Juliana Spink Mills’ Heart Blade is a great YA Fantasy, and a brilliant debut from a really promising author. Heart Blade is the opening volume in a new series, and although nominally YA (Young Adult) the novel is a great read for adults too. It’s a fast-paced, tightly written Urban Fantasy with great characters and an interesting plot that kept surprising me right up until the end.
The story takes place in a world recognisable as our own except for one detail: preternatural creatures from myths and folklore such as demons not only exist but are also bound by a covenant, a fragile peace between factions living among regular humans. This, I think, is one of the book’s great strengths: a well thought out system that complements the characters and plot, working in symbiosis to deliver a great story that stands as a terrific debut.
Although the main protagonists are teenagers, Heart Blade transcends the YA umbrella and has much to recommend it to anyone who likes Urban Fantasy, but perhaps most of all it’s the well-drawn characters and tight plotting that make this such a great read and a fine opening to a series.