Review: A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on March 23, 2020 | 0 Comments

Review: A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid KemmererA Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Cursebreakers #2
Published by Bloomsbury USA Children's (1.7.2020)
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 450 pages
Source: Library

3 Stars

Find the heir, win the crown.

The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors 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.

My thoughts

While I still enjoyed this book for the most part, it sooo did not have the magic that A Curse So Dark and Lonely did. First of all, this book is a companion. (Which I knew going in, so I lowered my expectations a bit.) And it’s like most companions – once you get attached to the characters in the first book, it’s hard to get as attached to the secondary characters (or new characters) as the main characters in a companion novel. Or at least it is for me.

Not that I didn’t like them – I mean, I loved Grey in the first book. But I guess I just liked him better as a side character, if that makes sense? I still liked him, but I wasn’t as attached to him in this one for some reason. I also hated Lia Mara’s chapters at first, so it was a rocky start for me. I didn’t get interested in the book until nearly 200 pages in. I was pretty bored with it until that point, even during Grey’s chapters. The prose is really dry, which I didn’t remember being an issue in ACSD&L. Harper’s voice was fresh and modern and had humor in it. There is no humor in this book. (Which made me realize that Harper was probably the only reason I loved ACSD&L so much. The lack of Harper in this companion really ruined it for me!) It’s also MUCH slower and focuses heavily on politics and war, which I am not usually a fan of reading about because I find it boring. (Which most people seem to enjoy in high fantasy, hence why I’m the black sheep on this book *sigh*)

Lia Mara’s chapters were excruciating in the beginning, but she did eventually grow on me. She had a lot of the qualities that I liked in Harper – she was fierce and determined, and fought for what she believed in. (But again, NO. HUMOR. WHATSOEVER.) I did end up liking her better toward the end. I didn’t connect to the romance between Lia Mara and Grey, though. It felt like it was lacking chemistry (seriously, Grey and Harper have WAY more chemistry than these two), and I didn’t really care if they ended up together or not. The only character I was really invested in was the scraver, Iisak. I was immediately interested in him, and even when he escaped I expected he’d be back – I was waiting for it, because I wanted to know more about him! I really liked his character, he was definitely my favorite.

I did enjoy the last half while I was reading, but it’s not sticking with me. Even a few days after finishing, I find myself forgetting about it. What even happened? It feels like nothing actually happened until the very end! Yet I was underwhelmed by the ending. View Spoiler » It makes me so sad, because I loved ACSD&L.

Overall Assessment

Plot: 3/5
Premise: 4/5
Writing style: 3/5
Originality: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
World-building: 3.5/5
Pace: 3/5
Feels: 2/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall rating: 3/5

Jessi (Geo)

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