Title: A Heart so Fierce and Broken
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: Jan 7th, 2020
Source: e-ARC (Netgalley)
One Sentence Synopsis
In the sequel to A Curse So Dark and Lonely, rumors of a lost heir who can to the Emberfall throne who can also wield magic are causing chaos not only within the country but between former allies.
This quote is from an uncorrected copy and may change in the final version
“These political games feel so unfair, when real people and true emotion sit at the center of it all.”
(There are others, but I had to pick something non-spoilery!)
Last year, when I was getting back into reading, I decided to pick up a book I had been hearing about a lot: A Curse so Dark and Lonely. It was billed as a Beauty and the Beast retelling with a twist. I ended up really enjoying the book, though I had complicated feelings about it overall. I was definitely excited about continuing the journey when I found out that A Heart so Fierce and Broken would be coming out in 2020!
So you can imagine the shrieking noises I made when I got an email saying that my wish to read the e-ARC from Netgalley had been granted! Seriously, I shrieked, my cats ran, it was a bit of a day. Before I dive into this review, I want to say a big thank you to Netgalley, Bloombury, and the author for granting me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Now, my absolute favorite character in ACSDAL was Grey, the stoic guardsman who proved to have a softer side. I loved his interactions with both Rhen and Harper in the first book and often found myself wishing we could get inside his head. Thankfully, the sequel has answered my prayers! We start off checking in with Rhen (who is trying to figure out how to keep his country from falling apart) and Harper (who is trying to figure out how to keep Rhen from falling apart) but quickly shift to our boy, Grey. This is Grey’s story: a story about birthrights and betrayal and struggling to find where one fits in this new world.
We also follow a new character, Lia Mara, the eldest daughter of the queen of Shyl Shallow. She is also struggling to find her place in the world and her country, where cruelness is a part of being a leader and she is anything but cruel. Y’all, Lia Mara has come very close to taking the #1 spot in my heart. She’s such a complex character! She’s clever and strong and resourceful, but yet so mild and soothing and kind. And the relationship she has with her sister, Nolla Verin, has so many layers and is so beautiful. Ugh, you love to see it.
If you couldn’t tell, my favorite thing about this book was the characters and their growth. But I would be remiss if I didn’t crow about the plot, as well. This was an excellently paced and plotted story. I sped through the book because I needed to know what happened! I needed to know if my favorites were going to be okay! The readability of this book cannot be denied. And even though there wasn’t constant, non-stop action, the author makes you feel the danger that is just around the corner. It’s fast-paced and beautifully written, though I will say I kept seeing phrases about hearts tripping and stumbling that threw me off. Still, I found myself completely immersed in the world of Emberfall and I didn’t want it to end.
And then it did. AND THE ENDING! YOU ARE NOT READY! I was most CERTAINLY not ready! I’m still trying to decide if I’m mad about it or not. I sat with my iPad in my lap, staring at the screen, silently screaming in my head. What I’m saying is… I need book three!
Final thoughts: The sequel is better than the first book and we all have Grey and Lia Mara to thank for that.
Did you read A Curse so Dark and Lonely? Are you excited for this sequel? Have you read it yet? Let me know in the comments!
And, as always, happy reading!