Audiobook Review: The Hollow Heart (Forgotten Gods #2)

Published September 14th 2021

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Narrator: Roisin Rankin

Audiobook Length: 8 hours 22 minutes

Intrigue, romance, and magic abound in the heart-stopping conclusion to Marie Rutkoski’s Forgotten Gods duology.

At the end of The Midnight Lie, Nirrim offered up her heart to the God of Thieves in order to restore her people’s memories of their city’s history. The Half Kith who once lived imprisoned behind the city’s wall now realize that many among them are powerful. Meanwhile, the person Nirrim once loved most, Sid, has returned to her home country of Herran, where she must navigate the politics of being a rogue princess who has finally agreed to do her duty.

In the Herrani court, rumors begin to grow of a new threat rising across the sea, of magic unleashed on the world, and of a cruel, black-haired queen who can push false memories into your mind, so that you believe your dearest friends to be your enemies.

Sid doesn’t know that this queen is Nirrim, who seeks her revenge against a world that has wronged her. Can Sid save Nirrim from herself? Does Nirrim even want to be saved? As blood is shed and war begins, Sid and Nirrim find that it might not matter what they want…for the gods have their own plans.

[The Midnight Lie (#1) Review]

The Hollow Heart is the sequel to The Midnight Lie in the Forgotten Gods duology. Since the novels are continuous, it is best to read the first before moving to this one. There are three perspectives given in this novel, Nirrim, Sid, and the God. In this third perspective, the readers are given the God’s own story plus commentary about what they see with situations involving the other characters.

The story begins where the last installment left off where Sid is returning home to see her mother, Kestrel. In the first novel, the God of Thieves and Nirrim made a bargain, which is further explored in this novel. With this bargain, heartless Nirrim has declared herself Queen behind the wall and is on a path to unite the people against the High Kith. The novel transitions to Sid’s journey where she is on her way back to her country of Herran. With the addition of Sid’s perspective, readers gain an insight in her vulnerability. While she is more or less a carefree character in the first novel, this installment illustrates a more serious side to her.

With the two main characters separated for most of the novel, it may not appeal to all readers as it is not always apparent how they tie together into one central plot. With Nirrim refusing to go with Sid in the first novel, Sid is feeling heart-broken and trying to find a way to move forward. Nirrim is in-turn missing Sid, so, although the two characters are physically separated in the story, the connection between them is still apparent. The relationship between the two characters was one of the top appeals of the first novel, so it was great that the author kept it going through the longing and love despite each character’s circumstances.

Overall, this was a satisfying end to the duology. The ending does feel a little short compared to the slower buildup pacing of the previous novel, but it does work for the series. Both Sid and Nirrim are not the same characters that were introduced at the beginning of the previous novel nor are they the same at the end of this one as they are at the start. As Sid’s family is crossover characters from the Winner’s Trilogy, I definitely want to pick it up to try in the near future. There are a lot of twists and turn in this story while the author has an ease to the writing which made this duology an easy read to get through while still providing a complex tale. While the duology itself may not have been perfect, there is a lot to love about the story and characters. I cannot wait to read more this author!

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