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A Heart So Fierce and Broken

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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 t 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.


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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 t 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.

30 review for A Heart So Fierce and Broken

  1. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    #1 A Curse So Dark and Lonely ★★★★★ #2 A Heart So Fierce and Broken DNF DNF @ 20% No rating, obviously, because I didn't read nearly enough of this to really give a thoughtful opinion on it... but ow, my heart. This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2020! Curse was one of my favorite reads of 2019, I loved Harper and Rhen and Grey so freaking much, I loved the plot, everything. My hopes were SO high — and then the mere first few chapters of this book snatched them up and threw them off #1 A Curse So Dark and Lonely ★★★★★ #2 A Heart So Fierce and Broken DNF DNF @ 20% No rating, obviously, because I didn't read nearly enough of this to really give a thoughtful opinion on it... but ow, my heart. This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2020! Curse was one of my favorite reads of 2019, I loved Harper and Rhen and Grey so freaking much, I loved the plot, everything. My hopes were SO high — and then the mere first few chapters of this book snatched them up and threw them off a cliff into a rocky cesspool below. *sigh* On one hand, the pacing is good and the first 20% definitely flew right by. On the other hand, that's probably because nothing happened besides a bunch of backwards character developments, some obnoxious new characters, and a new direction for the plot that I absolutely hate. Despite all of that, I was still torn — do I cut my losses here while I can still love the first book, or keep trying and risk hating the whole series by the end? — but after I started reading reviews, I realized I just couldn't bring myself to bother. I hope others have a better experience with this one, but I'll be over here quietly pretending that Curse was a stand-alone with an open ending. Really, it's better this way. Edited to add: Because a few people have told me I would like this book more if I had continued it, I probably should mention that, after choosing to "officially" DNF it where I did, I skimmed forward and read chunks of the rest of the book here and there to see if I might be more intrigued by what was happening. I then also skipped ahead and read the last few chapters (I know, blasphemy, but this is something that has convinced me to continue a boring or disappointing book many times in the past, so I was hopeful). Unfortunately, not only did I find the plot line predictable enough that literally NOTHING about the end surprised me, but I was even more frustrated by the characters by the end that I can safely guarantee nothing that happened between the sections I read would have redeemed AHSFAB for me. :( /end edit Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  2. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    oh wow. im quite conflicted about this one. this is my most anticipated sequel and release of 2020 and i am happy with this, but im also really let down by it. hear me out. by the second chapter, it was quite evident this was going in a direction that i didnt like or support. although this picks up quite recently after the events of ‘a curse so dark and lonely,’ i feel like all of the characters went through some massive unseen change. they just didnt feel like the same people, with the same care oh wow. im quite conflicted about this one. this is my most anticipated sequel and release of 2020 and i am happy with this, but im also really let down by it. hear me out. by the second chapter, it was quite evident this was going in a direction that i didnt like or support. although this picks up quite recently after the events of ‘a curse so dark and lonely,’ i feel like all of the characters went through some massive unseen change. they just didnt feel like the same people, with the same cares or motivations. its really bizarre. i even began hating a character that i so dearly cared for. it also doesnt help that this sequel is told by two different POVs. i understand the need to focus on them in order for the story to progress in the direction it went, but its such a dramatic shift from the first book that it took me awhile to get used to it. after these unfortunate and unwanted changes, i had to read this book as if it were completely unconnected to ACSDAL and essentially a standalone. after doing that, after reading this story for what it is individually and not a follow up to another half, i started to enjoy this. like really enjoy this. the writing is phenomenal. the pacing is top notch. the characters are so complex. talk about a fierce and broken heart - i couldnt help but empathise with grey and everything he was going through. i really appreciated the new characters and how their personal backgrounds and stories give depth to everything that is happening (iisak is sooo cool and tycho is a little cinnamon roll). one thing is for sure, the next book is going to be absolutely wild. so even though this is not the sequel i wanted or was hoping for, once i put all of my expectations aside and just enjoyed this for what it is, i really had fun reading this. i hope other readers will be able to do the same. ↠ 4.5 stars

  3. 4 out of 5

    alana ♡

    "Fear makes people act in ways we'd never expect." Kicking of 2020 with a 2 star review of one of my highly anticipated releases for the year was not how I imagined things going....but here we are. We're just going to dive right into this one because whew Lord, I have a lot to say. If you have not read the first book then definitely read this at your own risk as there are some pretty big spoilers for A Curse So Dark and Lonely in this review! What I Liked 📈 Transition and pacing. One of t "Fear makes people act in ways we'd never expect." Kicking of 2020 with a 2 star review of one of my highly anticipated releases for the year was not how I imagined things going....but here we are. We're just going to dive right into this one because whew Lord, I have a lot to say. If you have not read the first book then definitely read this at your own risk as there are some pretty big spoilers for A Curse So Dark and Lonely in this review! What I Liked 📈 Transition and pacing. One of the things I can say that honestly did not disappoint in this book was the pacing. Sometimes fantasy novels fall into the trap of having a lull in the middle of the story up until the end but this kept me engaged when I was reading it...even if I didn't actually like what I was reading. And the transition from book one to book two flowed super well in my opinion. The author does a great job of recapping book one without ever making it boring or redundant. 👯‍♀️ Sister love. I can't say much without spoiling anything, but I really do love books with siblings who start off on not the best foot but admire each others strengths and come together when it matters. And uhm yeah, that's about it. What I Didn't Like 🤷🏻‍♀️ No point. My biggest reason for not liking this was because essentially.... it's pointless. A Heart So Fierce and Broken basically takes the plot from book one and lights it on fire. Literally, the plot of this book makes the first one feel like everything Harper and Grey went through to help Rhen be "the good guy" was all for naught. Which brings me right to my next point. 👹 Rhen. Character growth? We don't know her. Every ounce of growth Rhen made in book one is so far gone out the window that it's not even funny, he was absolutely awful in this book. I get that his throne and people are all he cares about but the fact that he tried SO DAMN HARD to not be the villain in book one only to become the villain in book two....no ma'am. Not on my watch. 👑 Princess Harper of Disi. The one and only is NOWHERE to be found. A true tragedy. One chapter from her POV and then maybe five quick appearances? Are you kidding?! I understand that this is Grey's book so she would be in it a little less but what I did not expect was for her scenes to be so scarce and the only time she's really in the book she's all "hey guys, I know Rhen is being trash right now but he's scared and under a lot of pressure. So, I'll help you guys sneak out of the castle but I'm gonna stay put with him." Having Harper be the silent little puppy who trails along after Rhen instead of the fierce take no shit type of gal she was in book one was a pretty bad move in my opinion. 🤰🏻 The pregnant lady. So, this is basically a personal issue and maybe it won't bother most people but it did NOT sit well with me given the events of my life this past year. Rhen obviously sends his guards out to hunt down the heir, and there's one scene where Grey and his new group of friends are trying to get away from Rhen's guards, however, in the midst of all that a pregnant lady gets stabbed directly in the stomach. And then Grey, a newbie to his magic, is miraculously able to heal her and everyone is all "THE BABY IS KICKING AGAIN!" after the knife is pulled out the ladies stomach. That was truly a hard no for me, like, did we really need to take it that far? Again, it's a personal issue but like, break an arm or cut off someone's leg for God's sake. Okay, rant over. 🙄 Cliche. Book one felt like a good Beauty and the Beast retelling, this felt like too many fantasy tropes mashed together and spewed out on paper. 🛑 The end. Whew Lord, my blood boiled. After sitting through almost 500 pages of not liking it but trying to be a good sport and stick it out the ending really pissed me off. Just scroll back up and everything I said about Rhen is 100% confirmed, he is TRASH. At this point I'm not even sure if I want to continue the series come next year. All in all, I think it's safe to say that this was a fail for me. I think it suffered from whatever is worse than second book syndrome if I'm being totally honest. I know a lot of people are excited for this one, so I hope it works out much better for you than it did for me if you plan on picking it up! Thank you Bloomsbury for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for a honest review! Blog | Twitter

