ARC, BOOK REVIEW, Book Reviews, RETELLING, Young Adult

A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer | ARC Review

42952728Title: A Heart so Fierce and Broken

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Series: Cursebreakers #2

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Publication date: January 7th, 2020

Pages: 464

My rating: img_1490


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.


“I am here, in the dusty streets of Rillisk, barely more than a stable hand. The secret half brother to the Crpwn Prince of Emberfall. The missing heir who doesn’t want to be found. Part of absolutely nothing at all.”

Brigid Kemmerer can do no wrong at this point. After falling in love with A Curse so Dark and Lonely, I had a feeling I was going to love this sequel as well, because Grey was one of my favorite characters of the story, but oh my my, I had no idea this book was going to be even better than the first one, but it did, and simply has become one of my favorites I’ve read this year.

One of the things that I wasn’t the biggest fan of A Curse so Dark and Lonely was how it wasn’t just a high fantasy world, and how our world was introduced to the story. It felt a bit juvenile and cringy at times, but I have to say that I was so pleasantly surprised to see that A Heart so Fierce and Broken was purely set in that fantasy world, and we got to explore different places within it. I think that because that world building became more complex and the issues I had with the first installment weren’t there, it became more real and vivid in my mind and I started to enjoy it more and more as I kept reading.

My other favorite thing about this sequel was the cast of characters. Not only we got some new ones introduced throughout the story, but also I found so interesting to have another perspective see the ones we’ve already known. But honestly, they were all incredible.

Grey’s POV was so interesting to read about, because I already knew a few things about his character, but I think his arc became more complex and intricate in this book. He was such a real and flawed character that made it so easy for the reader to empathize with him and understand what was going on in his mind. Lia Mara was definitely one of my favorite female characters, along with Harper (though we barely got to see anything about Harper in this installment). I admired how kind and brave she was, and everything she was willing to do for her kingdom. And not only that but I think she had such great dynamics with Grey and the rest of the characters, and also she had such a unique and beautiful relationship with her sister that I appreciated seeing on page.

“Choices are never easy, There are good and bad options, but the most dangerous is not to make any choice at all.”

Something that I was pleasantly surprised about was how attached I became with the side characters. It’s true that Noah and Jake were in ACSDAL, but with everything going on in that first book I feel we didn’t get to see their personalities play a part in the story, whereas in AHSFAB they became a major focus of the plot, and we had more time to get to know them and see them interact with the other characters.

But, I’m pretty sure, my other favorite part was the romance. Now, I’m quite picky with my romances, and I have to say that even though I adored Rhen and Harper’s relationship, this tops it for sure. I’m a big sucker for a good slow burn, angsty enemies-to-lovers type of romance, and not only this one checked all the boxes for me, but also the way it was done was equal parts amazing and agonizing, because oh my god, I just wanted for them to be together already! But honestly, I was so enamored with the interactions between Grey and Lia Mara, and how slow but real that romance evolved.

The ending, I would say had me shocked. I don’t know what I was expecting to see, but clearly it wasn’t that. There were some plot twists that I didn’t see coming that kept me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen, and after finishing it I’m so sad I have to wait another year to know how everything is going to end.

Overall, I absolutely adored A Heart so Fierce and Broken, and it has become a favorite book of mine without any doubt. Not only we got to explore the world a bit more and discover some new incredible characters, but also both perspectives were so detailed and complex and the romance was right up my alley. But after finishing this installment, I have to say one thing, and probably won’t change my mind about that: Rhen can choke.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.

“He’s going to war. He needs all the vicious brutality he can get.”


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