{Review} A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

Posted January 16, 2020 by Leah in Reviews / 3 Comments

{Review} A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers, #2)

by Brigid Kemmerer
Pages: 464
Published on January 7, 2020
by Bloomsbury YA
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

Also by this author: Letters to the Lost, More Than We Can Tell (Letters to the Lost, #2), A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely, #1)

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.
In the sequel to New York Times bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.

3 Stars

It’s no secret that I was pumped for A Heart So Fierce and Broken. Brigid Kemmerer has proven to be a master of stories that speak to me. From the moment Grey, the brooding, stoic guardsman made his appearance in the first Cursebreakers novel, A Curse So Dark and Lonely, I was head over heels in love with him. When I saw that this novel was from his point of view, it could not get into my hands fast enough.

I was expecting political powers plays and heart-stopping romance.

I was not expecting to be disappointed throughout most of the book. Mild spoilers might be found in this review.

The book takes off a few months after Curse ends, and the stakes are high for Grey as he tries to outrun his destiny. I really like the ease with which Kemmerer places you in her world. It’s simple and I could easily imagine the places and people that populate Emberfall. New characters are introduced that further expand this universe. Grey finds a boy named Tycho under his care. Tycho is precious and must be protected at all costs, by the way. There’s talk of usurping Prince Rhen, but at what cost to Emberfall’s people?

And this is where some issues come up. Maybe I was so blinded by my adoration for Curse and it’s there as well, but I noticed there’s a lot of melodrama in Heart for the sake of melodrama. And it comes from almost all the characters. Grey is torn between his duty and destiny, so there’s a lot of internal struggle of the “Will I? Won’t I?” variety. There will be a quiet moment, but then comes some big event that shakes the quiet. After breezing through the first melodramatic half, the next melodramatic half becomes tiresome and jarring.

I also had an issue with characterization. Lia Mara is the daughter of a ruler who wants to put Grey on Emberfall’s throne. Lia Mara wants what’s best for her country and peace. That’s it. There’s no dimension to her character. She just wants peace. Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with wanting peace, but we never gets to know her likes, or even her hobbies besides reading (although this is more tacked on).

In Curse, it’s eluded that Grey has feelings for Harper, the heroine of the first book. This is eluded to in HEART as well, but the instant Lia Mara is introduced, this is kind of glossed over. It happens suddenly: one moment, they’re thrown together, and the next it’s talk of having feelings for one another. However, Kemmerer knows how to write swoon-worthy romances. Even though I wasn’t fully invested in Grey and Lia Mara, I was digging their looks and talks.

But you bet I’ll be reading that third book to see how it goes down.



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3 responses to “{Review} A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

  1. What I’m seeing from a lot of book bloggers seems to be that they loved the first and were lukewarm, at best, on the second. I mean, that’s not the majority of reviews at all, but the blogs I’ve visiting seem to agree, at least. xD Makes me feel not quite so alone. I was pretty disappointed with the romance, too (especially knowing the author can write fantastic romances), but I’m still interested in seeing how the third one resolves everything!

    • Leah

      It does seem that way. After more thought, this second book feels more like a necessary jumping off point for the third book. That makes me even more disappointed about it. XD Ah well, I really am looking forward to the conclusion (?) that’s on the horizon.

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