ARC Review: Heart of the Impaler by Alexander Delacroix | Teen Ink

ARC Review: Heart of the Impaler by Alexander Delacroix

November 19, 2021
By Bella_Queen DIAMOND, Plymouth, Ohio
Bella_Queen DIAMOND, Plymouth, Ohio
70 articles 25 photos 65 comments

Favorite Quote:
Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.
-Walt Whitman


Heart of the Impaler was predictably boring. Alexander Delacroix created unremarkable, stereotypical characters, and added uninspiring romances that tugged at my impatience time and again. The story was about Vlad, you guessed it, The Impaler and his life before becoming Voivode of Wallachia. He and his cousin, Andrei, become infatuated with Ilona Csáki, Vlad’s brother’s betrothed. As her life is put in danger, both boys strive to protect her, attempting to win her heart at the same time.

Heart of the Impaler was not something I would have read for sheer pleasure. The storyline was very unrefined and wobbly. The whole thing with the key molding was pushed behind the love triangle and hidden for a long period of time before being revisited again. I couldn’t tell if that was strategic or that Delacroix simply forgot about it. And he didn’t describe the battles in the book at all, instead they were vaguely mentioned and we only saw what happened after the battles were over. To write historical fiction, you have to at least present us with a historical battle! Call me crazy, but I want full detail, leave out nothing!

And the characters… I felt like I was sighing through the whole thing because Ilona was such a stereotypical “perfect” character. She was beautiful, talented, and could shoot a crossbow on the first try. These types of characters usually always have a few side guys fighting to woo her. Ilona was no exception. She had two; Andrei and Vlad. I hated Vlad! And not just because he was a maniac who skewered people on wooden poles. I hated him because of how aggressive he was towards Ilona; he pushed himself on her and never asked if he could kiss or touch her. He was way too handsy, and his character went crazy with no actual explanation. Yes, his brother is a bully, and he has no recognition from his father, but I would have liked some flashback scenes to understand him a little more.

To move on to Andrei, he was the only character I actually sort of liked. He was charming, quiet, and really attentive to Ilona and Vlad. Even when his cousin was pushing him around, Andrei loved him and listened to his crazy plans and ideas. Never once did he leave Vlad hanging. But he did have many flaws; like how he followed him blindly, never asked questions, and was in the back for a long time. A little more Andrei wouldn’t have hurt the story.

Unfortunately, the story was made even worse by the annoying love triangle and ill-defined romance. Vlad doesn’t even know Ilona before he decides he’s in love with her. The same goes for Andrei. And Ilona suddenly stops liking Vlad at the first sign he’s not coming back for her? It didn’t make sense, and I was really confused the whole time about the romance. Bleak and odd are the only words fit to describe it.

Heart of the Impaler wasn’t a disappointment; I expected not to like it, but in the end I was still upset that I had wasted hours of my life reading the book. It wasn’t worth it, but, to be fair, this would be perfect for people who like a mindless historical fiction romance with little action. In the end, I wouldn’t have ever bought this book, and I certainly won’t be rereading it anytime soon.



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