White Hart

White Hart

3.7 17
by Sarah Dalton

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The realm needs magic again, and the the King of Aegunlund has been waiting for the first craft-born girl to marry his son, Prince Casimir.

In Mae's town of Halts-Walden, the ambitious miller claims his daughter Ellen is craft-born. Mae knows this is a load of hogwash, but she's glad Ellen will have the unfortunate pleasure of becoming queen instead of her. All she


The realm needs magic again, and the the King of Aegunlund has been waiting for the first craft-born girl to marry his son, Prince Casimir.

In Mae's town of Halts-Walden, the ambitious miller claims his daughter Ellen is craft-born. Mae knows this is a load of hogwash, but she's glad Ellen will have the unfortunate pleasure of becoming queen instead of her. All she has to do is sit back and wait until Casimir and Ellen are married, then she will finally be free of the threat of her fate. But on that day an event so shocking and terrible occurs that Mae finds herself entering the neighbouring cursed forest on a quest she never thought she'd have to follow.

Join Mae as she rides her white stag through the Waerg Woods with a pampered prince at her heels. She's out for revenge and nothing, no one, will get in her way.

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CreateSpace Publishing
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4.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Sarah grew up in the middle of nowhere in the countryside of Derbyshire and as a result has an over-active imagination. She has been an avid reader for most of her life, taking inspiration from the stories she read as a child, and the novels she devoured as an adult.

Sarah mainly writes speculative fiction for a Young Adult audience and has had pieces of short fiction published in the Medulla Literary Review, Apex Magazine, PANK magazine and the British Fantasy Society publication Dark Horizons. Her short story 'Vampires Wear Chanel' is featured in the Wyvern Publication Fangtales available from Amazon.

