A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer


 A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer, Published by Bloomsbury, 9781681195117, 2020

Format: Hardcover, 450 pages

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Fantasy Fiction

What did you like about the book? This is the second book in the Cursebreaker series and is told from two perspectives, Grey and Lia Mara. You do not need to read the first novel; however, it helps the reader understand the references to Lilith and relationship among the characters as well as the impact of travel between worlds. This novel focuses on Grey, ex-royal guard, with a secret that could rip apart the kingdom of Emberfall and its Prince, Rhen.  The tale begins when the ruthless queen, Karis Luran, and her daughters Lia Mara and Nolla Verin, travel to arrange a marriage with the prince in hopes of helping their country.  Characters introduced add color to the plot and help move the story along.  These characters are well written; the queen is sufficiently evil and will have readers disliking her from the start.  The romance that unfurls is not overbearing or sappy and helps move the story along.  Interpersonal relationships strengthen character development and help to deepen the plot.  The setting is well thought out and creates an intriguing backdrop for the story.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  The book’s beginning was slow and choppy; it took a few chapters to become engaged with the storyline. Grey’s consistent lament about being the heir and not wanting this responsibility becomes tiresome as the story progresses.  Although predictable at times, readers will still enjoy how events unfurl.

To whom would you recommend this book? Readers in grades 6 and up who enjoy love stories, magic, and adventure tales such as the Sorcery of Thorns may enjoy this title.  

Who should buy this book? This would be a good purchase for middle or high school or public libraries.  

Where would you shelve it? Fantasy Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  I feel that this title would reside near the top of the “to read” pile.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Elena Schuck, Nathaniel H. Wixon School Library, Dennis, Massachusetts

Date of review: May 11, 2020

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