these hollow vows – lexi ryan | arc review

These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan

Series: These Hollow Vows #1
Expected publication: July 20th 2021 by Hodder & Stoughton
Age Range: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Fae
Representation: bi SC


Rating: 4 out of 5.


Brie hates the Fae and refuses to have anything to do with them, even if that means starving on the street. But when her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court to pay a debt, she’ll do whatever it takes to get her back—including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the Seelie court.

Gaining unfettered access to the Seelie court is easier said than done. Brie’s only choice is to pose as a potential bride for Prince Ronan, and she soon finds herself falling for him. Unwilling to let her heart distract her, she accepts help from a band of Unseelie misfits with their own secret agenda. As Brie spends time with their mysterious leader, Finn, she struggles to resist his seductive charm.

Caught between two dangerous courts, Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty. And with her heart. 


Bound magically to a contract, Brie might remain in debt to Madame Vivias for the rest of her life. The only living relation she has in the mortal land is her younger sister, Jas. To Brie, the fae are exploitative, cunning, and cruel as they used humans as slaves and tricked the non-magic folks into life-long service. When Jas was sold to the Unseelie king, Mordeus, Brie stepped into the world of faeries that she harbored hatred for. While most of the Seelie fae are considered “good”, the Unseelie court is the most dangerous.

In exchange for Jas’s freedom, Mordeus required Brie to steal three magical relics from the Seelie queen. Brie infiltrated the palace by posing as a potential candidate for Prince Ronan’s bride-to-be. While she slowly falls for the prince, her attention was enraptured by a rebel Unseelie who seeks to bring down the current ruler. Under Finn and his misfits’ teachings, Brie discovered her ability with shadows.

Abriella, every star in that sky shines for you.

Brie’s willingness to do anything for the safety of her sister propelled her to betray and lie. Trying as hard as she can to level the playing field, Brie always seemed to be missing some crucial information about the politics and magic of the different kingdoms. As she navigates through unfamiliar territories, being in the company of deceptive fae doesn’t help with her loneliness and insecurity. Not knowing who to trust, Brie finds answers on her own.

Ever since Jas and Brie were left in the care of their uncle, Brie resented her mother for abandoning them. All she had of her mother were the memories and stories of the fae. As Brie uncovered more secrets surrounding the fae, she realized that the bedtime stories might not entirely be fictional anymore.

“That no matter how hopeless I feel, there’s always a little more hope inside me. That no matter how faithless I think I am, there is always something to believe in.”

It’s always a game of manipulation and deception with the fae. Red flags and warning signs were glaring but ignored. Since I’m not a huge fan of love triangles, I tend to settle on who I think the main character would end up with pretty early in the book. It was tough for These Hollow Vows as everyone was being suspicious. All the hidden agendas that Brie and I weren’t privy about just floated in the air until it was clearer.

Overall, These Hollow Vows was enjoyable. While the love triangle trope isn’t a favorite, I liked Brie’s interactions with both guys and her coming to a conclusion about the faeries and their politics. That ending just made so much sense for the title of the next book, These Twisted Bonds.

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