Genre: Fantasy

To Bind a Dark Heart: Kathryn Ann Kingsley

Posted on November 7, 2023 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in Reviews / 3 Comments

After the explosive ending in To Charm a Dark Prince, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the sequel.  I had to know what was in store for Mordred and Gwendolyn.  To Bind a Dark Heart delivered an exciting tale that kept the reader glued to the pages from start to finish.  Unfortunately it ended leaving the reader with more questions and looking forward to the answers in book three.


To Bind a Dark Heart: Kathryn Ann KingsleyTitle: To Bind a Dark Heart
Author(s): Kathryn Ann Kingsley
Series: The Iron Crystal #2
Also in this series: To Charm a Dark Prince
Published by Hachette UK - Second Sky on November 3, 2023
Pages: 264
Genre(s): Fantasy
Source: Netgalley
Format: eArc
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Series Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Heat Level: One Flame

“Run, Gwen. Run as far and as hard as you can. Because when I catch you… You will belong to me.”
When she shattered the Iron Crystal and returned magic to Avalon, Gwen also shattered Mordred’s heart. Torn between her passion for Mordred and his rage at her betrayal, she fled into the wilds.
Gwen’s choice has transformed Avalon, and the island teems with magical wonders freed from the crystal. But Gwen also released the vicious and chaotic elementals . Desperate for revenge against Mordred, some of them see Gwen as an ally, others as a hostage.
Now, the Prince in Iron hunts Gwen relentlessly, though at night he visits her in dreams, unable to break the desire that binds them . She is his weakness. If his enemies captured her, he knows that he would make any deal, break any vow to return her to his side.
As the elementals prepare for battle, Gwen will face an impossible choice . Can she stand by as Avalon’s magic is destroyed once again? Or will she fight to overthrow the man she loves?
Building from slow-burn to steam, the Iron Crystal series is packed with alluring villains, dark magic and heart-stopping twists. If you’re a fan of Sarah J. Maas, Laura Thalassa and Carissa Broadbent, To Bind a Dark Heart will have you reading late into the night.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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To Bind a Dark Heart return readers to Avalon. It picks up immediately from where To Charm a Dark Prince ended. The destruction of the prison which held the Elementals captive paved the way for war between them and Mordred. Gwendolyn uncertain of her position with Mordred, especially given her betrayal ran from the castle. While on her journey of trying to figure out her next move, she came to the realization things are not as it seems. She is caught in the middle of the entire debacle and to make matters worse she learns she’s connected to a demon.

Gwendolyn continues to be a naive heroine who makes questionable decisions. The fact she’s so easily manipulated doesn’t help. One would have thought that after seeing the effect of her betrayal, she would learn, but that was not the case. Also, her actions at the end reeked of stupidity, which of course had disastrous consequences. It’s no wonder the demon chose her to fulfil his mission.  I do hope by some miracle she matures in the next book.

Mordred remains my favourite. Everyone views him as a tyrant, but I beg to disagree. He genuinely wants what’s best for Avalon. He just needs to find the best solution that will bring about the peace he so desires.

Discovering the true identity of the cat responsible for Gwendolyn’s unexpected journey to Avalon made for some interesting reading. Now he did not have good intentions which was blatantly obvious from the start, but Gwendolyn with her naive self failed to see this.  It was interesting learning how he ended up in Avalon to begin with and the reasons he despised its citizens. 

The story had some heartbreaking moments, one of which had to do with the loss of a certain character. I am still not sure how I feel about the loss. On one hand, it could be viewed as well deserved and on another one may say that just like Mordred they too wanted the best for Avalon.

The battle scenes added another layer to the story. It brought a measure of suspense to the story, which had this reader turning the pages, eager to know the outcome. 

Despite my issues with Gwendolyn, I enjoyed my return visit to Avalon. Overall, To Bind a Dark Heart was an interesting read and one which would appeal to fans of fantasy.



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About Kathryn Ann Kingsley

As a USA Today bestselling author and award-winning designer, Kat has always been a storyteller. She delights in spinning stories of the sweetest nightmares to delight her readers with her unique twist of fantasy, horror, and romance. With ten years in script-writing for performances on both the stage and for tourism, she has always been writing in one form or another. Also on her list of skills are artistic direction, scenic painting and props, special effects, and electronics. A graduate of Boston University with a BFA in Theatre Design, she has a passion for unique, creative, and unconventional experiences. In her spare time, she builds animatronics and takes trapeze classes.

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Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading