“There is no path here. I feel as though the curse never ended. The players simply changed.”
I received an ARC of A Heart so Fierce and Broken at BookExpo, this in no way impacts my review. However, my review is based on an unfinished and uncorrected copy, please note that the story and quotes may differ from the final book. I’ll keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, but there will still be spoilers for A Curse so Dark and Lonely.
Read in June 2019
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
I cannot start this review without saying how happy I am right now. I’m so happy that I met Brigid Kemmerer. She honestly was the nicest and bore with my emotional display. I’m also ecstatic that I was allowed to get this book (with the cutest personalized message in it) as it’s one of my most anticipated releases for the coming months. In fact, I was so excited that I had to pick this ARC first even though it’s only due to January 2020. But the thing is that when you loved the first book of a series and you are super eager for the next instalment, your expectations are often skyrocketing and it actually was a source of stress for me. Will this book brings me as much joy as the previous one?
“Choices are never easy. There are good and bad options, but the most dangerous is to not make any choice at all.”
Well, I’m proud to say that A Heart so Fierce and Broken managed to surpass A Curse so Dark and Lonely, who would have guessed? Except for a couple of chapters, the story is told from two shifting points of views, which are NOT Rhen and Harper. At first, this news disappointed me a bit, I really adored Harper, she was the spine of the first book and I was very dubious of how the story would evolve without her. Also, we were out of the path of the Beauty and the Beast retelling. But fear not, Brigid slayed it all and gave us a great cast and two amazing main characters.
The first one is no other than the brooding former guard and now the true heir of Emberfall throne: Grey. He wasn’t my favourite character in the first instalment but I still slowly opened my heart to him throughout this book. At first, I didn’t understand his struggles and grew quite bored of his plot (the fact that he is hiding and trying to live without links to his former life) but as soon as the story catches-up, I was all in. I learned to appreciate some of his values that I overshadowed in ACsDaL such as how he treats everyone he meets as an equal and with respect. He was a really good lead for this book, way better than I thought he would be.
“I had almost forgotten he could be like this. Prince Rhen is a brilliant strategist and a consummate gentleman, but he can also be petty in the most creative ways. The curse changed him – in truth, it changed us both – but it did not lessen his ability to be vindictive”
The second character is Lia Mara, and she completely stole the spotlight. Lia Mara is one of the new characters in this book; she is the first-born daughter of Karis Luran and yet not the designated heir since her mother favoured her younger sister, Nolla Verin, that she considered more ruthless thus more fit to rule. Lia Mara is smart, educated, spends so much time reading and learning about foreign cultures. She is fearless, rational and brave, but above all, she values peace and unity. What I loved about her is that her relationship with her sister never once was about envy or rivalry. They both deeply respected and adored each other; it was so refreshing to read about a positive model of sisters. After the negotiation failed, Lia Mara puts herself at great risks to try to mediate peace behind her mother’s back and she hopes that her gesture will help save many civilians.
[Spoilery personal thoughts, highlight to read -only if you have read this book-: I really fell for Grey’s new friend Tycho, I just wanted to hug him, he was so loyal to Grey that was very touching. At first, I was a bit disappointed that Jake would be there since I didn’t appreciate him in the previous book but he ended up being quite okay, and I still liked Noah very much. I loved Iisak as well. I was really invested in Lia Mara/Grey growing feelings. Honestly, I’m dreaming of a world where Lia Mara and Harper would be best friends. I was a bit disappointed in Rhen even though his PTSD made me thinks a lot of Tamlin’s in A Court of Mist and Fury. And the ending was nerve-wracking, I was positively sure that Lilith survived Grey’s attack, but I didn’t expect her to have already reappeared and was already trying to manipulate Rhen. I truly think that Rhen will try to do something to defeat her and that we will get a happy ending. IF we get a third book!!]
Overall I loved that we got to see different places and that Brigid gave more backbones to her magical story with new creatures and some more background explanations of the ‘whys’ and the ‘hows’. The writing is still amazing and the pacing is perfect. I see that there is no third book announced on Goodreads and I really hope it’s coming our ways soon because guys you will not live that cliff-hanger well!
ARC received at BookExpo, hand signed and personalised by Brigid Kemmerer herself ❤
I told her how much Harper’s strength despite her disability meant to me, and I started ugly crying. She hugged me and wrote the nicest thing in my book:
Edit 06/10/19: Brigid tweeted back and can’t confirm if a third book is coming our way. I’m hyperventilating now!
Edit 06/25/19: THIS. IS. REAL!
Have you read or will you read this book?
What did you think about it?