  4. 4 out of 5

    . (not active on this account stop adding me)

    harper, princess of disi, love of my life, protector of my heart, giver of my rights, you deserved more than one pov chapter and five appearances in almost 500 pages where your only purpose is to serve the character development of your male counterparts

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ilikebooksbest.com ❤️

    Pages: 464 Publication: January 7th 2020. A cross between an epic fantasy and a legendary romance. This book was everything I hoped it would be and more! I definitely recommend it to everyone who likes Fantasy, Fairytales, Adventure and Romance. It surprised and delighted me in that it was not any sort of retelling. Though I did think A Curse so Dark and Lonely was one of the best retellings of Beauty and the Beast, even better than the Disney versions, since it dealt with a genuine beast that kill Pages: 464 Publication: January 7th 2020. A cross between an epic fantasy and a legendary romance. This book was everything I hoped it would be and more! I definitely recommend it to everyone who likes Fantasy, Fairytales, Adventure and Romance. It surprised and delighted me in that it was not any sort of retelling. Though I did think A Curse so Dark and Lonely was one of the best retellings of Beauty and the Beast, even better than the Disney versions, since it dealt with a genuine beast that killed people. A Heart so Fierce and Broken was truly a continuation of the original story, after curse was broken. It focuses on the character of Commander Grey instead of Rhen and Harper, though they both make appearances and we see what “Happily Ever After” looks like in the Kingdom of Everfall. I think readers will find it interesting to say the least. Commander Grey was such a wonderful character in ACSDAL, he had sworn his life to the Royal family and to Rhen in particular. In doing so he had to detach from all his family and to forego any future family that could possibly ever be used against him to get him to turn on he royals or the Kingdom of Everfall. Even so, the evil mage Lilith still took his 9 sisters and brothers one by one while trying to get him to turn against Rhen. Grey was always loyal to Rhen and then to Harper as well. He and Harper became great friends, and when he disappeared they both thought he was dead. In AHSFAB, Grey is still the noble and formidable warrior, but also intelligent and relentless in his drive to do what he thinks is right. He is still loyal to the Kingdom and to Rhen despite everything he has learned and gone through. Grey is a true Hero. He meets some wonderful characters and they journey together throughout the majority of the story. Brigid Kemmerer is an excellent writer and makes each of the characters come to life. I could picture each one of them and though they start out as strangers and foes, the travelers become united and even friends. The love interest Lia Mara, is one of them. Lia Mara is the firstborn daughter of Karis Luran of Syhl Shallow which is over the mountains from Emberfall. If you remember from ACSDAL, Karis Luran is the bloodthirsty Queen whose forces tried to invade Emberfall when she thought the royal family was gone and the Kingdom was at its weakest. Though Lia Mara is the firstborn daughter, she is not the princess in line for the throne. Her mother doesn’t value her like her younger sister Nola Verin, whose nature is more like their mother. Lia Mara is not as small and beautiful as her sister and she is intelligent and caring and does not like bloodshed. While Nolla Verin is unfazed by killing others and only to happy to rush into battle. Harper’s brother Jake and his partner Noah were brought to Emberfall near the end of ACSDAL, it was Grey who brought them with the magic cuff bracelet that he got from Lilith when she cursed Rhen. It was used to go back and forth from Emberfall and Washington DC to get girls for Rhen to try and break the curse. Grey first used the cuff to grab Harper, then later her brother Jake and Noah who is a doctor. Now that the curse is broken Jake and Noah are stuck against their wishes. They blamed Grey for this, despite the fact that they arc traveling with him. Another character named Tycho is a teen who ends up as Grey’s sidekick. He is a great character and it would be nice to see him get his own book. The last of the traveling partners is a scraver, a viscous creature that can slice into a person with his claws in the blink of an eye. “I’m staring down at . . . a creature I can’t identify. It’s somewhat human-shaped, with dark-gray skin, the color of a cloudy night sky. Wings bound with rope sprout from its back, and there’s a length of tail that curls limply along the ground of the cage. It has clawed hands and feet, and a shock of black hair that’s matted with sweat. It’s not moving.” I loved this book. It was as good or better than the first book. There were several villains and there were definitely some big surprises. Not all of them are good, but it makes for an amazing story. The ending is spectacular, there will be a third book, but it is not really a cliffhanger so much as an ending to one part of the story and the promise of a beginning of another. I voluntarily read & reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Blog|Goodreads|Facebook|Amazon|Twitter|BookBub

  6. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    That was super good. I’m in love with Grey. I mean that goes without saying. AND, there were normal jerkhole stuff too! That ending! Once again, have to wait and see what’s going to happen. Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 That was super good. I’m in love with Grey. I mean that goes without saying. AND, there were normal jerkhole stuff too! That ending! Once again, have to wait and see what’s going to happen. Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brigid

    Hi, Cursebreakers!! Giveaway opportunities for ARCs will be coming up soon! Sign up here for more info: https://www.formpl.us/form/282236002 Hi, Cursebreakers!! Giveaway opportunities for ARCs will be coming up soon! Sign up here for more info: https://www.formpl.us/form/282236002

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cardan Greenbriar

    i'm sorry i can't review this book fully. i don't even know what to write. all i want to say is that this was highly anticipated, but it let me down so so bad. I love LOVE LOVE A Curse So Dark and Lonely, but this one is literally boring, Grey was such a great character in the first book, but in this one he's sloppy and sulking like Rhen was in the first book and i wanted Grey to have action and a great persona. The heroine Lia Mara was a mirror of Grey (though she had so much potential), honest i'm sorry i can't review this book fully. i don't even know what to write. all i want to say is that this was highly anticipated, but it let me down so so bad. I love LOVE LOVE A Curse So Dark and Lonely, but this one is literally boring, Grey was such a great character in the first book, but in this one he's sloppy and sulking like Rhen was in the first book and i wanted Grey to have action and a great persona. The heroine Lia Mara was a mirror of Grey (though she had so much potential), honestly Lia Mara you don't need to be a killer to be a hero sheesh. There is no story- ok maybe there is??? (view spoiler)[ Lia Mara becoming the Queen was so random (hide spoiler)] HOWEVER I'M GOING TO READ THE NEXT BOOK LIKE FUCK I NEED IT LIKE I NEED THE INTERNET . . . . . . . . pre-reading Bye Mom! Bye Dad! I'm off to Emberfall to live in the kitchen where FOOD MAGICALLY REAPPEARS

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    GOT MY COPY! DESERVED A LOOONNNNG NAP! (Caffeine stocks left the building!) GOT MY COPY! DESERVED A LOOONNNNG NAP! (Caffeine stocks left the building!)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Whitney Atkinson

    Thank you to Bloomsbury for the advanced review copy! This is so different from book one that I'm so interested to see how everyone is going to react. The first 200 pages of this were very dry and political, and I couldn't quite make sense of what was happening. It felt like the escalating drama could be solved with better communication, so I was frustrated why the author was dragging out so much hardship. In the last half, however, pieces started falling in place and the plot picked up. I really Thank you to Bloomsbury for the advanced review copy! This is so different from book one that I'm so interested to see how everyone is going to react. The first 200 pages of this were very dry and political, and I couldn't quite make sense of what was happening. It felt like the escalating drama could be solved with better communication, so I was frustrated why the author was dragging out so much hardship. In the last half, however, pieces started falling in place and the plot picked up. I really LOVE Grey. He reminds me of Geralt from The Witcher because he's very stoic and contained but sharp and tactful when he needs to be. That combination of gentleness and wanting to do what's right mixed with absolute lethal power is so intriguing to me, so I liked it when the story focused on his development. Also, the new characters in this book were so much fun to read about. I love Lia Mara and Tycho, and even side characters from book one like Noah and Jake grew on me. The one thing I can't figure out about this is (view spoiler)[how the characters we loved in book one are becoming villainized. It's definitely an interesting take to see these characters pitted against one another, especially after learning more about them and the ways they hold each other's lives at stake. But actions Rhen took in this book and the way he spoke to Grey just made him completely irredeemable for me, and I almost consider the Cursebreakers series about Grey rather than Rhen at this point. (hide spoiler)] While I was reading this book, I couldn't shake the feeling that although I was enjoying it, I don't think I would continue with a third book. The ending of this changed my mind, though. Also I'm a bit confused and upset about the way the characters are behaving, I do really want to know how this is going to end, because I don't foresee it being pretty.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Helena of Eretz ✰

