|| Book Review || A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer ||
Genre: Retelling, Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: January 7th 2020
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumours circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.
Win the crown, save the kingdom.
Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?
The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.
In the sequel to New York Times bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.
Okay, so this review has been a few days in coming. I have just been so distracted with other things this week but I am now going to attempt to write something coherent about this book.
So if you read my review of the first book you’ll probably remember that it really didn’t wow me as much as I wanted to be wowed. I found it entertaining but not amazing. Good but not great, you know?
Now this opinion seemed to be a bit outside the norm based on other reviews I read and now I am going to break the norm again by saying that I actually liked this second book quite a lot more than I did the first. So here’s why.
First of all my favourite character from the first book was Grey and in this book we see a LOT more of him. Instead of Rhen and Harper we are now following Grey and a new character Lia Mara (the daughter of the queen of Sil Shallow).
Now don’t get me wrong… I really like Harper as a character and I did miss seeing her POV but this book takes a totally different direction than the first and really fleshes out Grey, Lia Mara and Jake too (Harper’s brother who was really only a minor side character in the first book).
I really enjoyed the way that Grey’s character was developed in this book even if I sometimes didn’t agree with his thought process and reasoning. I loved the way he was introduced to his magic and how he doesn’t just become instantly attuned with it. In fact he is pretty damn bad with magic and it takes him a long time to get better and even by the end of the book he’s not great at all but I liked that. Too many times in books like this characters discover they have magic and then become like instant badasses and that just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me so I really like the way this was done with Grey.
I also really liked how he had to learn to accept his new role in life… going from being a guard commander and following orders to a Prince who has to give them is quite the adjustment!
I absolutely loved Lia Mara… she is such a strong character and is instantly likeable. Despite the fact she has grown up with so much violence around her she is sweet and gentle but she can defend herself too.
I really like the way the relationship grew between her and Grey. It was a really slow burn and it was quite lovely but still lacking in the passion that I usually love in these types of books.
As for Rhen, anyone who liked him in the first book will be quite disappointed by him in this book. I didn’t like him before and don’t particularly like him now. He is fearful of magic, small minded, paranoid and needlessly violent. He does not come across as a good person at all to me in this one.
Overall I just felt the story in this one was a lot stronger and the ending leaves you desperate for the next book to see how it all works out!