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Heartless Hunter by Kristen Ciccarelli


Heartless Hunter

by Kristen Ciccarelli

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Quick take

Out: Cat and Mouse. In: Witch and Witch Hunter. Welcome to a bloody world brimming with magic, romance, and intrigue.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, 400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, First_in_Series

    First in series

  • Illustrated icon, Witchy


  • Illustrated icon, Romantasy



On the night Rune’s life changed forever, blood ran in the streets. Now, in the aftermath of a devastating revolution, witches have been diminished from powerful rulers to outcasts ruthlessly hunted due to their waning magic, and Rune must hide what she is.

Spending her days pretending to be nothing more than a vapid young socialite, Rune spends her nights as the Crimson Moth, a witch vigilante who rescues her kind from being purged. When a rescue goes wrong, she decides to throw the witch hunters off her scent and gain the intel she desperately needs by courting the handsome Gideon Sharpe—a notorious and unforgiving witch hunter loyal to the revolution—who she can’t help but find herself falling for.

Gideon loathes the decadence and superficiality Rune represents, but when he learns the Crimson Moth has been using Rune’s merchant ships to smuggle renegade witches out of the republic, he inserts himself into her social circles by pretending to court her right back. He soon realizes that beneath her beauty and shallow façade, is someone fiercely intelligent and tender who feels like his perfect match. Except, what if she’s the very villain he’s been hunting?

Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Heartless Hunter.

Heartless Hunter


When the blood guard suspected a girl of being a witch, they stripped off her clothes and searched her body for scars.

During the Sister Queens’ rule, witches wore their casting scars with pride, putting their power on display like jeweled rings and silk garments. Scars signaled wealth and rank, and most of all, magic.

Now they marked the hunted.

The last time Rune laid eyes on a witch’s scars was two years ago, after the witch queens were murdered in their beds and the blood of their council flowed in the streets. The Blood Guard seized control of the city, and the purgings began.

It was sunset when a surging crowd gathered at the center of the fog-soaked city. Rune stood among them, unable to unsee the thirsty, fevered looks around her. The people wanted vengeance. Wanted to gulp it down like a rich red wine.

The gulls shrieked overhead as the old witch stumbled up the steps to the purging platform. Unlike those who came after her, the crone neither wept nor begged for mercy, but met her fate with a stoic glare. The Blood Guard ripped one sleeve from her shirt, revealing the evidence of her crimes: patterned scars flowing down her left arm, etched like delicate white lacework against her golden skin.

Rune couldn’t help but find them beautiful. Once a sign of superior status, the scars were now impossible to hide, making the old woman easy prey for witch hunters.

It was why Rune never cut herself.

She couldn’t afford to let them find the scars.

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Why I love it

Give me a clever female protagonist, a forbidden romance, a riveting high-stakes plot, and I’ll ask for nothing else—apart from the sequel. Kristen Ciccarelli gives us all of this and more in this tantalizing cat-and-mouse game of deception.

Rune is a young witch living in a world that would see her kind purged. Gideon is a deadly witch-hunter who will stop at nothing to see this purge through. To keep herself alive, Rune must con Gideon into a courtship with her, and keep from falling for the lie herself.

By day, Rune plays the part of socialite, orchestrating lunches and balls with the New Republic’s high society, a group of witch-hating elite. By night, she is the “Crimson Moth,” a vigilante saving witches from their hunters. As Gideon and his hunters encroach on her, she sets out to throw them off her scent by courting him. Little does she know that Gideon has a plan of his own, aiming to court her until she reveals her true identity. Thus begins a dance of evasion and pursuit, as they keep each other’s worst enemy—and greatest love—closer than is safe.

An equally exciting and emotionally compelling story about love and sacrifice, this book will have you flipping the pages and leave you open-mouthed and full of feelings. Best of luck sorting them out!

Member ratings (15,506)

  • Hollie M.

    Dover, NJ

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I can easily see this becoming one of the top fantasy books of the year. I’m calling it now, this is a favorite of mine, too. I devoured it! I didn’t want it to end, yet I couldn’t put it d

  • Mary-Helen D.

    Austin, TX

    This book was a page turner filled with chaos! I’m sad that the next book doesn’t come out until 2025. Reminds me of one of my favorite series. I couldn’t put it down & finished in 3 days!!!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Dani M.

    Hampstead, NC

    👏🏻THIS👏🏻BOOK👏🏻FUCKING👏🏻DEVOURED👏🏻 Oh my god. I literally don’t even know where to start with this. The vibes? Immaculate. It’s giving the Witcher meets Red Queen. The tension? AMAZING. The

  • Kim W.

    Statesville, NC

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Heartless Hunter by Kristin Ciccarelli This has probably been my favorite book so far this year!!!! Rune is a young girl living two lives…one as an aristocrat planning balls and gossip and

  • Taleah U.

    Westover, WV

    ✨Book review✨ 📚heartless hunter - @Kristen Ciccarelli ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/ 5 This book was full of magic, romance, and action! At the beginning of the book I was sucked in. Then I got about 20% into it, and

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