The Book’s Basics
Title: Dance of Hearts
Author: Byrd Nash
Series: Yes, but can be stand-alone books. This is the first book.
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Initial Reaction: A cute, easy read with an interesting premise and a decent execution.
Note: I received this novella electronically for free from Reedsy Discovery. It was for a different book by Byrd Nash, but they were kind enough to lend me this book as well as they are technically a series. I will be posting the review for the book that I officially reviewed for Reedsy Discovery in a later post.
This is a reimagining of the Cinderella fairytale. There is a young woman, Melinda Wychwood, who has been left orphaned and has found herself in a situation where her cousin has inherited her home. She is left feeling like a stranger in it; a stranger who handles the burden of managing the household without any pay.
Kaye Arundell and his friend, Theo Marlowe, are visiting the town for the first time in a long time and decide to have a wager: Kaye has recently come into a large inheritance and he believes that everyone will treat him differently because of it. Kaye and Theo swap identities to see if Kaye’s suspicions hold true.
However, when Kaye sees Melinda, an old friend from his childhood, he seems drawn to her. Melinda, for her part, doesn’t really understand why he has an interest in her as she has many other things to keep her mind occupied, including getting her cousin’s daughter ready for the Harvest Ball.
There is magic and Fae in this book, which benefits Melinda and also hinders her.
Who would I recommend this book to?
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reimagined fairy tales. It’s a quick read and I did enjoy it.
While there is romance, it is appropriate for younger readers.
Writer Craft Notes
I am an unpublished writer, but I would like to be published some day, so when I read a book I am trying to be more aware of the author’s craft and what I can learn from them.
This book was easy to read, which is important for a book to be. Novellas can be tricky to write because every word is important because of their length. There are some places where it feels a bit rushed, especially at the end of the book when interactions are only explained instead of them actually happening.
While the characters are enjoyable, they do lean towards being a bit flat, although this is difficult in such a short book because there is not as much time for character development. In comparison to other novellas such as the books in The Murderbot Diaries series by Martha Wells and This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar, this is more stark because these books have incredible characterization even in a low word count. This isn’t to say that there is none in this book, but I believe that there could have been more vibrant and dynamic characters.