    I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Book Roast

    I've had such tough time with fantasy (my favourite genre) for the last 7 or so month that getting back into this story was like a breath of fresh air! I just love Brigid's writing style so much, it's so simple yet punchy! You don't always need to go on for pages to get your point across in a meaningful and beautiful manner, you will not find paragraphs of descriptions of those 3 bushes by the river in this book! I was nervous getting into this as I knew we will be following a different characte I've had such tough time with fantasy (my favourite genre) for the last 7 or so month that getting back into this story was like a breath of fresh air! I just love Brigid's writing style so much, it's so simple yet punchy! You don't always need to go on for pages to get your point across in a meaningful and beautiful manner, you will not find paragraphs of descriptions of those 3 bushes by the river in this book! I was nervous getting into this as I knew we will be following a different character and also having a new one to top, but I shouldn't have worried - I got back into it and fell in love with them in maybe 40 pages tops. At no point was I bored. Characters are constantly in danger of some sort and because there's so much emotional backstory and journeys with them you actually feel invested for a change! This was a 9.0/10 on CAWPILE so juuuuust got 5 stars, the only reason it wasn't a strong 5 is because of the last chapter. One of my least favourite tropes happened and just overall it wasn't satisfactory for me. Apart from that, however, loved it!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dark River

    Okay, listen - LISTEN!! Here there be spoilers because I have a lot of feelings about this book and I CANNOT contain them okay? SORRY. And be warned that most of them are not positive - to my own surprise. A Heart so Fierce and Broken has been one of my most anticipated releases for 2020 following A Curse so Dark and Lonely, which remains one of my absolute favorite reads for all of 2019. I devoured that book, laughed and cried and fell oh so hard for every single character. Most of all the wonder Okay, listen - LISTEN!! Here there be spoilers because I have a lot of feelings about this book and I CANNOT contain them okay? SORRY. And be warned that most of them are not positive - to my own surprise. A Heart so Fierce and Broken has been one of my most anticipated releases for 2020 following A Curse so Dark and Lonely, which remains one of my absolute favorite reads for all of 2019. I devoured that book, laughed and cried and fell oh so hard for every single character. Most of all the wonderfully fierce Harper. But boy if I did not also lose my heart especially to the man himself; Grey. His character archetype is my kryptonite. So I was overjoyed when I realized that ACSDAL was in fact not only not a standalone as I initially thought (although I would argue that it can be read as such), but that the follow up novel would actually revolve around my man Grey. So maybe this will help you understand why I feel a little let down now that I've read it. Y'all ready? Because in 3 2 1 IT'S SPOILER TIME (view spoiler)[I KNOW people do not like love triangles. Hell, I don't need love triangles in 99.998% of cases either, but this might be one of the rare ones where I would have preferred that over what we actually got. I like Harper with Rhen. I also like Harper with Grey (shit, I even would have liked Rhen with Grey under slightly different circumstances). There undoubtedly was a spark between them in the first book, even if they didn't fully acknowledge it, and I was lowkey waiting for Grey to pull a Rhysand on us before I heard that he'd get a new love interest in book 2. But honestly, in AHSFAB Grey and Harper still had more chemistry on the like 2 pages they spent together than Grey and Lia had throughout the whole. damn. book. That's .. unfortunate to say the least. So I knew he would get a brand new LI in this one before I got into it, and at first I was on board with that idea as well. Then reality happened and it all just fell kind of flat. I can't even pinpoint why exactly it did, but it did. Lia Mara is alright. She's likeable enough and there is nothing obviously wrong with her character imho. But she is not nearly as compelling as Harper. Occasionally she even felt like a lesser version of Harper and I'm just not here for that (I mean can we talk about the way she killed her mother? Is everyone proficient in knife throwing now or??) Mostly she's just kind of .. there and cries a lot. I cry a lot too, so no judgement, but that romance just doesn't feel genuine. I didn't even recognize Grey during 90% of their "moments" together. Writing secret little love notes like a school boy, REALLY? Errrrrr #notmygrey And don't come for me like "oh he's different now because he's away from Rhen and his duty!!". Like yeah, sure, character development is expected and appreciated. I was happy to see him smile and form bonds with people for a change that did not purely rely on a master and servant dynamic. He's precious and deserves the world. But there's that and then there's not even recognizing a character's fundamental traits anymore. Which brings me to Harper, my girl. She's barely in this book. I kinda expected that, seeing as ACSDAL was mainly her and Rhen's story and AHSFAB was always supposed to be Grey's. But it's still all interwoven. The story could have used a little more of her, or at least of the brave, stunning girl we got to know in book one. Somehow I don't think that same girl would have forgiven Rhen for FLAYING A CHILD, BUT HEYYYY .. that's just me :')) I maybe, maybe, maybe could see that for a person who grew up in the brutality of Emberfall. But please let's not forget that Harper was raised in our society. She has our moral code ingrained in her. Our world might be cruel too, but I don't know a single person with half a decent heart who would watch their SO do something like that and be like "Eh .. that wasn't okay. Still gonna stay though *shrugs*" Noah seems to be the only one who truly has his shit together anymore, and even though he's mostly trapped in side character hell, I found him to be one of my favorite people in general still. I'm not even sure what to say about Rhen. Am I truly surprised by his actions? No. That man has gone through some intense shit for literal decades, and while not an excuse, it's certainly a bit of an explanation for the way he feels and acts. No matter how I feel a character inside the book should have reacted to him in light of the aforementioned display of cruelty, I as a reader still find him compelling. Kind of like - dare I say it - Tamlin. Who, surprise, I also don't hate lol. I'm not a fan of the discord between Rhen and his brother. Especially not since I believe that Grey's love for Rhen had a whole lot more to do with breaking the curse in ACSDAL than Harper's had at the time. It feels kind of forced. Did so at the beginning, when I found myself wondering if it might not have been better for Grey to be honest. Unlike him, I wasn't so sure of the fate that would have awaited him in that case. And it certainly feels forced now when Karis Luran (boy, was she one dimensional btw. Same as Lilith. Interesting villains they are not .. and I say that as someone who almost always roots for the villain :/) is dead, and ☆.。.:*pacifist queen Lia Mara*・°☆ is ruling Syhl Shallow. Bringing Lilith back last minute seems like a mildly lazy way to ensure some more conflict for the next book, which could otherwise have long since been solved if people only talked to each other. It feels like the author knows that too. Nothing else explains that twist in my opinion, if you can even call it that. Because I can't say I was surprised <.< Obviously she was gonna come back. No reason to shove her uncertain fate into our faces as often as it happened otherwise. In general, AHSFAB's storyline was very predictable. I've heard this said by many people about the first book too, but didn't feel so myself. Or if I did, it was only in the sense that I saw the obvious red thread behind it all because .. well .. it is a retelling. I found that comforting if anything, but not boring. And while I was not necessarily bored reading book two (I read this very fast for my standards too. Brigid Kemmerer's writing style is very fluid and easy to read), I knew exactly what was gonna happen next, to a point where I honestly asked myself if it's worth actually reading some of the chapters or if just skimming would be enough. It wasn't limited to the storyline either, which I might have been able to forgive. My heart beats for character driven stories over plot driven ones in most cases. That coupled with good writing is usually enough to satisfy me despite story shortcomings, except I didn't find this here. Where things seeming kind of predetermined in book 1 made a degree of sense and didn't bother me, here it just took away any kind of edge or wonder I might have otherwise felt / would have found engaging. Lia and Grey seemed so set in stone for honestly no good reason right from the start, it was ridiculous. With that all off my chest, I have to say that I will still pick up book 3, hoping that it might surprise me and turn all this around again, but yeah ... my hopes ain't that high, people. (hide spoiler)] **This review is based of an arc I own, not the final version of the book. But unless half the story is rewritten until pub date, my opinion stands.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Irina

