A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
Updated: Jul 10
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.
The time when the sequel is actually better that the previous instalment.
If you have no idea what this book is about you are probably living under a rock! This novel is the second book in a VERY popular YA trilogy called CurseBreakers. The first book is called A Curse so Dark and Lonely? You still have no idea? Okay you probably need to read it yesterday and then browse goodreads for new releases?
This series is based on a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast and yes this has been done before but not quite how this books does it. Let me tell you, I didn't love the first book. It just felt flat and bleh all together. I didn't care for it and maybe it was because of the whole other 1 million books that are Beauty and the Beast retellings. BUT this second novel? It blew me away. Let's Review it shall we?
SPOILERS for the first book ahead, be warned.
A Curse so Dark and Lonely explored a more brutal curse and also way more interesting characters than what we are used to in the original, one of them even has cerebral paralysis which is very cool to see represented. But I found Rhen (our beast) to be a boring character and because of that the whole romance collapsed for me.
And although I do love romances this one just felt too focused on the love bits with little to no chemistry. Just a mild story that didn't tug my opinion either way.
A Heart so Fierce and Broken changed it all.
Harper and Rhen are almost not even in the book, hallelujah. Don´t get me wrong I love Harper but I have a problem with Rhen. But wait, that also changed in this book!
The little time we have with this characters is, in my opinion, way more valuable that it ever was in the first novel! The way they acted with other people around them was done to perfection and for once I understood what was going on in Rhen's mind (after that final chapter).
BUT the main characters in the book are not Harper and Rhen, they are Gray and Lia Mara, which quickly became my favourite characters in the whole story. Mostly because of the depth to their personas.
I have almost no problems with this novel which is new to me, but it is the truth I swear it! I was just sucked right in with the intrigue and the pain. I felt every little emotion written in the page and it consumed me.
Gray is the perfect leader and the perfect main character because he isn't perfect. Lia Mara is stronger than any female character I had read about in a long while and she wasn't overly manly! Hurray, someone that I can finally connect with and see myself in.
And their romance... was a hundred times better that Harper's and Rhen's ever was. I had to take a break from the first kiss scene because I was too feeling the same as Lia Mara. And it was weird but amazing like how? It was too much and IT was a kiss scene and I am an adult and it still was too intimate like I was watching something that I shouldn't. Well played, Kemmerer.
The friendship between Jake and Gray was beautiful, also the parenting from Tycho and the relationship between Rhen and Gray was crafted to perfection. The thoughts and the reactions, the mystery and the politics...I think this book is one of those books that needs to be looked at in details. All the details made sense and made me warm making the novel amazing.
But there is heartbreak and there is plot-twists too. The truth is that if I have some problem in this story the plot-twist would be it because it was predicable. But I didn't care. I loved it still mostly because ,again, of the characters reactions.
The pacing of the book was fantastic, or at least for me, because it was fast but with down-time that would make just want to stay a little bit more!
My review is that this is an amazing book and I gave it five starts. The ending chapter made me love it even more because it was an eatable cliff-hanger, meaning that it did made me want to read more but it also made me okay with it waiting for it all at the same time. I also made SO much sense!! That chapter in itself made me love Rhen or at least understand him.
Icy creature with wings who has a more human heart than the humans, two sisters and two brothers with difficult decisions, pain that is reachable with touch, a love that melted my stone heart, a princess that is feminine but badass, freaking political court scheming, all wrapped up in a road trip with fairytale vibes?
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