When nights pass as hours the same
The end of time will start
A sacrifice is all that saves
The counterclockwise heart
The Counterclockwise Heart is an epically beautiful, magic-filled adventure story in the vein of classic Aesop’s fables. It has characters you want to root for, an atmospheric setting and a historic magic feud complete with a mythic villain (or two).
Prince Alphonsus was an orphaned baby adopted by the Empress and her wife as their own. They keep secret from the empire his mysterious origin and the clock embedded where his heart should be. In his bassinet was the poem above and the same day he is found, a massive onyx statue descends on a small village. The villagers believe the statue is an ill-omen until a young boy, Guntram begins to speak to her and the crops begin to flourish. As the years pass, the Empress replaces Guntram with Alphonsus and leaves Guntram with a bitter grudge. Enter Esme, the last of a dying breed of magical people who have been exiled from the empire. She wants nothing more than to free her people and she must steal the heart of the statue to do so. The paths of these three are destined for an epic showdown and not everything is quite what it seems.
I adored these rich characters and the world building was fabulous. I would not have believed that this is aimed at middle grade readers; anyone who enjoys fantasy, especially with some great ethical quandaries. I absolutely loved being transported into this world! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐
Thanks to Algonquin Young Readers for the gifted copy. All opinions above are my own.
Do you like an underdog or the storied hero better as a main character?