Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Amazing cross between an epic fantasy and a legendary romance
This book was everything I hoped it would be and more! I definitely recommend it to everyone who likes Fantasy, Fairytales, Adventure and Romance. It surprised and delighted me in that it was not any sort of retelling. Though I did think A Curse so Dark and Lonely was one of the best retellings of Beauty and the Beast, even better than the Disney versions, since it dealt with a genuine beast that killed people.
A Heart so Fierce and Broken was truly a continuation of the original story, after curse was broken. It focuses on the character of Commander Grey instead of Rhen and Harper, though they both make appearances and we see what “Happily Ever After” looks like in the Kingdom of Everfall. I think readers will find it interesting to say the least.
Commander Grey was such a wonderful character in ACSDAL, he had sworn his life to the Royal family and to Rhen in particular. In doing so he had to detach from all his family and to forego any future family that could possibly ever be used against him to get him to turn on he royals or the Kingdom of Everfall. Even so, the evil mage Lilith still took his 9 sisters and brothers one by one while trying to get him to turn against Rhen.
Grey was always loyal to Rhen and then to Harper as well. He and Harper became great friends, and when he disappeared they both thought he was dead. In AHSFAB, Grey is still the noble and formidable warrior, but also intelligent and relentless in his drive to do what he thinks is right. He is still loyal to the Kingdom and to Rhen despite everything he has learned and gone through. Grey is a true Hero.
He meets some wonderful characters and they journey together throughout the majority of the story. Brigid Kemmerer is an excellent writer and makes each of the characters come to life. I could picture each one of them and though they start out as strangers and foes, the travelers become united and even friends. The love interest Lia Mara, is one of them.
Lia Mara is the firstborn daughter of Karis Luran of Syhl Shallow which is over the mountains from Emberfall. If you remember from ACSDAL, Karis Luran is the bloodthirsty Queen whose forces tried to invade Emberfall when she thought the royal family was gone and the Kingdom was at its weakest.
Though Lia Mara is the firstborn daughter, she is not the princess in line for the throne. Her mother doesn’t value her like her younger sister Nola Verin, whose nature is more like their mother. Lia Mara is not as small and beautiful as her sister and she is intelligent and caring and does not like bloodshed. While Nola Verin is unfazed by killing others and only to happy to rush into battle.
Harper’s brother Jake and his partner Noah were brought to Emberfall near the end of ACSDAL, it was Grey who brought them with the magic cuff bracelet that he got from Lilith when she cursed Rhen. It was used to go back and forth from Emberfall and Washington DC to get girls for Rhen to try and break the curse.
Grey first used the cuff to grab Harper, then later her brother Jake and Noah who is a doctor. Now that the curse is broken Jake and Noah are stuck against their wishes. They blamed Grey for this, despite the fact that they arc traveling with him.
Another character named Tycho is a teen who ends up as Grey’s sidekick. He is a great character and it would be nice to see him get his own book. The last of the traveling partners is a scraver, a viscous creature that can slice into a person with his claws in the blink of an eye.
“I’m staring down at . . . a creature I can’t identify. It’s somewhat human-shaped, with dark-gray skin, the color of a cloudy night sky. Wings bound with rope sprout from its back, and there’s a length of tail that curls limply along the ground of the cage. It has clawed hands and feet, and a shock of black hair that’s matted with sweat. It’s not moving.”
I loved this book. It was as good or better than the first book. There were several villains and there were definitely som big surprises. Not all of them are good, but it makes for an amazing story. The ending is spectacular, there will be a third book, but it is not really a cliffhanger so much as an ending to one part of the story and the promise of a beginning of another.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.