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.
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.
Grey may be the heir, but he doesn’t want anyone to know his secret. 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.
I was lucky enough to meet Brigid Kemmerer and receive an advanced readers copy of A Heart So Fierce & Broken at Book Expo! Huge thank you to Bloomsbury and Brigid Kemmerer!
So here’s the thing . . . I liked A Curse So Dark & Lonely. It was a simple, easy, and fast-paced read that was very predictable. It was fun, but overall just good. To me, there was nothing immensely special about the story. I did enjoy it though and I was looking forward to reading the sequel.
I have very similar feelings about A Heart So Fierce & Broken. It was incredibly engrossing and addictive, but once again I found the story predictable and simple. Again, it was just good. It was a nice easy read that was a good palate cleanser in between more complex books. I will say that Kemmerer has a gift for writing incredibly addictive stories! I flew through both books in this series.
A Heart So Fierce & Broken picks up a few months after the events of A Curse So Dark & Lonely. This story focuses on Grey and a new character, Lia Mara. I knew going in that this story was primarily about Grey, but I was expecting at least some POV chapters from Harper. There was exactly one chapter from Harper’s POV. I was disappointed by this, because I really enjoyed her character in this first book. She was so smart, snarky, and fierce. Also, as a NICU nurse, I love seeing differently abled people represented in popular culture. I care for a lot of premature babies who end up with Cerebral Palsy, so it was really cool to see CP represented in a lead character. Although I missed Harper’s POVs, I did absolutely love hearing the story from Grey’s POV. I adored Grey in the first book and I love him even more now. You know who I didn’t like in the first book and now hate even more? RHEN! He was definitely meant to be a villain in this story.
The other main POV was a new character, Lia Mara. Lia Mara is the eldest daughter of Karis Luran, the queen of Syhl Shallow. Lia was a nice romance (that’s not a spoiler because it’s obvious from the synopsis) for Grey. I liked the idea of her character, but she was just too one-note. There was nothing about her that stood out. I obviously loved that she strives for peace, but that seemed to be her only defining character trait. However, one of my favorite scenes (and quotes) of the whole book was with Lia Mara and Grey where Grey is totally supportive of her . . . “You did not think you could do it, and then you did. That is more than just physical strength.”
There were a couple other of new characters that I really liked. Tycho was my absolute favorite new addition to this world. He was just the sweetest and such a good friend to Grey. I also was very intrigued by Isiak, the scarver. He was super cool and interesting, but I found the scarver history kind of confusing. I am hoping that the next book delves into the scarvers more.
The world of A Curse So Dark & Lonely definitely grew in this book. We get to travel to the adjacent kingdom of Syhl Shallow and explore a little of its land and customs. I definitely want to explore more of the world outside of Emberfall. Fingers crossed for more world exploring (including the scarvers) in the next book.
A Heart So Fierce & Broken ends on a pretty big cliffhanger. I wasn’t completely surprised by the ending, but I am totally hooked. I want to see where the story goes next!
Thank you again to Bloomsbury and Brigid Kemmerer for this awesome ARC!