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Monday, November 26, 2012

NICOLE'S REVIEW: Rebel Heart by Moira Young

Title: Rebel Heart
Author: Moira Young
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: October 30 2012
Publishing House: Margaret K. McElderry
ISBN: 9781442430006
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked

Summary: There is a price on Saba's head. She brought down a ruthless tyrant and saved her kidnapped brother. But winning has come at a terrible cost. Saba is haunted by her past - and a new enemy is on the rise, an enemy who searches for her across the Dust Lands.

Saba needs Jack: his moonlit eyes, his reckless courage, his wild heart. But Jack has left. And her brother is haunted by ghosts of his own. Then news comes that tells her Jack can never be trusted again. Deceived and betrayed, haunted and hunted, Saba will need all of her warrior's strength just to survive. For the enemy has cunning plans of his own...

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book) 


Rebel Heart is the second book in the Dust Lands series, with Blood Red Road being the first. I had no problems getting into the language in this book, unlike Blood Red Road where it took me a while to get used to the dialect.

What I expected from Rebel Heart was action. I expected heaps of it. What I didn't expect was this book focusing on the emotional side of things. It's way more emotionally intense and gritty than the fist. Here, Saba seems more human, more vulnerable as she is allowed to make mistakes - really big mistakes. This doesn't mean that Saba's turned into some kind of a sap, she's still a fighter, still a warrior, still as brash and as bold. Here we see her dealing with the emotional stress and trauma that she would have suffered after the events in the previous book, what with all the deaths and the lives she was forced to take. I totally enjoyed how her character was developed here and I'm glad the author allowed us a glimpse into this side if Saba instead of having her roll her emotions into a ball and toss them into a dark, dank corner.

It's also here that we get a chance to meet Lugh, Saba's beloved brother, but he's broken and messed up because of the time he spent in the Tonton's hands. Lugh and Saba's relationship has been significantly altered, where once they were two halves of a whole, now Saba feels that Lugh is suffocating her. What they once had has been damaged and broken. Admittedly, I'm quite curious about what happened to Lugh and why he seems to hate Jack so much, hopefully the third book will flesh this one out. Also, what I couldn't really get behind though was the whole Lugh and Maev pairing, there's an attraction in the first book and yes, I suppose that it does continue in Rebel Heart but I couldn't get a feel for their relationship, or lack of it.  

Tensions rise and everything goes to hell as Saba hears news about Jack and strives to reach him in time. I liked how Saba, despite the news against Jack that brands him as a traitor and a deceiver, fights for him and pushes aside all her doubts and simply believes that Jack would never betray her. This book is, well for me anyway, mostly about Jack and Saba but it's at the latter part of the book where the pace picked up and I noticed that the secondary characters came into play such as DeMalo, which was a surprise but it really shouldn't have been given the tension between him and Saba in the previous book.

Overall, Rebel Heart is the thrilling sequel to Blood Red Road. The pace was slower and there were less action scenes but that does not make this book any less exciting, or any less intense.  It's a wonderfully gritty and emotionally intense read and I'm way excited for the next book.



  1. Ohmygoodness.
    I'm getting this book during the long weekend and I can't wait..!!
    To be honest, the way they spoke was kind of confusing and annoying at the start but the plot made up for it. (A LOT)
    At least it'll be easier getting into the second book, and based on your review, I won't regret buying it! :)

    Thanks for your review!
    -Tiffany@Read, Breathe, Read

    1. Well, you sort of get used to the dialect after a bit. Although I had no problems concerning that in Rebel Heart, which was totally awesome. :>
      I wish the next book would come out soon and I hope you enjoy this one too! :D

  2. This series has been on my radar, and I am glad to see that book two held up to the first book. Thanks for sharing this one :)

    1. I was surprised really at how Rebel Heart differed from Blood Red Road. It was still an amazing read though and I think I kind of like this better than the first book.