    I didn't expect to like this book so much because in the first book of the series I didn't like Grey at all but now he is one of my favorite characters. I can't wait for the release of the next book because that ending really surprised me.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Arini

    #1 A Curse So Dark and Lonely — 3 Stars #2 A Heart So Fierce and Broken — 3 Stars #3 A Vow So Bold and Deadly (TBR) THIS REVIEW IS GOING TO SUCK BCS I’M SPEECHLESS AND NOT ENTIRELY FOR A GOOD REASON. I made a moodboard for this book and was planning to write an elaborate review, but I’m so damn conflicted about this installment that I can’t say for sure how I feel about all of it. I think my definition of a sequel compare to this author’s must’ve been vastly different bcs this book was not at al #1 A Curse So Dark and Lonely — 3 Stars #2 A Heart So Fierce and Broken — 3 Stars #3 A Vow So Bold and Deadly (TBR) THIS REVIEW IS GOING TO SUCK BCS I’M SPEECHLESS AND NOT ENTIRELY FOR A GOOD REASON. I made a moodboard for this book and was planning to write an elaborate review, but I’m so damn conflicted about this installment that I can’t say for sure how I feel about all of it. I think my definition of a sequel compare to this author’s must’ve been vastly different bcs this book was not at all what I pictured a continuation of a series would be like. After sleeping on it for almost two weeks, I think I’m just going to settle for a moderate rating. I feel like this book is an SJM Tower of Dawn sort of book, a little pointless but enjoyable to read nonetheless. It took me a while to warm up to all the new characters, but I suppose they were alright. I liked the sort of brotherly relationship between Grey and Tycho. The sisters rivalry between Nola and Lia irked me at the beginning, but I’m glad with how it worked out in the end. My favorite part about the book was definitely seeing how the dynamic among these forementioned characters along with Noah and Jake slowly changed from being hostile to showing a good camaraderie. I loved seeing the transformation in Grey's character arc as well. All in all, I’m relieved that this book was not a thoroughly horrible follow up. I’d given this book a chance bcs of Grey, and I will continue to do so. I hope that in the next book, we’ll see a reconcilitation between him and Rhen and that they’ll join forces to defeat the real enemy instead of fighting against each other. Bcs this book has taken such a drastic turn from what I assume most of us expected, I think the conclusion for this trilogy is going to be epic. I mean, that’s the least it could do considering how completely out of left field this one was.

  16. 5 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    And I'll just be over here REELING. This book wrung me through at least thirty seven emotions and I was a little disorientated at first, just from feeling so much (including a lot of surprise at the direction the story took) and I did have the gut-reaction of being frustrated. But once I slowed down and thought about the story...I appreciated what it was doing. I do encourage you to go right to the end if the beginning felt sour to you. The last 200pgs were phenomenal and my favourite. spoilers a And I'll just be over here REELING. This book wrung me through at least thirty seven emotions and I was a little disorientated at first, just from feeling so much (including a lot of surprise at the direction the story took) and I did have the gut-reaction of being frustrated. But once I slowed down and thought about the story...I appreciated what it was doing. I do encourage you to go right to the end if the beginning felt sour to you. The last 200pgs were phenomenal and my favourite. spoilers apply if you haven't read book 1; but no spoilers for this book [the story] So a few things to clear up: this is Grey's book. Harper/Rhen don't narrate (more than a single chapter each) and it's split between Grey and Lia Mara (the spare heir from Syhl Shallow). It follows Grey on the run and Lia Mara warring with her unwanted feels as her mother grooms her little sister for vicious power and everyone treats Lia Mara like...a royal sack of potatoes. The story has a lot of the good ol' fantasy things you expect: there's roadtrips, unlikely allies, trips to prison, a sort of fighting pit, spot of torture, sword practising, a ball or two, people yelling regally. This one is more focused on politics and travel, whereas book one was like mONSTERS. TORTURE. HARPER YELLING AT PEOPLE. Soooo...I found this slow. But then I also couldn't put it down. (It sped up towards the end too and I loved the last pages.) [the characters] I'd utterly DIE FOR GREY. He is such a Hufflepuff, so doggedly stupidly loyal, but he also is panicking in this book. He's stretched to the limit, he's betrayed and anxious and warring with himself and his newly found birthright. He's realising magic can be good, not just evil. He's realising brothers can be evil, not just good. He's absolutely broken AND THEN he's rebuilt. I cry. I really love him and everything he goes through. We also meet Tycho (the utterly adorably loyal younger teen who would also die for Grey; you and me both, Tycho!!) and Iisak (a sort of monster creature who I loved just because he's a monster creature) and there is a lot more Jake and Noah content too! Jake tries to drown Grey at one point and they bond. It's really lovely. Bless. And Lia Mara? Okay by the end I loved her. At the beginning...😂she was the chapters I wanted to skim. I like her budding romance with Grey but it felt a bit out of place with all the terror and stress of the story line, but hey. Apparently that's how romance works. Inconvenient timing and makes demands for you to give your jackets to cold girls and start WWIII. [my feels] Ugh like I said. I had a lot of feels. The main things were, I really was hooked by the second half. I was captivated by Grey and the choices he had to make, I loved his rag-tag crew, I was intrigued by the budding magic. I loved how the book also dismantled what it is to be strong. It took a GOOD LOOK at the toxic view of "strong" (whether it was toxic masculinity traits or the "strong young woman" view point and how none of it is okay!!! being emotionless and vicious is not strength!!!) and it handled these so deftly. Plus, it just put a neon sign towards the words F E A R...ah, it really messes you up. 90% of the characters in this book are motivated by fear. It made me feel a lot to consider that. I kind of hate Rhen now, and also Harper's actions felt insipid, but I think I get where the book is going? I'm eager for Clash Of The Brothers in book 3. (view spoiler)[ I actually never liked Rhen in book one. He's too toxic. He's just built on entitlement and he never got over that in book 1 so I wasn't sure about him. This one? They underline he's ruled by fear, but he was missing that part where I felt sorry for him too. Like I hate the frikkin Darkling, but I also felt a bit sorry for him? I have NONE of that for Rhen so it just made me hope he gets tossed. I GET that he's terrified of magic and he tortured Grey (and TYCHO!!! FCK U RHEN!!) because of fear. but because we're never in Rhen's head...he just down grounded to an asshole. And since I now don't understand Grey's blind loyalty to him since Rhen has never done a freaking thing for Grey in his life, that whole part of the story just made me frustrated. I DO think book 3 will handle it better. I am looking forward to it. (hide spoiler)] Honestly this was an emotional roller coaster, packed full of intrigue and betrayals and heartache. The title fits SO WELL after you've read it. I just want Grey to be okay and for someone to find out why Tycho is hurting and make everything better for him forever. Also I need more monsters!!! Hoping for more monsters in book 3!!!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maja - BibliophiliaDK ✨

    NOT THE SEQUEL I WAS EXPECTING - THANK GOD! 🙌🙌 Rating this one was actually hard for me, because there were things I really liked, but there were also things that bothered me. In the end I decided that the things I liked, outweighed the bothersome things, so I went with 4 stars. "I keep hoping for peace. I keep longing for empathy. I keep expecting people to act as I would." - Lia Mara 👍 WHAT I LIKED 👍 Lia Mara: I'll give you this - Brigid Kemmerer knows how to write amazing, strong wome NOT THE SEQUEL I WAS EXPECTING - THANK GOD! 🙌🙌 Rating this one was actually hard for me, because there were things I really liked, but there were also things that bothered me. In the end I decided that the things I liked, outweighed the bothersome things, so I went with 4 stars. "I keep hoping for peace. I keep longing for empathy. I keep expecting people to act as I would." - Lia Mara 👍 WHAT I LIKED 👍 Lia Mara: I'll give you this - Brigid Kemmerer knows how to write amazing, strong women! Lia Mara was strong, compassionate and loyal. I think I might even like her more than Harper. Jake: Harper's brother Jake was a minor character in ACSDAL - but here he takes on a more prominent role and I loved it! He is sarcastic, fierce and smart. I loved the energy he and Grey had! Relationship: The relationship between Lia Mara and Grey was great because it didn't happen instantly and it didn't grow out of nothing. It was obvious that their attraction stemmed from mutual respect and that was an approach that I really enjoyed. Unexpected: Honestly, this book took a very different turn from what I thought it would and that surprised me in the best of ways. 👎 WHAT BOTHERED ME 👎 Rhen: Rhen was such a great character in ACSDAL and I really disliked his arc through this one, he was pretty much unrecognisable. Grey's reasoning: Supposedly, Grey does what he does to protect Rhen. Supposedly. Honestly, it felt more like self preservation than loyalty and I disliked that immensely.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Emer (A Little Haze)

