Reviews for Heartless hunter : The Crimson Moth Duology

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

When the Blood Guard revolted against the Sister Queens and the purging started, no witch was safe, until the Crimson Moth arrived and began smuggling them away. Rune Winters has been hiding her magical abilities for two years, ever since the revolution that claimed the lives of her grandmother and so many others. Seen as “a darling of the New Republic” for her role as an informer, Rune spends her evenings at lavish events with the wealthy, collecting secrets about witch raids and arrests. Later, while disguised as the Crimson Moth, she uses this information to save lives. But now that she’s 18, Rune is expected to marry. If she must have a husband, she intends “to make the most strategic choice”—someone like Gideon Sharpe, her good friend Alex’s older brother and one of the Blood Guard’s most notorious witch hunters. Gideon has firsthand experience with witches; their “heinous acts” are why he hunts them and why he’s willing to get close to Rune and discover whether she’s really the Crimson Moth. What starts as a game of wits for each of them turns into a beautiful relationship that forces them to reconsider their earlier beliefs. Told in alternating viewpoints, this intriguing story explores questioning one’s beliefs and viewing the world through a different lens. The main characters are cued white. An addictive first installment that sets readers up for a series full of magic and romance. (Fantasy. 14-18) Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

In daylight, to the public eye, Rune Winters is a social butterfly concerned only with parties, dances, gossip, and pretty clothes. By night, she takes on the secret identity of the Crimson Moth, a vigilante dedicated to rescuing witches from the Blood Guard and spiriting them to safety. A well-concealed witch herself, she faces deadly consequences if caught, and now she has a dedicated member of the Blood Guard, Gideon Sharpe, on her trail. He suspects that she is the Crimson Moth, and Rune knows that Gideon has information she needs. The two begin a curious courtship, each trying to get something from the other until, inevitably, they fall in love. Told in alternating third-person point of view between Gideon and Rune, this fantasy take on The Scarlet Pimpernel smoothly spools out a complex plot, and the perspective changes heighten the tension between the two. The supporting characters are depicted vividly and add to the the action, sometimes as red herrings. The dizzying finale promises a sequel, with Rune wondering where she stands.

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

In a world once ruled by witches, revolution has brought about their demise and given rise to the Republic of Red Peace. Still hunted, witches must hide the elaborate scarring on their bodies, which act as catalysts for spellcasting, to avoid discovery. Teenage Rune Winters, a wealthy socialite, is known for betraying her own grandmother as a witch to the republic. In secret, however, she operates as the Crimson Moth, a rebellious figure who helps witches escape the purge by fleeing the country. Her most recent rescue attempt is thwarted by the man she loathes most, Blood Guard captain Gideon Sharpe, who wants nothing more than to capture the Crimson Moth and suspects Rune of being more than the vapid aristocrat she plays in public. Determined to use each other for their own gain, Rune and Gideon enter a dangerous courtship that will test their convictions. Via Rune and Gideon’s alternating first-person narration, Ciccarelli (Edgewood) persuasively imbues each side of the conflict with complexity, depicting both as being neither wholly good nor evil. The protagonists’ strong chemistry unfolds at a tense and steady pace in this high-stakes romantasy, the first in a trilogy. Main characters cue as white. Ages 13–up. Agent: Danielle Burby, Mad Woman Literary. (Feb.)

School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 9 Up—Rune Winters is living a double life. By day she is an airheaded debutante flitting from party to party and by night she is the Crimson Moth, a masked crusader dedicated to rescuing witches from the clutches of the Blood Guard. Gideon Sharpe took control of his life the day that he helped overthrow the corrupt Witch Queens, sisters who ruled over their island kingdom with the magic afforded them by their blood. Witches need their own blood, or that of another person, to cast their spells, leaving behind an intricate tracery of scars visible to the naked eye. A captain of the Blood Guard, Gideon is convinced that all witches are evil and need to be rounded up and punished. Rune and Gideon will stop at nothing to see their missions completed. When they both decide that cozying up to their own worst enemy is worth the risk, they didn't count on actually beginning to care for each other. Fans of the enemies-to-lovers trope will not be able to put this book down. Ciccarelli creates a world that will immediately immerse readers. Those familiar with The Scarlet Pimpernel will recognize the essence of the story in this gender-swapped fantasy reimagining. VERDICT Give this one to fans of Kendare Blake's "Three Dark Crowns" series and Bridgerton, both the show and books.—Sara Brunkhorst