Review – A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

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.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken is the second book in the Cursebreakers series. And while I still enjoyed this one, I don’t think it quite lived up to the first one. Part of that is due to some of my own expectations which were built with no basis so really my own fault there, but some of it was also due to a few issues I had with the book.

Starting with my expectations. I knew this was Grey’s book, but I still expected to see Harper and Rhen some throughout the story, and we really didn’t which was my main disappointment. I thought we’d either see them more through Grey’s POV or we’d have a couple chapters with a Harper or Rhen POV sprinkled throughout and beyond a first and a last chapter we just did not get this.

Past that initial disappointment, my first qualm with this book was that the plot ocassionally felt kind of aimless. We’d have bits where it was clear what the plot was leading to and what the characters were aiming to do and I’d be really into it and then something would happen to stop them and I would be left sitting there wondering “uh well now what, we’ve got a whole book left”.

My other main issue with this book was the total backwards character development for Rhen. We spent all of the first book watching him change from the distant, jaded prince to someone who started to care for his people and show more compassion. And then this book threw the first one out the window, laughed evilly, and turned Rhen into the cold, vicious, villain.

Despite what I’ve written above, there were things I liked about this book. I did enjoy getting to see more into who Grey was and follow him more closely. I also really like Lia Mara as a character and I’m excited to see more of her in book 3 and seeing more of the relationship between her and her sister.

Overall I give this book a 3 out of 5 stars. I’m usually a fairly easy to please reader so despite the flaws I was still able to enjoy it on the whole and it hooked me enough to want to read the next one when it comes out next year.

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