A Heart So Fierce And Broken
Note: This is a sequel so there will be spoilers from the first book, A Curse So Dark and Lonely. If you have not read this book please read on at your own risk for being spoiled.
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?
Sequels can be tough. They can be hard to keep up the same level of intensity and excitement as the first book in the series and A Heart So Fierce and Broken did not manage to deliver quite as strong as its predecessor. But it was still a strong book with great new characters that I enjoyed reading about.
It atually took me a while to realise that this book solely focused on Grey and Lia Mara. It wasn’t until I looked at the back and saw that it only described those two that I realised I would not be getting any Rhen or Harper narratives. Which bummed me out a little, but it heightened the anticipation for the third book where we’ll hopefully find out what has happened at Ironrose castle during our time away in AHSFAB. Rhen and Harper took a backseat and were barely visibly present, but their actions spoke volumes, especially Rhen’s.
I believe I even sent Brigid a message on Instagram where I voiced my concerns that the book was slowly turning out like Sarah J. Maas’ ACOMAF, with the strong male lead from the first book slowing becoming a character you hate and won’t root for anymore… not to give too much away, but I’m still hoping that won’t be the case in the third book. Please don’t go there, Brigid. I’m begging you. Don’t make Rhen the new Tamlin!
The thing about Rhen and his very different actions from the first book is that we don’t have his P.O.V. in this book to help give reason to why he does what he does. We are left with only guesses and Grey and Lia Mara’s voices to help us understand. So the third book, A Vow So Bold and Deadly, better have Rhen’s P.O.V. otherwise I don’t know what to think of him anymore.
On a different note – we do have a bunch of new characters in this book – most noticeably is the other P.O.V. MC, Lia Mara from Syhl Shallow, the oldest daughter of Queen Karis Luran, but not the heir to her mothers throne.
Lia Mara is a pretty decent character. She loves her country and her family, albeit questions their actions, but because she’s not the chosen heir to the throne, she has been degraded to just sit there, smile and be a pretty face supporting her younger sister.
There was one quote from her that stood out to me in the book and I immediately made a note of it:
Ah, yes, the most dangerous person at the party is always the girl sitting alone with a book. – Lia Mara
Oh Lia Mara.. you kind of remind me of me sometimes. Sitting alone with a book – if that doesn’t speak to almost every bookworm out there, I don’t know what will.
Other new characters includes Grey’s young friend Tycho and the creature, Iisak (a scraver, who is quickly turning into a fan favourite). They definitely helped carry the story as a breath of fresh air when you have a storyline that is darker than the one in the first book. So they were a great addition.
And then there is Grey.
From Commander to the rightful heir of Emberfall. This man is on one wild emotional ride and it is far from over. Not only is he the long lost heir to the kingdom that his former best friend (and master?) rules, but he has to deal with discovering magical powers he never knew he had. Or even wanted. But now he has them and has to learn how to control them (which is what a majority of this book is about), but it is hard when magic has been feared for so long. Luckily for him, his travel companions are understanding and only want the best for their friend.
Overall I did enjoy this book, though I felt that the story dragged a bit. The pacing was not the best and in that way it is a classic sequel – a bunch of travelling and not much happening really for the first half, though that is a lie because a lot of things did happen in this book, but it was more subtle and poking you in the side rather than beating you over the head with a shovel.
So whilst A Heart So Fierce and Broken isn’t as strong as A Curse So Dark and Lonely, it is still a fantastic book that will hold your attention throughout as you develop a whole new set of feelings for the story and your emotions are left all over the place.
Are you a #Cursebreaker? Do you have a favourite character from this book or from both books? I think mine is a mix of Grey and Harper. She definitely made an impact and is not like other characters (at least in the first book).