cover image Once upon a Broken Heart (Once upon a Broken Heart #1)

Once upon a Broken Heart (Once upon a Broken Heart #1)

Stephanie Garber. Flatiron, $19.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-250-26839-6

First in a series spun off from her Caraval trilogy, Garber’s dreamy fantasy follows 17-year-old Evangeline Fox, whose boyfriend, Luc Navarro, unexpectedly proposes to her stepsister, Marisol Tourmaline. Luc and Marisol are virtual strangers, and Luc won’t explain, so Evangeline assumes her stepmother bewitched them both and strikes a deal with a cunning, immortal Fate known as Jacks and the Prince of Hearts, to stop the wedding; in exchange, Evangeline must later kiss three people of his choosing. Jacks halts the ceremony, but after his methods cause misery for everyone involved, Evangeline and Marisol journey from the Meridian Empire to the magical Magnificent North. Hoping for a fresh start, they’ll attend festivities designed to find Prince Apollo a bride. Upon arriving, however, Evangeline encounters Jacks and realizes that their trip is somehow part of his plan. Evangeline, Marisol, and Jacks are cued white; several supporting characters have brown or olive skin. Despite some frothy plotting, Garber enchants readers with exquisitely imagined worldbuilding and her trademark heady romance. Evocative if occasionally overwrought prose adds to the tale’s dreamlike feel. Ages 13–up. (Sept.)