TITLE : A Heart So Fierce And Broken (Cursebreakers #2)
AUTHOR : Brigid Kemmerer
GENRE : YA Fantasy, Romantic Fantasy
FR RATING : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 Stars
A Heart So Fierce And Broken is the second book in the Cursebreakers series. The moment I finished ACSDAL I wanted to just continue with the series and find out what was going to happen next. With the epilogue that finished off in book 1 I really wanted to see how this story will take off. This book is also in dual perspectives and this time we are introduced to some new characters and we get to see some of our older characters as well. The book continues from where we left off in book 1 and we follow Grey as he is on the run from his previous life as a Commander to the Kingdom of Emberfall. This book is entirely different from book 1 in terms of it’s pacing and also the way the characters are developed.
The story’s main focus is on Grey and we get to see and learn more of who he is and how he has been dealing with the freedom he has been granted and how his life as a Commander has affected him. We get to see a lot of character development in this story and also how he deals with life in general and his emotions regarding the events in ASCDAL. The book is more of an in-depth character-driven story and also sets down the groundwork for the upcoming book.
I loved seeing Grey’s perspective and also his interactions with his new-found friends. Grey’s emotional side is portrayed in this book and his conflict with the decisions he wants to make and what is expected of him was realistic in its portrayal. Grey has obviously led the majority of his life serving the King and Prince. Now for the first time in his adult life, he is free from his duty and oath he took when he joined the service. For the most part of his life, he was trained to be emotionless and follow rules and orders and after getting his freedom he is lost and has difficulty in coming to terms with his new-found independence. The only problem is upon self-reflection he is not so sure of the decisions he has taken or the choices he has made for the sake of the good of Emberfall. I did feel most of the problems could have been solved by having an open line of communication between Grey and Rhen, but on thinking on it I feel like it wouldn’t have been that easy for Grey to have kept this secret to himself either. The lack of friendship or even a better relationship than Prince & Commander would have been better for them to find common ground where they could trust one another freely. All the time Grey was with Rhen for more than 300+ seasons we see them having a relationship that was strictly formal and that doesn’t leave much room for a deeper connection even though they were bound by Lillith’s curse. We get to see Grey and his struggles and how he is trying to work through his emotions and also learn more about the powers he has.
Karis Luran’s daughter Lia Mara is definitely not Harper and I did not like her as much as Harper, but I still think she was a rather sweet, naive, and likable character. She is very much different from her mother and her sister when it comes to her approach in dealing with negotiations with another country. She is compassionate and is averse to violence though she is very well trained and can defend herself if there was a need for it. Her naivety puts her in a lot of trouble and her impression of Rhen is from the information she has gathered from her mother and her brief interaction with him. However, after an altercation, she decides she hates Rhen and feels betrayed and stupid for being naive enough to think she could bring about peace between the two kingdoms. I found her and character arcs to be interesting and can’t wait to see what will happen in the next book. I found Grey’s and Lia Mara’s romance to be cute and I liked their kind-of-forbidden romance.
I wanted to see Harper and hear her thoughts when dealing with Rhen and his demons. There were a few instances where I wanted to hear her thoughts and I think it would have been highly effective in understanding her reasoning and also what Rhen was going through when he rejected Grey and everything that led to Grey fleeing the Kingdom. The internal conflict and tension between the characters were very much believable and palpable.
There are few twists and turns and, even though I knew it was coming, I was still a little bit surprised when certain things happened. I enjoyed how this was different from the first book and I thought understanding these different perspectives will help us with the upcoming book where we will get all 4 character’s perspectives. I also enjoyed how the characters made mistakes and reflected on their actions. There were a few times when I was very much aggravated by the lack of communication that I wanted to shake some sense into some of these characters. Although I understand their reasoning behind it and when they get called for the mistakes they made I felt validated in my exasperation with the characters’ behavior.
The book ends in another cliffhanger that I guessed would be the probable cause for some of the characters’ behavior. I think the book is more of a set-up for the next book and I am glad to have these character’s perspectives as it will be beneficial in understanding them better when we get to the 3rd book where, as I mentioned earlier, we will have all four main character’s perspectives.
Overall I really enjoyed it and I gave the book 5 stars. I thought the book was definitely set up to bring more depth to the characters and also expand the world and give us a broader picture of the story and everything that was happening. I think this will be a great series to binge-read if you are in the mood for a fun, entertaining short romantic fantasy. This is definitely an excellent series for new-fantasy readers. I definitely recommend checking it out.
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.
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.