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1/31/2022 • comments off • Filed Under: Fantasy, Middle Grade

Publication date: February 1st 2022
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
ISBN: 1616205067

Tick . . . tick . . . tick . . .

Time is running out in the empire of Rheinvelt.

The sudden appearance of a strange and frightening statue foretells darkness. The Hierophants—magic users of the highest order—have fled the land. And the shadowy beasts of the nearby Hinterlands are gathering near the borders, preparing for an attack.

Young Prince Alphonsus is sent by his mother, the Empress Sabine, to reassure the people while she works to quell the threat of war. But Alphonsus has other problems on his mind, including a great secret: He has a clock in his chest where his heart should be—and it’s begun to run backwards, counting down to his unknown fate.

Searching for answers about the clock, Alphonsus meets Esme, a Hierophant girl who has returned to the empire in search of a sorceress known as the Nachtfrau. When riddles from their shared past threaten the future of the empire, Alphonsus and Esme must learn to trust each other and work together to save it—or see the destruction of everything they both love.

Thank you so much for to Algonquin Young Readers and Brian Farrey for having me today on the blog tour for The Counterclockwise Heart! I’m so excited to be featuring and reviewing this book in today’s post.

It’s been such a long time where I’ve been able to sit down with a middle grade novel, and not only that, but just sit down and enjoy myself. So much of my reading lately has been just . . . not fun and that’s entirely my fault, but to say this book was a breath of fresh air after starting and stopping so many other books over the past few months would be an understatement.

I kind of knew from the opening chapter that I was going to love it; it reminded so much of the books that made me fall in love with reading when I was younger. The mystery, the centering of a story on anything involving a clock always drew me in and still does. The setting was vast and varied, exploring numerous parts of the kingdom that Alphonus’ mother ruled over; I hate to call it a fun adventure, given the reasons the characters were doing it, but the exploration really did make it more fun.

Perhaps my favorite part though was the heavy German influence woven throughout the story. As a descendent of someone who was a burgermeister in the old country, I was ecstatic when I first saw the word pop up in the book. Then to notice details, big and small, throughout that hinted at said German influence . . . it was so cool to see. I can’t say I’ve read other books like that so an MG novel having it was exciting!

I wish I would’ve had this book when I was ten. I think that’s the age when I would’ve really loved and enjoyed it most, but I’m so glad I was able to read it now. Brian Farrey is an incredible storyteller and that shines brightly in The Counterclockwise Heart.

The Counterclockwise Heart releases tomorrow, February 1st! You can click the links* below to order your copy! <3 You can visit Brian on his website and on Twitter.
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
(*links are not affiliate links.)