Review: A Heart So Fierce & Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

SYNOPSIS (via Goodreads):

“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.

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.”

REVIEW:

A Heart So Fierce & Broken is the second book in the Cursebreakers series by Brigid Kemmerer. I absolutely loved A Curse So Dark & Lonely so I was excited to pick up this book. This is the second book in the series, so there will be a few spoilers. Proceed with caution.

This book picks up with the big reveal of Grey being the missing heir. The kingdom of Emberfall has been thrown into chaos. The curse has been broken, the “monster” is now gone, but a civil war is brewing over the missing heir. There is also discourse over the kingdom of Disi. Princess Harper promised (non-existent) troops and the people grow leery of this promise. Grey must come to terms with his new status, and make the ultimate decision about the future of Emberfall.

Okay, so I didn’t love this book which was really frustrating. First, let’s talk about the things I liked. The pacing is great in this book, even though I didn’t really love it, the plot really moved. I liked learning more about the kingdom of Emberfall and the addition of characters from the kingdom of Sylh Shallow. I also enjoyed the relationship between Lia Mara and her sister.

Now, let’s get to the parts that I didn’t enjoy. The thing I loved about A Curse So Dark & Lonely was Harper and she is nowhere to be found. The book mainly alternates between Grey and Lia Mara’s points of view, which makes sense since this is more Grey’s book. I just figured that there would be some chapters with her, involving what was happening in Emberfall. I also felt that this book shoved Rhen back to the starting point. All the character growth shown in the first book was completely lost. I guess my struggle was that it felt like this book had no point. They spent the whole book traveling, and Grey was so lost personally that it felt like the character just lost his voice. I still feel like I don’t understand why Grey wants the throne. With the epilogue reveal, it feels like we are just back to the very start of the series which I don’t love.

Overall, this book was a disappointment, so much so that I considered not finishing it. It is a testament to Kemmerer’s writing that I was compelled to finish. I’m still going to pick up the last book in the series because I need to know how Harper’s story ends.

RATING: 3/5

Book Hopefuls for June

I am a mood reader. Making a solid TBR is incredibly hard for me. It depends what mood the last book left me in that really decides what I read next. So here’s some books I would love to try and read this month.

The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun

This is an ARC that I received recently, and I actually have already started it. It is so good so far, and exactly what I need after a lot of heavy fantasy books. It also is a great book to start off Pride month.

A Vow So Bold & Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer

Hoping to close out this series! I was pretty disappointed by A Heart So Fierce & Broken, but I want to see how Harper’s story ends. This happened to be at my library when I was picking up some holds, so I just had to grab it.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken

This one has been sitting on my TBR for awhile but my library finally had it. I will always check out a book that incorporates mythology in the modern world. I’ve been seeing some mixed reviews for this book, so hopefully I enjoy it.

Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry

I saw this when I was scrolling through Instagram, and I had to check it out. I love Emily Henry, and really enjoyed Muse by Brittany Cavallaro when I read it earlier this year. With a Thelma & Louise type plot, this seemed like a no brainer. It also feels like it would be a great summer read.

The Duke Undone by Joanna Lowell

I’m a sucker for historical romance, so when I saw this sitting in the brand new section of my library I had to grab it. The summary sucked me, and it sounds like it is going to be a quick fun read.

Like always, there will probably be more books added to this as the month goes on. Who knows what I will pick up next? What are you excited to read this month?

May Reading Wrap-Up

After a bit of a reading slump in April, I read some really wonderful books in May and can’t wait to see what books I pick up in June. Here’s a look at what I read this month. Let me know in the comments if you have read any of these, or what you read in May that you absolutely loved.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

rating – 5/5
I started May out strong with this book choice. I completely loved this book and it was definitely one of the best books I’ve read this month. The world building is amazing, and I love how the mysteries play out. This book felt so different than anything else I had read recently, and I immediately bought the next book in the series.

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

rating – 5/5
Another strong contender for my favorite book I read this month. I was eagerly anticipating this release since I finished Beach Read last summer, and this book did not disappoint. Emily Henry’s characters are always amazing, and once I picked this book up I really couldn’t put it down. Another perfect romance by Emily Henry!

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

rating – 4/5

Another series that I didn’t know existed, and very happy I stumbled upon it while wandering the bookstore. Honestly, this premise sucked me in and knew I needed to check it out. Nuns training assassins, I’m sold! The pacing of this book is perfect. You have short exciting chapters that make you just want to keep going. So I definitely had some late nights with this one.

Make Sweet by Kristen Callihan

rating – 3.5/5
This was fun, simple romance that I picked up on Kindle Unlimited. I loved the premise and was sucked in immediately. This is a quick, easy read that is perfect for the beach. The romance is steamy and I just really enjoyed every minute of it. It is fairly predictable plot, but that doesn’t hurt the story at all.

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

rating – 4/5
After sitting on my TBR for months I finally picked up this book! This book was a bit too mysterious at times, but overall still really fun to read. It gives both Night Circus and Phantom of the Opera vibes, so if you are into either of those I would definitely recommend. Where Dreams Descend ending on a massive cliffhanger, so I’m now eagerly awaiting the next book.

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

rating – 4/5
Greek Mythology is one of my favorite things, so I am always interested in a mythology retelling. I didn’t know much about Ariadne besides the myth of the Minotaur, so this book was super interesting. This book is in the same vain as Circe and A Thousand Ships, so if you loved those I definitely recommend Ariadne.

A Heart So Fierce & Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

rating – 3/5
This was probably my least favorite book that I read this month. This is the second book in the Cursebreakers trilogy, and I was so excited to pick it up at my library. I absolutely loved Harper in A Curse So Dark and Lonely, only to discover that she was nowhere to be found in this sequel. This book felt like it was unnecessary, and didn’t do anything to advance the story.