    Ugh no. Talk about utterly crapping all over a perfectly enjoyable first book in a series. A Heart So Fierce and Broken (AHSFAB) is a giant mess of a book. It’s dull, it lacks originality and it utterly erases the wonderful disability rep that was present in book one, A Curse So Dark and Lonely, which was my favourite aspect of that read. For AHSFAB Kemmerer decided to change the points of view from Harper and Rhen’s perspectives to fan favourite Grey and new girl Lia Mara... BIG MISTAKE! Grey, or Ugh no. Talk about utterly crapping all over a perfectly enjoyable first book in a series. A Heart So Fierce and Broken (AHSFAB) is a giant mess of a book. It’s dull, it lacks originality and it utterly erases the wonderful disability rep that was present in book one, A Curse So Dark and Lonely, which was my favourite aspect of that read. For AHSFAB Kemmerer decided to change the points of view from Harper and Rhen’s perspectives to fan favourite Grey and new girl Lia Mara... BIG MISTAKE! Grey, or Scary Grey as he was fondly referred to in book one, is given a personality transplant that makes him act all emo as if the weight of the world is on his shoulders ...which yes sure it is in a way but the problem is that this emo act was pretty much Rhen’s MO in book one so it’s like why do we need a second moody, brooding male character now??? And we don’t get to see Rhen’s perspective but he pretty much becomes Scary Grey on steroids as Rhen descends into all manner of evilness.... Like great. Let’s have him get all over the top villain-y but let the reader in on the rollercoaster ride that is his descent into wannabe butcher. And then there’s Lia Mara or should I say Harper 2.0 because she is an identikit character except BETTER.... Harper can wear pants >>> LIA MARA WEARS THEM BETTER!!! Harper can risk her safety for the greater good >>> LIA MARA WILL RISK HERS TO AN EVEN GREATER EXTENT!!! Harper learns how to use weaponry >>> GUESS WHO LEARNS TO DO IT EVEN MORE EFFECTIVELY??? Harper is super smart and intuitive >>> WELL LIA MARA FIGURES OUT THE IDENTITY OF THE HEIR IN AN INSTANT!!! Harper has a disability that restricts her movement and causes her pain >>>> LIA MARA .... Oh wait. Lia Mara doesn’t which is why she’s able to lift great weights, ride through difficult terrain, traverse forests.... Is that why Kemmerer felt the need to replace Harper??? Because she couldn’t figure out how to get her disabled character to be an action princess? Or am I too cynical... But to me not seeing Harper’s perspective in this book was an egregious error. There’s so much disability erasure in popular culture today and where A Curse So Dark and Lonely triumphed was through Harper’s in your face disability rep. I wrote a full review of book one explaining my feels about it that you can read here. But suffice to say Harper was sassy, brilliant and in complete ownership of her identity in book one whereas here... she was neutered. I felt like what little we did see of her character was almost a complete rewrite. She just turned into a simpering side character that mooned over her boyfriend... if we had seen some chapters through her eyes we could have understood how she got to this lovesick place. How she had been made to feel so helpless and such a passenger to the main events... So really the perspective change sucked soooo badly! I also had a bunch of other quibbles and passages that struck me as feeling rather out of place in the novel: Chapter 7, Lia Mara’s perspective ”Did you see the way he clutched at that crippled princess?” I get it. It’s meant to be disparaging but I don’t exactly enjoy reading such descriptors of disability in this day and age. ~~~~~ Chapter 13, Lia Mara’s perspective ”I feel very aware of the slope of my hips and the curve of my breasts.” WHY IS SHE AWARE OF THE SLOPE OF HER HIPS AND THE CURVES OF HER BREASTS IN HER CLOTHES??????? AM I READING THE FREAKING WITCHER (or other male authored BS fantasy) COS IT FEELS LIKE IT. WHERE IS GREY FEELING CONSCIOUS OF HIS WIDE MANLY PECS AND DANGLING BALLSACK TO LEVEL UP THE PLAYING PITCH??????? Can we not have weird descriptions like this please??? It’s just so... disconcerting? Pandering to certain fantasy expectations from books that service a male gaze??? It just feels very off putting. Seriously who thinks about how their hips slope??? I think about my left hip all the time sure COS IT IS BLIMMIN METAL AND CERAMIC AND IT HURTS. Do I think about how it slopes in my clothes??? HECK NO. Just weird AF. ~~~~~ Chapter 18, Grey’s perspective ”Harper struggles with balance and strength in her left side, an effect of the cerebral palsy she says has challenged her since birth.” See this is why I get irked by non-Own Voices authors. This could and should be a perfectly innocuous sentence but it’s that “she says has challenged her”... she SAYS... *SAYS* RATHER THAN *THAT HAS* I’m sorry Grey. Are you actually trying to speculate in some way that this is only a challenge to Harper, are you trying to dismiss in some way this assertion of hers that cerebral palsy isn’t indeed a challenge to her mobility??? Are you saying that this challenge is somehow in dispute BECAUSE IF YOU AREN’T THEN YOU SHOULD REPHRASE THAT SENTENCE YOU INSENSITIVE LUMP. Really Kemmerer, I thought as an author she knew better than to throw in poorly conceived statements like that from her characters. ~~~~~ Chapter 44, Grey’s perspective (mild but completely predictable thematic spoiler) “Perhaps another man would be using this time to unlace the back of her sleeping shift and cajole her into the bed, but that feels insincere. I do not like the idea of sneaking into her luxurious prison to take advantage of her. This is the first time we’ve ever been truly alone together, and it makes her seem more vulnerable somehow. More precious.” I’m sorry but what the what now??? Are we supposed to congratulate Grey for keeping it in his pants around his love interest???????? Oh how freaking noble of him to be so restrained....... And wtf is with this vulnerability crap??? Does that mean he doesn’t see her as the same as him? That she’s somehow less than because she’s a delicate little flower of a girl! Toss off. Let Lia Mara decide if she wants to screw you or not. Don’t be so self congratulatory for being so *noble* and not actually seeing this woman as your true equal. ~~~~~ I have many more gripes about this book regarding [1] poorly constructed supporting characters (Jake, Noah, Tycho, Iisak), [2] ridiculously stereotypical villains (can we all lol at the melodrama surrounding the Queen of Syhl Shallow), [3] an insufferably over the top case of sisterly love despite all evidence to the contrary...apparently when you embroider a cushion for someone you *love* that excuses your complicity in a murder...... [4] it being a book that just tears down the plot of book one in a celebration of bland, formulaic writing rather than continuing to develop said plot in bold and fresh manner, [5] and then there’s all that occurs in the epilogue and how it’s entirely laughable and doesn’t make up for the trainwreck that has preceded it as many plotholes have the potential to be poked in book three... Will I read book three? Who knows!?! I do like to read series to completion but I can only see this frustrating me further. This series could have been wrapped up in two books if not one. Stretching it out to a trilogy just feels excessive to me. Saying that it’s me. I’ll probably freaking preorder the third because *logic* But it’s still my very first one star read of 2020 For more reviews and book related chat check out my blog

