A Heart so Fierce and Broken
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.
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Publication Date: January 7th 2020
Ableism, Torture, Depictions of Blood, Murder, Death, Parental Abuse, Discussions of War
Buddy read with Shirely ❤
I sat on this review for a looooonngg time and came to the conclusion that my conflicted feelings will stay conflicted. Let’s hope my thoughts come across properly in this review.
First, let me state that I overall enjoyed this read. It was a highly anticipated release for me and I couldn’t wait to dive in. But, this book dragged. HARD. Maybe it was the political angle we had for the beginning chunk, maybe it was the turn to your run of the mill adventure story.
I mean, they’re trekking through the woods, trying not to get caught by the prince, maybe they might make an alliance with a neighboring country, maybe they might fall in love, just maybe communication won’t be utilized here? Look, when you get to a certain point it makes sense, but if we just talked it out…..? Nonetheless, that’s not what has kept me with this series: it’s the characters. And do I have FEELINGS.
I did think there’d be more POV’s than just Grey’s and Lia Maria’s, even though I knew this book would put the focus on them. This is sad to say and I may be a bit biased… Ijust missed Harper and Rhen more than I thought. We don’t particularly see them here, maybe one or two appearances, but it was okay…?
Because I liked Grey and Lia Maria separately and as a couple,. The princess and bodyguard trope thing happening will always be my jam. However, did I particularly care about them together? No sorry. And I’ll go into more later.
But, I really liked the relationships Lia Maria had with other people. I mean, I appreciated the kindness beats all angle happening with her character, yet her with her mothers dynamic was very complex. Her mother knows how it is to be a woman ruler and showing weakness in a court of men isn’t favorable. You see where her cruelty comes from and I admire how she is still very clearly a villain that we can see all sides of.
Another complex relationship is with Lia Maria’s sister Nolla Verin. She’s clearly a product of her quite cruel mother, but again, we see all sides and the sister relationship between them not only broke my heart but made me super appreciative (yes I’m repetitive)? I hope she becomes a focal character in the finale.
Now, I knew this series was brutal, but some things I was NOT expecting. I won’t say this book was more graphic than the first one, but still… I’d advise going in expecting some scenes that may make you uncomfortable.
My main issue with the installment was Harper and Rhen, which contradicts my earlier statement of me wishing there was more of them here. However, the direction the author took with them… I can’t say I was a fan. The entire message of book one was Harper and Rhen’s feelings were undecided and they were taking their time figuring it out even though she knew she cared for him… and now that’s all out the window very early on?
Not only that, I was scared of the direction the author was taking with Rhen, he did… some things that was very out of character for him? No spoilers, but I’m half and half on whether I’m okay with them. And I can’t say I was a fan of the 180 that Grey took, but it’s done and over with.
In all honesty, I am comparing this to the previous story... and it’s not exactly holding up. Now, I liked this book, despite what this review is alluding to. However, book one had that magic, that hold on me. So, I’ll be here for the finale, I promise you that.