Hullo, everyone! I’m so excited to be a part of the Five Golden Braids release tour! If you haven’t heard of this release, there are 5 authors, and each is releasing a Rapunzel retelling. All of the stories are in different genres, everything from classic fantasy to steampunk! The book releasing today (just kidding, yesterday, because I forgot to schedule this post…) is Mechanical Heart by Sarah Pennington. I’m so excited to be bringing you guys my review, so let’s get started!
Can you save someone who doesn’t know if she’s alive?
Breen lives locked away, separated from the world by the walls of her clock tower and the machine of gems, gears, and magic that replaces her heart. That is, until an unexpected visitor appears in her tower, offering a dangerous gift: freedom. His promises awaken hope for a life unbound by the tower walls — but she knows that if he learns about her heart, it’s only a matter of time before he turns on her.
Josiah is powerless. Though he’s the crown prince of the mighty Chanian empire, he feels stifled by his inability to protect his people from the schemes of corrupt nobles. When he discovers a girl trapped in a locked clock tower, he thinks he’s finally found a problem he can solve . . . but more than just walls keep her captive.
From the royal palace to the streets of Rivenford to the tops of clock towers, secrets hide around every corner in this steampunk retelling of Rapunzel. Breen and Josiah hold the keys to each other’s struggles — if they can break down the barriers that divide them.
I love a good fairytale retelling, and this book was no exception. Mechanical Heart is the first book I’ve been able to read by Sarah Pennington, but I’ve been following her blog for a long time, and I’ve been able to read some things she’s written on there. Because of that, I was not at all surprised at how much I loved this book! The world was absolutely amazing and so well developed, and I couldn’t put the book down.
[Probably some minor SPOILERS below, so if you want to read this book without knowing anything about the plot… just go buy it!]
The plot itself wasn’t necessarily fast-paced or full of action that keeps you reading, but it was more suspense-driven. There was so much character development, and I loved getting to know these characters, especially Breen and Josiah. I also really liked the approach the author took to the characters’ interactions in the clock tower. Grace provided a great contrast to Josiah as well, and I loved that the little sister was taking over. That played into the plot so well. (I’m trying so hard to avoid spoilers…) The tension with Madame and my own questions kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the book. While I guessed some of the plot twists ahead of time, I was still surprised by a lot of things, which was awesome.
Breen was probably my absolute favorite. I loved having a deaf main character, and the author handled that aspect of Breen’s character so well… plus it plays into the story in an important way later on. Her development really tugged at my heart, too. Basically, she’s awesome and the best and I want to give her a hug. ❤
Josiah was also pretty awesome. I loved his character arc too, and I also loved that he did his own research throughout the story. He wasn’t a typical stuck-up noble, but you can also see that he has his shortcomings, too. He was a really well-rounded character, and I would love to see more of both him and Breen. 😀
There’s not anything I really disliked about the book. There were a lot of senate/government meetings, but they provided important information and tied in really well with the rest of the plot, so they weren’t boring. There’s also a lot of magic and alchemy, if that’s something that concerns you.
Sarah Pennington has been writing stories since before she actually knew how to write, and she has no intention of stopping anytime soon. She is perpetually in the middle of writing at least one or two novels, most of which are in the fantasy and fairy tale retelling genres. Sarah’s first published work, Blood in the Snow, received a perfect score and Special Unicorn status in Rooglewood Press’s Five Poisoned Apples contest. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys knitting, photography, and trying to conquer her massive to-be-read list. Find her online at:
Overall, this was an awesome book, and I highly recommend it! You can check out the book with the links below, and you can also check out the tour giveaway and full tour schedule here. Be sure to let me know in the comments below if you’ve read this book, and if not, go check it out!