  19. 5 out of 5

    ✨ A ✨

    If you're wondering what my heart felt like immediately after I finished this — the title of this book should be able to provide some insight. ⚠ If you have not read A Curse so Dark and Lonely (book #1) then DO NOT read this review ⚠ “Since you made me realize that I am no longer a weapon to be wielded by another.” The curse might be broken but Emberfall is still on the verge of collapse. Rumours about the true heir are circulating and the people are starting to question Rhen's authority. B If you're wondering what my heart felt like immediately after I finished this — the title of this book should be able to provide some insight. ⚠ If you have not read A Curse so Dark and Lonely (book #1) then DO NOT read this review ⚠ “Since you made me realize that I am no longer a weapon to be wielded by another.” The curse might be broken but Emberfall is still on the verge of collapse. Rumours about the true heir are circulating and the people are starting to question Rhen's authority. But as we know, Rhen has had bad and traumatic experiences related to magic in the past, and so he expends all his resources to root out the rumoured heir and magesmith. Neither Harper nor Rhen know that Grey and the heir are one and the same. And both are desperate to find their beloved friend. Grey has no intention of taking his place as King. On the run and in hiding, he is more than happy to live a simple life. But with Rhen's hunt growing more extreme, he knows that it is only a matter of time before he is found. “You trusted me once. What have I done to lose it?” “You left.” Lia Mara, daughter of Queen Karis Luran wishes for peace between Syhl Shallow and Emberfall. Lia Mara is different from her cruel and calculating mother and sister. She is seen as weaker for being compassionate and in her mother's eyes, that weakness is what makes her unfit to be queen. And so the title of heir is handed to her younger sister instead. But even though Lia Mara knows she'll never be queen, she is still determined to find a violence-free solution for both kingdoms. “[...] I had forgotten that your people may be our enemies, but they are still people.” At the beginning of this year I read A Curse so Dark and Lonely and fell in love with this world and it's characters. As we all had prayed for - this book is in Grey's POV (whoop!!) with the alternating POV of Lia Mara. The pacing and writing was fantastic. Getting to know more about the characters we already know was so interesting and fun, as well as meeting new ones who became very dear to me by the end. I really liked Lia Mara, much more than I expected. She was so genuine and I admired her tenacity. She is badass in an unexpected way. She is filled with doubt and does not have good self-esteem, but seeing her grow throughout the book, filled me with such pride. Although Lia Mara definitely does envy her sister, Nolla Verin, and knows that her sister can be cruel, we are constantly reminded how much she cares for and loves her sister and vice versa. I really appreciated that. It was refreshing having two sisters who are vastly different NOT hating each other. I loved seeing their love for one another, even if Nolla Verin is a horrible brat for most of the book. I spent so long hoping to be named heir, to be able to provide a better life for my people, and Mother handed it to Nolla Verin. Grey seems to be the opposite. He does not want the Crown, though it seems destined to fall squarely into his lap. In A Curse so Dark and Lonely Grey was my favourite character, my love for him has just grown and grown. Grey's character development was so good. We really get to see his growth from being a commander sworn to a prince — to becoming his own person who no longer takes orders but gives them and finally accepting who he was destined to be. In every review I write about a Kemmerer book, I always mention the authors brilliant skill in writing good friendships. This book was no exception. I had never really paid much attention to Jacob in book one, but I loved how he and Grey become closer in this book and seeing their friendship bloom. *sniffs* It was just so damn beautiful. All I'm going to say about the new otp is that: Grey and Lia Mara work so well together, I cannot deal with their brand of cuteness. Their personalities compliment each other and I'm very much jealous of Lia Mara. Something happens in this book that I'm sure is going to cause much uproar amongst readers. I personally thought it was brilliantly done and that the author took a huge risk. *rubs hands together* I'm really excited to see how everyone is going to react to it. I tried not to give too much away in this review. And you're probably wondering why I haven't mentioned Harper or really spoken much about Rhen. Well, my dear friend, there is some information that I do not have the privilege to disclose at the moment. Let's just say this book ended in way that has left me desperate for the next book. D E S P E R A T E. « ARC received from Bloomsbury YA via edelweiss in exchange for an honest review » ‹ quotes are subject to change after publication › • Release date: 7 January 2020 • _____ My reviews for: Book 1: A Curse so Dark and Lonely Book 3: Untitled