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White Hart 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
White Hart is a mediocre young adult fantasy book. I am an adult who enjoys reading young adult fantasy books and I looked forward to reading this one. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. I think this book would be okay for a younger, middle school reader. But there are just too many problems for me. In short, the kingdom of Aegunlund is floundering without magic (and in my opinion, without a good, strong king). The king has decreed that the first craft-born girl (someone who can use nature magic) who comes along will marry his son, Prince Casimir. Mae is that girl for this generation. And she wants that kept a secret. Girls try trickery to win the coveted position of wife to the crown prince. In Mae's village, one such girl, Ellen, succeeds in tricking Prince Casimir into believing that she is craft-born. Mae is happy to let Ellen have the honor. But before Prince Casimir and Ellen can make it home to the castle to be wed, the unthinkable happens, forcing Mae and the prince to set off together through the dark and very dangerous Waerg Woods. Will they succeed in rescuing Ellen and making it safely to the castle??? There were several things that didn't work for me in this book. First, and this may sound crazy since this is a fantasy book, the book wasn't believable. The best fantasy books weave such a good story that even though things are magical and made up, you feel caught up in the world the author created. You feel like you are there in the midst of the action. You feel so enmeshed in the book that it seems totally real and plausible. That never happened here. The woods were full of all sorts of very interesting and creative dangers. May and the prince had to navigate these or perish trying. But after the first few, I found myself sayiing, "Really?? You're kidding, me, right??" Second, there were too many questions left unanswered for me. For example, how can Mae, the prince and the animals (Mae's white hart and the prince's horse) be almost killed by blood sucking vines and then be okay a few pages later? What was the purpose of the visit to the willow? Why is the forest segmented into sections with the various dangers relegated to just one section? Why are the woods so dangerous and yet Prince Casimir and his two body guards arrived in Mae and Ellen's home village through those woods and the King and his entourage also safely traversed them both to and from picking up the traveling party? And what was the King even doing there? How could he have heard about the missing prince, figure out where to find him and travel there, safely, in such a short period of time? And many more.... Third, I really didn't like the main characters. Mae often behaved like an undisciplined, egotistical, spoiled brat. Casimir was a pampered prince who, after meeting Ellen for the very first time and seeing how beautiful she is, fell head over heels in love with her. Really?? Yes, they are teenagers and teenagers can be just this way, but come on.... And gosh, I got so tired of hearing Mae pine for Casimir when she wouldn't tell him the truth about who she was and wouldn't try to win him over. So all in all, I would give this book 3 stars.... except the ending totally irritated me and so I knocked my rating down to 2 1/2 stars. This is not a stand-alone novel. The ending demonstrates that. I do not like reading books that can't stand alone until the trilogy or series is finished. If a series/trilogy is good, I read it straight through. I don't like losing momentum, especially when there is no way to know when the next book will be released. I did not realize this book was the first in a series of non-stand-alone books or I would not have chosen to read it. And the ending wasn't well done at all. The reader is sailing along and then hits a big wall. One minute is story. Then boom! No more story. It was like falling off a cliff. It left me feeling a great big "What?? Really?? You're ending like this?? Here and now??" I was unsatisfied.
kcody03 More than 1 year ago
Discover a whole new world of magic. Mae has always lived a hard life, but things get so much worse on the night when the craft-born is revealed. This book has a unique blend of magic and mystery that I really enjoyed. There are a lot of secrets in this book and many times I felt like I knew the answer another twist was thrown in. Mae has a courage that not many ya girls of her age do and I really liked that. She was never the damsel in distress and instead took care of her own problems. I also liked seeing the growth in this character. From the beginning she never depended on others no matter what happened, but as she discovered more with Casimir, its OK to trust others and ask for help sometimes.  Casimir was a bit too full of himself at first, but his and Mae's little spats were hilarious. Over time they were able to strike up a bit of a friendship and he is very loyal. He can also be a bit of a scaredy cat, but he can put up a good front when he needs to. This is a wonderful coming of age story that is sure to become a book you will want to read again and again.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Def a good Young Adult read. Dependingon how old you are will depend on how you may think its too young a read.
Anonymous 9 months ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
209 nook pages. Mae and Cas have some great adventures, while trying to save Cas's future wife, and Mae restoring magic to the world. The cliffhanger ending was a great suprise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DHawthorne More than 1 year ago
The story is mildly interesting, if a bit cliched ... but the writing is awful. Novels shouldn't be written in first-person, present-tense, they aren't twitter feeds. The style is awkward even without that, and more than a little stilted. I won't be knocking any doors down to get the sequel, and I'm glad I got this one free.
Erani_Kole More than 1 year ago
This is a young adult novel about a girl and prince traveling through the forest to exact their revenge and issue a rescue mission. Along the way, the girl experiences different things in life she never could in the village who thought her nothing more than a curse to avoid. I liked this and I love the fantasy aspect with the world that was built up, but a few things were random, not very believable (that's saying something) and a bit of a let down. This thing could've been epic if not for the loose ends, and the ending was simply disappointing. I'm all for a cliff-hanger but THAT- Overall, it was entertaining and a younger audience than myself would probably devour this thing up. I recommend, but I don't think I'll be continuing the series unless something amazing happens.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've seen several of Dalton's books around and was curious about them, so I jumped at the chance to read White Heart. I was no disappointed! I really enjoyed reading about Mae and her world, the magic therein, and all the adventures she goes through. The Waerg Woods had some crazy surprises hidden within it, and I enjoyed watching Mae battle her way through them. She was an amazingly strong character, with flaws of course, but still, I appreciated her tenacity and unwillingness to give up. Her relationship with Casimir was a bit predictable, but I liked the Ellen-element and found myself still drawn into their tale. Basically, this was a fun, quick read, with one heck of a cliffhanger ending that has left me hoping for the next book soon!
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
