Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber invites readers into a magical world filled with love, curses, and the pursuit of happily ever after. As a fan of Garber’s Caraval series, I was eagerly drawn back into her enchanting world, where whimsy and magic coexist.
Once Upon a Broken Heart is probably a Young Adult but didn’t feel overly YA, however, it is appropriately YA.
The story introduces Evangeline Fox, whose quest for true love leads her down a path filled with twists and turns, with Jacks, known as the Prince of Hearts, we already met him in the Caraval series. He exudes charisma and wicked charm, making him a fascinating and enigmatic figure.
Evangeline’s journey becomes entangled with Jacks when she strikes a risky deal with him. Jacks adds depth to the narrative with his mysterious agenda and complex personality, making him a character readers can’t help but be captivated by.
I loved Stephanie Garber’s Caraval series, hence returning to this world was exciting. It’s beautiful, enchanting, whimsical and magical. This story captivated me from the first lines and didn’t let me go until I closed the back cover.
Once Upon A Time Blurb
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
ONCE UPON A BROKEN HEART marks the launch of a new series from Stephanie Garber about love, curses, and the lengths that people will go to for happily ever after
For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings . . . until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.
Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic, but wicked, Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.
But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game — and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy.
Do you have to read Caraval before Once Upon a Broken Heart?
Once Upon a Broken Heart is Stephanie Garber’s new book, and is a part of the Caraval universe, you probably do not need to read the Caraval series before reading Once Upon a Broken Heart. The book contains a new protagonist, Evangeline Fox. There are also snippets of other characters from the Caraval series like Donatella and Scarlett, we meet Jack in Caraval also. You also understand a bit about how the Fates came to be.
Stephanie Garber has also managed to write Once Upon a Broken Heart in such a manner that you can enjoy it without having read the Caraval trilogy, which is no easy feat. However, if you plan to still read the Caraval series, I would recommend reading that first before reading Once Upon a Broken Heart as Once Upon a Broken Heart does contain some spoilers for Finale, the final book in the Caraval trilogy.
Is Once Upon a Broken Heart Smutty?
No, Once Upon a Broken Heart is not smutty. While there are a few detailed kisses here and there, there aren’t any sex scenes in the book.
Does Once Upon a Broken Heart Have Romance?
Though Evangeline is trying to reunite with her first love, there is a definite connection between her and Jacks. The chemistry between them is electric, creating an intriguing enemies-to-lovers dynamic.
While the central goal is to reunite with her first love, the palpable connection between Evangeline and Jacks cannot be ignored. The tension between them adds a layer of depth to the story, creating a compelling dynamic that enhances the overall narrative.
What brings all these elements together and truly makes the story shine is Garber’s writing. She is a born storyteller and writes in an engaging, easy-to-understand manner. She has paced the story perfectly, ensuring the reader’s interest never wanes.
Garber’s writing is like poetry; it paints vivid pictures in your mind, you can practically see the magic happening. The story keeps you on your toes with plenty of surprises.
Also contributing to the book’s appeal is its world-building. Once Upon a Broken Heart explores a part of the Caraval universe that was hitherto only mentioned in passing: the North. Shrouded in lore and steeped in magic and curses, the North makes for a mesmerizing backdrop and enhances the fairytale-like feel of the story. Wandering through its whimsical streets and harrowing underground is a vicarious adventure. Danger, excitement, and suspense: we get to experience them all from the safety of our sofas.
In addition to Jacks and Evangeline’s characters, “Once Upon a Broken Heart” features a cast of diverse and intriguing characters. Some of these characters are drawn from the Caraval series, providing a sense of continuity for readers familiar with Garber’s previous works. These characters contribute to the story’s rich tapestry, each bringing their unique elements to the narrative, further enhancing the overall reading experience.
But what really makes this book stand out is the love and sacrifice aspect. The characters’ relationships are complex and messy, just like in real life. It’s like watching a romantic drama unfold in a fantastical world.
The book wraps things up nicely but still leaves the door open for more adventures in this amazing universe. So, if you’re into fantasy and romance, give “Once Upon a Broken Heart” a shot. Stephanie Garber knows how to spin a spellbinding tale!