Title: Serafina and the Splintered Heart
 Robert Beatty
Series: Serafina #3
Release Date: July 3, 2017
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Review Spoilers:  Low
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Our latest adventure with Serafina and her friends is their darkest yet as author Robert Beatty wraps up this installment of the Biltmore story in Serafina and the Splintered Heart. I’ve been a big fan of this series from the beginning and Beatty manages to pull everything together at the end of this chapter of Serafina’s adventure. It is certainly a page-turner!

Picking up shortly after the events of Serafina and the Twisted Staff, Serafina finds herself in a very dark place (literally) at the start of Splintered Heart. Something terrible has happened to her and she has no idea what. Her memories are all jumbled and the many parts of what make Serafina whole have been torn asunder.

Trapped in a sort of limbo and unable to communicate with the people she holds dearest, Serafina has to rely on the unlikeliest of allies to save not only herself but everyone in the Biltmore.

Everything plays out in a fast-paced, action-packed story that sees everyone’s favorite characters coming together for their ‘final battle’ so to speak. Everything that’s happened over the course of the series comes together at the end. But while this may be the end of one chapter of the Serafina story, Beatty doesn’t let that keep him from doing new things and challenging our characters until the end and he gives us a much more in depth look at the magic from the series.

Now, I do want to point out that while Serafina and the Black Cloak and Serafina and the Twisted Staff both stood on their own for the most part, Serafina and the Splintered Heart relies heavily on both of the stories that have come before it. You’re going to want to read them before tackling this latest book.

The original black cloak from the first book makes a reappearance and without the previous context the seriousness of it’s involvement in this story may be lost on readers. Additionally, both Rowena and Waysa, who are introduced in The Twisted Staff, have large roles in The Splintered Heart. In the end it’s only with their help that Serafina and Braeden save the day. But without having read The Twisted Staff it’ll be hard for readers to truly appreciate their relationships or how far Rowena has come.  

That’s probably one of the best parts of this book: Rowena’s inclusion as part of the team.

For the last two books it’s largely been just Serafina and Braeden with others helping out occasionally. But in The Splintered Heart both Rowena and Waysa join together become a quartet of friends and heroes. It’s really great to see. I was disappointed when Rowena turned out to be a fairly stereotypical ‘bad guy’ tricking the good guys in The Twisted Staff. It was good to have her back in a more heroic role this time around.

With this chapter of the story concluding, fans will be left wholly satisfied and eager to start on the next journey.  In his afterword the author he talks about a new, upcoming series set in the same North Carolina mountains with a new character and lets readers know this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Serafina and Braeden. If The Splintered Heart were the last we saw of them it’s one grand journey. But it’s great to know that the story will continue!

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