Jan 1, 2020

ARC Review--A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

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.
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 received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

We return to the kingdom of Emberfall in Brigid Kemmerer's A Heart So Fierce and Broken, only this time we have a new set of characters to follow around and watch as more of the story we were only just starting unravels even more.

Last we saw, Grey had taken Lilith away from Emberfall and killed her, then he kept himself away as well for he was the true heir to the throne. He was Rhen's brother, but not wanting to take the throne for himself he stayed far from Rhen, his friend, brother, and king. Grey is just trying to have a life for himself, but to be honest, cleaning stables isn't the life he wanted, but he's found a friend in Tycho, another of the stable hands.

Then we meet Lia Mara, Karis Luran's oldest daughter, though she is not heir to her mother's throne. That honor belongs to her younger sister, Nolla Verin. I was rather surprised by the loving relationship between the sisters, it was still heartwarming to see though. Things work differently in Syhl Shallow, and the heir isn't the oldest child, but the most worthy and that honor came to Lia Mara's younger sister instead of her. Karis Luran is aiming for a union between Nolla Verin and Rhen for their country needs access to waterways that lie in Rhen's kingdom. Purely a marriage of politics and with Karis Luran trying to run things, you know there are schemes involved. Though Rhen wants nothing to do with Syhl Shallow.

Things get more intense when Grey is taken prisoner by Rhen, for it gets out to Rhen that Grey is the true the heir...the one who's claimed to have untold powers. Lia Mara also finds herself a prisoner when she came to try to make negotiations with Rhen on behalf of her kingdom. The results were unsatisfactory to say the least. When opportunity strikes Lia Mara and Grey find themselves on the run from Rhen's pursuit and they end up heading for Lia Mara's kingdom to seek safety.

I really quite enjoyed this one! Though I was a little sad to see that Harper and Rhen weren't involved in the story as much as they were before. I knew ahead of time about that fact, but it was still nice to see them pop up every now and then. Yet, it was painful to see so much tension between Harper, Rhen, and Grey. Grey has definitely been outcasted by his friends all for his birthright. Grey never wanted to rule and yet, because he is the oldest son, it seems Rhen values his kingdom more than his friend. It was a little devastating, I won't lie about that! But I will say that I loved seeing this other side to Grey. Seeing what kind of man he's shaping out to be. 

And then there's Lia Mara who is an all-around bookworm, so automatically you gotta like the girl! I also like that she's not your typical princess either. She's not the dainty Disney princess type either and that makes me love her all the more. She's a strong willed girl, who loves her sister and her country and was willing to forgo happiness in order to gain peace for her country.

The romance that eventually builds between Grey and Lia Mara was the sweet, slow burning type. There was no insta love between these two, yet it also wasn't a hate-to-love kind of romance either. It was more just that somewhat enemies to lovers kind! While the two weren't at the all on hate each other upon first sight, things didn't go over well with their first conversation either, but life on the run together can change people.

Joining them on their run to Syhl Shallow are Tycho, Grey's little friend from the stable life, Harper's brother Jake, and his boyfriend Noah, and a strange creature who was taken prisoner (and then freed by Grey) who goes by Iisak. They're an unlikely group of characters who weren't necessarily the friendliest with each other, but as you can imagine, that changes over the course of the story.

I kept wondering if this story would be the end of the Cursebreakers series, but I can happily say it's not over yet! Not only did Brigid confirm that she was writing Cursebreakers #3, but the cliffhanger that gets thrown at us in that epilogue changes everything! And I mean EVERYTHING!!

Brigid is proof that not all second books fall in middle category! A Heart So Fierce and Broken may not follow any beloved fairy tale, but it's still filled with the same elements we fell in love with in A Curse So Dark and Lonely, mystery, magic, romance, heartwarming relationships, action, and shocking twists and turns! I cannot wait to see what the next untold installment will reveal! My guess is that it will involve all four of our starcrossed lovers and their newfound friends, but only time will tell.

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

A Heart So Fierce and Broken releases January 7, 2020


  1. I can tell from your review how much you enjoy this author's books. I can't wait to share your enthusiam with this series and read it this year.

  2. These dark troubles and royal claims and lineages sound like the making of a very good series!


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