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sol ~ TheBookishKing

    “What we do know is what’s most important: this prince’s reign will come to an end, one way or another.” This review is long, longer than what will probably be allowed on this website so click !!HERE!! for the link to my blog! First and foremost I’d like to say, if you haven’t read A Curse so Dark and Lonely, please go read that before reading this. Or click !!HERE!! if you’re interested in watching my review on that! I’m not holding back on spoilers for that book as there’s no way to explain what “What we do know is what’s most important: this prince’s reign will come to an end, one way or another.” This review is long, longer than what will probably be allowed on this website so click !!HERE!! for the link to my blog! First and foremost I’d like to say, if you haven’t read A Curse so Dark and Lonely, please go read that before reading this. Or click !!HERE!! if you’re interested in watching my review on that! I’m not holding back on spoilers for that book as there’s no way to explain what I hated about this without spoiling. There’s a lot about this book that truly got on my nerves and ruined the book for me, but there’s a tiny bit of good so I’ll go over it all. This review will contain ACSDAL spoilers only, you don’t have to worry about spoilers for this book. --- Overview This book picks up a couple of months after the events and ending of A Curse so Dark and Lonely. And the story is told from Grey’s point of view, as well as a new character, Lia Mara. Grey is hiding, after finding out he’s the rightful heir to the Throne and that his blood is filled with magic. And Rhen is looking for him, not knowing Grey is the heir, but just wanting to find his friend. While at the same time Rhen is also sending out search parties to find this supposed heir to have him killed so Rhen can fully take the throne. Pretty much the entirety of this book is Grey trying to escape the clutches of Rhen and Rhen turning into a complete sack of shit. While on the other hand, we have Lia Mara who really is in this story for no important reason. I truly question why she has a point of view because she’s of no importance to the plot until the very end. But Lia Mara is from Syhl Shallow, the kingdom that tried to conquer Rhen’s lands in the first book. Anyways, her mother Karis Luran is trying to work out a deal to unite Syhl Shallow and Emberfall but Lia thinks she can do it a better way than her mother. So she tries to talk Rhen into better ways of finding peace, but in the meantime ends up meeting the true heir to the throne. This causes a lot of issues for Rhen, Lia, and Grey since they are all now inevitably tied up. You’re probably thinking at this point “Well what about Harper, she was the main character of ACSDAL?” Well, she is of no use in this book. Like she was just thrown to the side so Grey and Lia Mara and Rhen could take the shine. Harper is maybe in it a couple of times and even then she only has a few speaking lines. We don’t see much of her but when we do it’s obviously important, I still just think it’s a crime that she isn’t in it very much. So yeah, really this is 450 pages of Rhen trying to find Grey, Grey trying to evade Rhen, and Lia Mara trying to … bring peace to the Kingdoms I guess. My Issues w/ This Book (minus spoilers:) If I truly wanted to get into everything I hated about this book, you’d be reading this for hours so I’m just going to be talking about three things that gave me a huge headache. Number One: Give Rhen a Break. As everyone knows, Rhen is the troubled man from book one who was cursed into turning into a beast and who eventually killed his whole kingdom. He’s been through a lot, he’s broken as the title itself explains, but in this book, the author turns him into the villain. His whole mindset has changed, he’s vicious, and just it seemed to come out of nowhere. Now I can understand why he wants the heir dead. The dude has magic and is supposed to take over the only thing Rhen holds dear, his people and his throne. And Rhen’s life has been ruined and wrecked because of magic. The only thing that should change Rhen’s outlook is the fact that the rightful heir and his brother IS Grey. Which Rhen doesn’t know that of course, but there are some scenes in this book that I would never see ACSDAL Rhen doing. I could understand if his attitude got sour and evil over a SIGNIFICANT amount of time and at some point he’s willing to do whatever to kill this heir, but it’s only been a couple of months and homedude has completely changed. The MAIN reason I didn’t vibe with this at all, is because this is exactly what Sarah J. Maas did with Tamlin in the ACOTAR series. We have our main savior in book one (which both of their book ones were BATB retellings btw) and then he turned into a sadistic controlling crazy ass character. At this point, and by the end of this book, I just don’t care for Rhen anymore because his character completely changed with no real development and it’s incredibly unbelievable. Number Two: Where is the Colored Skin? I’m not usually one to care when a book is filled with white people, I’ve been reading books like that my entire life. The first author who always comes to mind is Sarah J. Maas. And as pretty much everyone knows, I am SJM TRASH. But you cannot tell me that in the years 2019/2020 there should still be YA books with all White Casts. Even SJM learned from her mistakes and started to realize OH there are people in this world with colored skin. If I had to read one more time about how a new character/guard/ruler/peasant had creamy white pale skin, I was going to gauge my eyes out. In ACSDAL there is one black character (Noah), a side character who shows up at the end to help out, and then he’s just on the sidelines. And Noah is in this book as well, but he is STILL the only PoC in this whole entire series. I personally saw Lia Mara as having brown skin but it’s hard to believe because her whole family had creamy pale skin. I’m so tired of having to read books in YA now that are only meant for white people, like please it’s not hard to give your characters some color. I think truly the thing that aggravated me the most was the fact that almost every characters skin was either creamy white or pale. Just like melted ice cream. When it comes to diversity, the main gay couple from ACSDAL is still in this book, a lot more than I expected. And there is mention of one sapphic couple at the end for a good half of a sentence. This is another reason that upset me so much is you have characters with disabilities, you have Queer characters, but wooo no ma'am on the People of Color. Number Three: No Such Thing as Development. I don’t even know how to say this nicely but who the hell proofread this and thought “wow yes this is much excellence, everything makes great sense, let’s start passing these ARC’s out.” Because there is so much in this that needed help. Okay so, I have taken into consideration that of course, this is the first batch of ARC’s to go out, there’s a lot of editing to do, but at the same time this doesn’t feel thought through at all. There is absolutely no reason this should have been as long as it was because there are so many filler scenes that are completely unnecessary. And okay, maybe those will be cut out and we’ll have a shorter book and BAM it will be better?! Wrong. Mainly due to the fact that the character development in this is nonexistent. As I’ve already said, Rhen turns evil but … there is no development and no explanation as to why he’s turned into such a douche. You have to piece it together yourself, which truly isn’t hard. But it also wouldn’t have been hard to weave in chapters from Rhens PoV so his Evil Arch could have been explained and believable. The same goes for Grey and Lia Mara. One second Grey is denying things about who he is and what he wants in life and then BAM all of a sudden he’s changed his mind out of nowhere and now this is the way his life must go. Like … what? And just WOO what was the point of Lia Mara being in this book besides the end because she could have had maybe 5 chapters but NO this whole entire thing is a trade-off between Grey and Lia. There are so many unimportant aspects to this story that completely ruined it for me and I couldn’t focus on the plot or the storyline because the lack of development and the lack of character growth is astounding. And dear Lord, don’t even get me started on the trash ass romance. Surprise I Enjoyed this A Little Bit Though: I did rate this three out of five stars though because there is some good. ACSDAL is one of my favorite books of 2019, which is why I was so fast and excited to pick up the sequel (shoutout to Lily over at Lair of Books for sending me her ARC.) So, of course, I love these characters, I love this world, and I have some love for this book. But it’s very minimal and it’s only the fact that I got to be in Grey’s head because I love him more than anything and it was great to see more of him. And even despite the fact that Rhen is trash and Harper is hardly in this book, it was still great to see them as well. I did end up reading the whole book in one night, which is why I didn’t give it a shit rating because Brigid’s books are so easy to blow through and I really wanted to keep reading the book because of how much I love being in Greys PoV. But I kept getting sidetracked over how annoyed I was with the lack of growth, the character changes, and the fully white cast. Anyways, there is an ease to Brigid’s writing that just pulls you in, the plot itself isn’t bad at all, I think this would have been an incredible book if character decisions made sense and if there was actual depth to the characters. So I will definitely be rereading this once the book is out and in the world because I want to see if anything has changed. --- This review is incredibly early, the book doesn’t come out until January 7th, 2020. But I wanted to get my thoughts out into the world and not have to have this on my mind anymore. I will never advise anyone to not read a book because that’s just shitty, but I would definitely say if you loved ACSDAL a lot, there is a lot in this that you may not necessarily enjoy. But anyways this review has gone on way too long at this point, thank you for your time, and Happy Reading Folks. ~ <3 Sol

  21. 4 out of 5

    Angelica

    Me:This book is a completely unnecessary sequel. Also me: I need to know more about Grey!!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    3.5 stars Earlier this year I read A Curse So Dark and Lonely and I truly loved it. I was so excited to get to the next book, A Heart So Fierce and Broken. I’ve got to say, I have mixed feelings about this one. There were things about it I actually liked a little more than the first, but there were also things (Rhen…) I liked less. Let’s start with the things I liked. The writing was great and I loved that so much of the book was from Grey’s pov. Grey is the best character in this series and 3.5 stars Earlier this year I read A Curse So Dark and Lonely and I truly loved it. I was so excited to get to the next book, A Heart So Fierce and Broken. I’ve got to say, I have mixed feelings about this one. There were things about it I actually liked a little more than the first, but there were also things (Rhen…) I liked less. Let’s start with the things I liked. The writing was great and I loved that so much of the book was from Grey’s pov. Grey is the best character in this series and I adore him. I also love his love interest, Lia Mara and I can’t wait to see where that goes. Grey had a great crew traveling with him and I really did love watching them all together and seeing that dynamic. Now what I didn’t love… Rhen. Honestly, he was the main thing. I was so disappointed with some of the things he did and how he acted and treated Grey. I tried so hard but I couldn’t get over it. I was upset and disheartened. It left me heartbroken and I don’t know how I’m supposed to like him again. I also wish we would have gotten more Harper. Overall, I did like this book a lot. I wish some things would have been different, but Kemmerer’s writing was fantastic as always and I’m excited to see what comes next.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Lanz

    “It is not weakness to wish for peace.” Despite enjoying A Curse So Dark and Lonely, I wasn’t all that inclined to pick up this sequel. There seemingly wasn’t enough substance for a second book to come of the first’s ending. Boy was I wrong. A Heart So Fierce and Broken is easily one of the most surprising books I’ve read all year. It does what the first instalment did not, and truly establishes itself as an original and unique story rather than just a fairy tale retelling. ~★~ What “It is not weakness to wish for peace.” Despite enjoying A Curse So Dark and Lonely, I wasn’t all that inclined to pick up this sequel. There seemingly wasn’t enough substance for a second book to come of the first’s ending. Boy was I wrong. A Heart So Fierce and Broken is easily one of the most surprising books I’ve read all year. It does what the first instalment did not, and truly establishes itself as an original and unique story rather than just a fairy tale retelling. ~★~ What is this book about? ~★~ Rhen’s curse has finally been lifted, but he’s not out of the deep end yet. His kingdom is turning on him as rumors of a true heir to the throne arise, and Karis Luran threatens war on Emberfall. Grey has fled the castle, being the only one with knowledge of the true heir’s identity. As things threaten to come crashing down around Rhen, Grey wars with himself; the fate of two kingdoms are resting on his shoulders, after all. ~★~ Grey, oh Grey. I have a particular weakness for stoic and loyal bodyguards who are total softies on the inside. I’m overjoyed that he got a main POV this time around. Being inside Grey’s head for half of this book gave me so much more incite into his character that I really craved. I love his character to pieces, truly. The atmosphere of this series really improved as well! Brigid Kemmerer clearly honed in on expanding and developing the magical aspects to this universe. So much so that I lost myself in this story for hours on end. In my opinion, the plot of A Heart So Fierce and Broken was leaps and bounds better than the first book! I’m so happy things veered away from being a tight knit fairy tale retelling. I found myself completely enraptured in the brewing war, and never anticipated what would happen next. This was such a great sequel, one fans of A Curse So Dark and Lonely are sure to love!

