of their seat to see if Uriah gets what’s coming to him and Rowena finds her calling as the Hermit of the mountains since as she notes the position has been left open.

I was both glad and sad as I finished this installment of Serafina’s story. Glad to see that everything worked out in the end, even if it wasn’t quite the way everyone would have liked. Serafina and all the other characters learned valuable life lessons in learning to trust each other after betrayals. The sadness that I felt comes from the knowledge that Serafina’s story will continue however it will be a while before the next novel appears in her story. For now, I eagerly wait for Mr. Beatty’s next novel and look forward to being sucked into it as well.

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