Title: The Heartbeat Thief
Author: Ash Krafton
Haunted by a crushing fear of death, a young Victorian woman discovers the secret of eternal youth–she must surrender her life to attain it, and steal heartbeats to keep it.
In 1860 Surrey, a young woman has only one occupation: to marry. Senza Fyne is beautiful, intelligent, and lacks neither wealth nor connections. Finding a husband shouldn’t be difficult, not when she has her entire life before her. But it’s not life that preoccupies her thoughts. It’s death–and that shadowy spectre haunts her every step.
So does Mr. Knell. Heart-thumpingly attractive, obviously eligible–he’d be her perfect match if only he wasn’t so macabre. All his talk about death, all that teasing about knowing how to avoid it…
When her mother arranges a courtship with another man, Senza is desperate for escape from a dull prescripted destiny. Impulsively, she takes Knell up on his offer. He casts a spell that frees her from the cruelty of time and the threat of death–but at a steep price. In order to maintain eternal youth, she must feed on the heartbeats of others.
From the posh London season to the back alleys of Whitechapel, across the Channel, across the Pond, across the seas of Time…
How far will Senza Fyne go to avoid Death?
In my honest opinion, I feel like The Heartbeat Thief was written for me. It is right down my alley – a dark, historical fantasy – and it couldn’t have been more brilliantly done. The originality was outstanding, and Ash Krafton’s style added a perfect poetic feel to this novel – very reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe.
First of all, the play on vanity in this novel is something that always fascinates me. Senza is a character perfect for today’s times. She is obsessed with staying young and beautiful forever, and her fear of growing old and dying is a widespread fear for almost anyone. Krafton did a wonderful job of forcing the reader to face their fears, while adding fantasy elements that are extremely believable. Her novel didn’t seem like it was worlds away; instead, it made me believe that the situations presented could happen to anyone. One of my favorite examples of Krafton’s poetic writing style is seen below, and it is one of the best sentences I have ever read in a piece of literature:
“Moonlight spilled down its silvery veil upon the passengers in the Fyne family carriage, adding another sheen of splendor to their finery.”
I also found that the novel’s historical elements were accurate and realistic as well, which is always important when it comes to historical fiction. Every aspect of this novel amazed me, and it opened me up to a story much different than anything I have read recently, which was refreshing. I also fell in love with the cover of this book, and I felt that it complimented the story well.
Krafton is one of those rare authors who possesses the techniques of some of our world’s great authors, and reading her novel was like reading a classic. If you are looking for a novel featuring elements of the great authors of our time, such as Jane Austen, then The Heartbeat Thief is perfect for you.
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