White Hart is a phenomenal story. There's magic, a prince, a haunted forest, and frightening creatures all waiting inside. I love that the hero of the story, and the one doing most of the saving, is a girl. Mae doesn't always think of herself as strong, but she's smart and resourceful when it's needed most. I loved her relationship with her stag, Anta. I'm always more attached to a character that has a good bond with a favorite animal.  Prince Casimir, on the other hand, was not what I would call your typical fantasy prince. He wasn't the amazing good hero saving the day, but he also wasn't the evil prince out to destroy the world. He just...was. The only thing he really seemed to have a strong opinion on was that he had to marry the craft-born girl - who he believes to be Ellen.  Much of this story takes place in the Waerg Woods. It's full of creatures - some I had heard of and some I hadn't, but all had a very unique twist. I absolutely loved the birds!!! They had the perfect creepy factor going for them. The groups of people they encounter in the woods are also very diverse and really help to push Mae along her emotional journey.  This story had plenty of action and was a very quick read. It does end with one heck of a cliffhanger though and I don't see a release date for book two yet.  *This book was received in exchange for an honest review* 
MatiRaine More than 1 year ago
Were star ratings tangible, by the end of this book I would have been throwing tiny yellow shapes out my bedroom window, then recollecting them and putting them back in place. I liked this book, I did, but the ending felt less like a cliffhanger, and more like I got shoved off the cliff entirely. Sarah Dalton, how could you do that to me?  I guess we should start at the beginning, though. Mae is craft-born, but she doesn't want to be. She's spent most her life hiding her gift, because if anyone finds out, she will be whisked away to the castle to marry the prince; unlike most girls, the idea just doesn't appeal to her. Luckily, another girl from the village happens to display signs of the craft, and the royal entourage comes to solve Mae's problems forever. Things don't go as planned. She ends up stuck with Prince Cas traversing through the Waerg Woods trying to find his kidnapped bride-to-be, Ellen.  The story is well written for the most part. It had a page-turning quality that let me easily finish this in one sitting, and Mae wasn't a bad narrator. There was a point I was a bit concerned, when Mae's voice shifted suddenly ["Father is obsessed with me book learning. He insists it will better me."] but that cleaned up after awhile. There were also a few formatting problems, which took me a bit off guard. I don't think I got an ARC copy, but my edition may just be early enough those things hadn't been found yet.  Mae wasn't an easy to love narrator, but I don't think she wasn't unlikable. She's spent her life judged and treated poorly by the village she lived next to, and their attitudes only change after the loss of her father. Then Prince Cas is nice to her, but he's also pining after a girl he barely met, which is understandably confusing. Mae is the craft-born, so if the prince knew, it could have been her he fell for. But Mae doesn't want that. She just wants to be free, and to her, her only real friend is Anta her white stag.  The danger in the woods was interesting, but to me it wasn't really original. The fog and the birds definitely felt way too Catching Fire for me, especially since those things stopped once they got to new segments of the woods. There was also some strange disappearance of injuries throughout the book. How did they get nearly bled to death then are suddenly doing okay? I didn't feel like it was ever explained well enough for me. The scene with the natives felt a little cheesy, and I still don't really understand what happened with the Sleeping Willow. I couldn't read the in-book map so part of me was also lost as far as the setting went.  To be honest, I think the twists at the end are what I enjoyed the most. The woods, as adventurous as they were, felt a bit common, but the tension at the castle really drew me in. The ending, as much as I complain, was really a great turn for this book, and it helps set it apart from other similarly plotted novels (such as The Selection which was a recent release, and The Goose Girl which is just one of my favorites) I think the sequel has a chance to really shine, so fingers crossed, it will carry the strengths from this book and move forward
Paperback_Wonderland More than 1 year ago
Mae and her father gather wood from the edge of the Waerg Woods. Poor, dark-skinned, and supposedly tainted by the woods' curse, they live as pariahs in Halts-Walden. Mae is the craft-born, the one whose nature-connected magic can revive the kingdom - only Mae has to try her hardest to keep her powers secret, for the King has decreed that the craft-born shall marry his son, Prince Casimir. It seems Mae is in luck: Ellen, the miller's daughter, pretends to be the craft-born and the Prince is coming to get her. While venturing into the Waerg Woods with the Prince, to convince him not to hunt her white stag Anta, Wanderers from the Waerg Woods come into Halts-Walden to steal Ellen, whom they believe to be the craft-born, and end up killing Mae's father in the struggle. This is an odd book to rate, and I struggled with it for quite some time. As a YA book it's mediocre. However, once I chose to read it as Middle-Grade, it's quite good. It's a entertaining fairytale-like story, but the characters' dialogue and actions, the very descriptions and world building, only work if it's read as MG. It's perfectly fine and reminiscent, in fact, of classical fairytales in its simplicity: this is the heroine, the heroine does this for straight-forward simple reason, heroine announces her thought-processes, we're told a lot because the audience is not meant to have the ability to analyse things in depth. This may sound critical, but I'm not trying to be. I'm trying to point out how this is being marketed to the wrong audience. As a YA book it doesn't work. As a MG book it's pretty good. So that rating is the balance of the two. If I were to rate this as YA, I would give it 2 stars, as MG I'd give it 4 stars, so here we are, at 3 stars. There is a lot to recommend this book, chief of all the Waerg Woods. They are well written and creepy in a sort of la Motte-Fouqué way (for those of you who've read his Undine). The Waerg Woods are divided in sections, each harbouring a new evil: malevolent black birds that swoop into the sky and form clouds that pour down burning rain, a creature that attacks by preying on your fears, deadly cold fog that tries to lure you to a sleepy death, clinging vines that attempt to drain you of your blood. This book is worth reading for the Waerg Woods alone. However, there are also good things about the characters - if one reads them as MG, Mae goes from a whiny, arrogant, impetuous and tstl YA-type adolescent, to a young girl who doesn't know better and goes through the usual fairy tale tropes to learn valuable lessons. It's also nice that she never wanted to be Queen and wanted only to live close to nature, being true to herself. One thing I can't help pointing out, be it YA or MG, is that if you're placing your story in a fantasy realm with a Medieval or Renaissance feel to it, do NOT use the word "okay" in dialogue! It's really, really absurd. But quibbles aside, I really want to read the next one! So, in conclusion, if you plan to read this as MG, I recommend it!
toreadisdivine More than 1 year ago
The idea of one person holding all of the magic and then being forced to marry some prince, well… I love the idea of tension between characters. It makes future love triangles and relationships all the much better! Alright, so this book is fantastic. No really. I jumped into it a little skeptical because of the first sentences but it really drew me in and held me long into the middle. GAH. That forest is just the scariest place ever, and I love it. I really like the idea of all of the creatures that inhabit the forest having a normal front but hiding some deadly or terrible secret underneath. And then there’s the strange beast with the clicking noise… I won’t tell you any more about it, but I’m super curious as to what its significance will be in the next book. The plot is gorgeous, the people that come into play are interesting and sometimes more than scary, and the feels are just. So many. So many feels. The first-person narrative present-tense makes WHITE HART really fast paced and is probably the reason I had trouble getting into it at first, but once I immersed myself in it, the speed was nice and kept me interested and desperate to know how things would go from there on in.