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Cover image for The traitor's heart
The traitor's heart
First edition.
New York : Scholastic Press, 2019.
Physical Description:
372 pages ; 22 cm.
Series title(s):
Number in series:
General Note:
"New York Times bestselling author of The Traitor's Game"--Dust jacket.
Now firmly on the side of the Coracks, sixteen-year-old Kestra Dallisor plans to use the magic Olden Blade to kill the evil Lord Endrick, but when she fails, Endrick turns her into one of his Ironheart soldiers, without any memory of her rebellion, and bound to obey him, his spy within the Coracks; the rebel Simon is desperate to return her to the Kestra he loves, but he is reluctant to use the magic that might heal (or destroy) her--and neither Simon or Kestra is sure who they can trust among the rebels, because the whole rebellion is endangered by its increasingly murky politics.


Call Number
TEEN Nielsen, J.
TEEN Nielsen, J.
TEEN Nielsen, J.

On Order



Critically acclaimed author Jennifer A. Nielsen delivers the gripping second installment of her New York Times bestselling epic young adult fantasy.

In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller The Traitor's Game , Kestra Dallisor has finally gained possession of the Olden Blade. With the dagger in her control, she attempts to destroy the tyrannical Lord Endrick. But when Kestra fails, the king strips her of her memory, and leaves her weak and uncertain, bound to obey him. Heartbroken, Simon is desperate to return Kestra to the rebel she was, but refuses to use magic to heal her. With untrusting Coracks and Halderians threatening to capture and kill her, and war looming on the horizon, Kestra and Simon will have to learn to trust each other again if they have any hope of surviving. But can a heart once broken ever be healed?

The Deceiver's Heart marks a stunning return to Jennifer A. Nielsen's gorgeously rendered world of Antora and all its treachery and magic.

Author Notes

Jennifer A. Nielsen was born in Utah. Her first book, Elliot and the Goblin War, was published in 2010. She is the author of The Underworld Chronicles, The Ascendance Trilogy, and the Praetor War series. She also wrote the sixth book of the Infinity Ring series, Behind Enemy Lines.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Kirkus Review

Afflicted by magic, a young woman is not quite herselfand is unsure of who she wants to become.Sixteen-year-old Kestra Dallisor returns to the royal Antoran court, now (reluctantly) the Infidante: the prophesized wielder of the Olden Blade, potential destroyer of evil Lord Endrick, and thus, savior of the Banished (Halderian) people. When an assassination attempt goes awry, Lord Endrickthe Dominion leader and last known Endrean magic usermeddles with her memories and remakes her into an obedient Ironheart. Uncertain of her loyalties and love interests, Kestra must decide if she will rejoin the Corack rebels or rekindle her relationship with Simon Hatch, once a servant and now revealed as the Halderian heir. Repetitive political machinations, melodramatic lovers' miscommunications, explosion-filled action sequences, and requisite romantic triangles ensue. Unaffected by the magic, co-narrator Simon provides a more logical perspective and linear counternarrative, but amnesia essentially (frustratingly) resets Kestra's journey. Nielsen's (Resistance, 2018, etc.) generic fantasy settingpre-industrial (barring the evildoers' tech), vaguely Northern Europeanunevenly explained magic, and obligatorily odd fantasy beasts are standard, stale fare. Kestra and Simon are presumably white.A serviceable sequel that establishes obstacles for the young lovers to overcome in the next installment but contributes little else. (Fantasy. 12-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

In the opening of this middle book in the Traitor's Game trilogy, Kestra, the Infidante, confronts the megalomaniacal Lord Endrick but fails to kill him. Instead, he replaces her memories and charges Kestra with destroying the Corak rebellion. The rebels rescue Kestra when they see the plan has failed, but she acts as if they are strangers abducting her; worse, if Endrick's magic can't be reversed, a new Infidante can only be chosen if Kestra dies. Simon, her star-crossed lover, is naturally against this. While the Coraks bicker, the Halderians and Brillians, both uneasy allies, implement their own secret plans. The memory wipe keeps Kestra frustratingly devoid of agency for much of the book, and readers invested in her relationship with Simon will need patience, for he spends much of his time pining. The convoluted political maneuvering is compelling, with bloody results, and while Kestra's memory problem is solved, the result leaves her forever changed and in even more danger. Though uneven, this is an angsty, high-stakes setup for the final volume.--Krista Hutley Copyright 2018 Booklist