  24. 4 out of 5

    sarah xoxo

    “Choices are never easy. There are good and bad options, but the most dangerous is to not make any choice at all.” Long story short, this sequel exacerbated everything I didn't like about book one, while removing the few elements I enjoyed from it. While the first book was arguably pretty generic, it was a retelling so I couldn't really fault it. This book though was a mix-mash of every trope in the book while bringing nothing new to the table. Harper was all but eliminated from the sequel, remo “Choices are never easy. There are good and bad options, but the most dangerous is to not make any choice at all.” Long story short, this sequel exacerbated everything I didn't like about book one, while removing the few elements I enjoyed from it. While the first book was arguably pretty generic, it was a retelling so I couldn't really fault it. This book though was a mix-mash of every trope in the book while bringing nothing new to the table. Harper was all but eliminated from the sequel, removing the disability rep that was part of what made ACSDAL unique. Quite frankly, this book felt unnecessary. I would have preferred a direct sequel following Rhen and Harper and just leave it at a duology- or even a standalone. Grey is an interesting character, but part of what made him that was the mysterious and unknown air of him. Having a whole book in his head instantly shattered that perception and left him as a sulky and weak character. In fact, this seemed to be a trend for a few of the characters. AHSFAB showed characters we had grown to love regressing and being villainised, which is a pretty brave move but not one I think made sense for the story. I am undecided if I want to continue on with the series come 2021, so I might just wait to hear some reviews first. That being said, I would still recommend the first book in this series if you haven't read it yet and perhaps treat it as a standalone. If you loved ACSDAL, I am sure you will at least find some merit in this story. But if you found it to be pretty mediocre like I did, perhaps give the sequel a miss.

  25. 4 out of 5

    ~Poppy~

    4.5 Stars

  26. 4 out of 5

    Candace Robinson

    I was pretty excited about Grey getting a POV in this because he was my favorite in the last book! Now, I was sad at first that we wouldn't be getting much from Rhen or Harper, but I will say, I really liked the new addition of Lia Mara! She was strong in so many ways! Oh man, so some crap goes down in this book that I wasn't too pleased about concerning Rhen. Some of his actions were, WOW! But I won't give any spoilers. Also, Harper made me irritated as well. I still don't understand why Jake wa I was pretty excited about Grey getting a POV in this because he was my favorite in the last book! Now, I was sad at first that we wouldn't be getting much from Rhen or Harper, but I will say, I really liked the new addition of Lia Mara! She was strong in so many ways! Oh man, so some crap goes down in this book that I wasn't too pleased about concerning Rhen. Some of his actions were, WOW! But I won't give any spoilers. Also, Harper made me irritated as well. I still don't understand why Jake wasn't that concerned about his sister either. But that's okay because Grey's and Lia's POVs had me all in, and I was fully emerged in this story! I just really loved their dynamic together. To me it felt more real than Rhen's and Harper's did in the last book. Also, I loved Iisak and Tycho so much! There are some interesting twists and wonderful dialogue. And that freaking ending! I seriously just need the next book already, because I'm very curious to see how everything is going to play out!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ben Alderson

    YET AGAIN I LOVED THE SEQUEL MORE. AND I ALREADY LOVED BOOK ONE. Grey is my forever BAE! Always will be.

  28. 5 out of 5

    ☼ ☄︎ Anneli✩ ☽

    A Heart So Fierce And Broken ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I was going to give this book 3 stars, maybe even 2, however the ending made me change my mind. I did not enjoy this very much and had to put it down and do something else at times. It was not bad, but not the book for me I think, though I did like it enough to give it 4 stars in the end.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Victoria ♡

    This book is p a i n omfgggg. I enjoyed every single second of it but my god was it pain (in a good way but I’m dead). I don’t know what I was expecting was going to happen in this book but this?? Was not it!! I loved every second, even though it was in a way a filler book to move events along to the final book, it really kept me engaged in the story and lord the characters!! I love these characters so much so this book really made my heart ache...the original 3...my heart, I’m so sad!! This whol This book is p a i n omfgggg. I enjoyed every single second of it but my god was it pain (in a good way but I’m dead). I don’t know what I was expecting was going to happen in this book but this?? Was not it!! I loved every second, even though it was in a way a filler book to move events along to the final book, it really kept me engaged in the story and lord the characters!! I love these characters so much so this book really made my heart ache...the original 3...my heart, I’m so sad!! This whole book just filled me with happiness to see the characters again and sadness to see what they were going through. Scary Grey is still my best boy and I really loved reading through his eyes. AND LIA MARA MY BABY I LOVE HER SO MUCHHHH (I really think her and Harper would make such good friends and I just pray it happens at the end of the series pleaseeee). I’m so worried how this series is gonna end! I had the same feeling through the later half of the book, so much worry for my favs ahh!!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Olivia-Savannah Roach

    This was the long awaited sequel to A Curse so Dark and Lonely and I head over heels loved it just as much as the first one. While quite a different book, I think it did a very good job with what it brought to the table. I have to mention some of the representation we get in the book. There are two secondary disabled characters. Harper with her cerebal palsy and then Dustan who is one armed. We also have Jake and Noah who are an m/m couple, but they are all side characters in this book. A lot of t This was the long awaited sequel to A Curse so Dark and Lonely and I head over heels loved it just as much as the first one. While quite a different book, I think it did a very good job with what it brought to the table. I have to mention some of the representation we get in the book. There are two secondary disabled characters. Harper with her cerebal palsy and then Dustan who is one armed. We also have Jake and Noah who are an m/m couple, but they are all side characters in this book. A lot of the critique this book gets has to do with a certain character and their direction of character arc in this one. I loved this book because I truly thought that character’s actions… were so believable. If we take the time to think about what they have been through mentally and all of the mental trauma, and how that trauma has likely fixated them on certain ideas which may be harmful… it’s all so believable. It’s a close minded take but I completely understand how that character got there. And while it may not be where I wanted things to go with them, it really does bring in some interesting themes. Speaking of themes, I loved how it handled the theme of loyalty and trust. Grey, our main character here, is definitely a loyal and trustworthy character. He may also be my book boyfriend because he is amazing – but that isn’t the point here. The book uses his character to demonstrate that while loyalty and trust are very important qualities to have, it is important to be very careful where, or in who, you invest that loyalty and trust. And it shows that people change, and sometimes it’s okay to limit your loyalty and trust. I also liked the expansion on the world building. I praised book one for the world building, but we get to see even more in this sequel. In fact, we get a closer look at another kingdom, although I should truly call it a queendom as it is a matriarchy. I was fascinated with how this queendom was run. Because we were allowed a closer look into this other queendom, it also gave us a new perspective on the possibly brewing war, or at least the disagreements happening between the two rulers. I think it brought to light a very good theme and point – that when it comes to war, the other side always looks like the bad guy. There are no ‘good guys’ in war. It’s a matter of perspective, and either way you’ll both or all lose out on something. No one wins, no one comes out with a clean slate. I appreciated seeing that. I read this while I was road tripping. Despite often having a lot less time for reading while traveling, I managed to read the entirety of this book in under 24 hours. I was so caught up in the suspense of the story. The pacing was simply perfect. I really liked all the characters! Grey was always a favourite of mine but he developed so much in this book, and now he is even more perfect than he was before. Tycho is adorable and needs protecting at all costs. I quite like Dustan too! I appreciated Noah so much for coming in with his two cents on the mental health side of things. And because he is the lovelies. I laughed out loud at some of the scraver scenes and I really liked him? And lastly, I was surprised by my readjusting of opinion when it comes to Jake. He seriously annoyed me in the first book, but he has become… tolerable. Possibly even likeable. The political tones in this fantasy are A+. I love that we get clear motivations as to why everyone does what they do, even if we disagree with those reasons. There were so many grey area characters which is realistic because nothing is either distinctly good or bad. I really appreciated that although this book is following royalty, we get a good understanding of how the choices the royals make affect the townspeople and citizens. This one also did a good job of demonstrated the difficult of being a ruler or leader. The responsibilities and choices you have to make aren’t easy. Because we see different nations and royal families in this one, we can also weight for ourselves what we might think is the better way of ruling. I am so ready for the next book in the series! This review can originally be found on Olivia's Catastrophe: https://oliviascatastrophe.com/2020/0...

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