C.G. Drews's Reviews > A Heart So Fierce and Broken

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
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bookshelves: young-adult, read-2020, magical-fantasy, epic-fantasy

And I'll just be over here REELING. This book wrung me through at least thirty seven emotions and I was a little disorientated at first, just from feeling so much (including a lot of surprise at the direction the story took) and I did have the gut-reaction of being frustrated. But once I slowed down and thought about the story...I appreciated what it was doing. I do encourage you to go right to the end if the beginning felt sour to you. The last 200pgs were phenomenal and my favourite.

spoilers apply if you haven't read book 1; but no spoilers for this book

[the story]
So a few things to clear up: this is Grey's book. Harper/Rhen don't narrate (more than a single chapter each) and it's split between Grey and Lia Mara (the spare heir from Syhl Shallow). It follows Grey on the run and Lia Mara warring with her unwanted feels as her mother grooms her little sister for vicious power and everyone treats Lia Mara like...a royal sack of potatoes. The story has a lot of the good ol' fantasy things you expect: there's roadtrips, unlikely allies, trips to prison, a sort of fighting pit, spot of torture, sword practising, a ball or two, people yelling regally. This one is more focused on politics and travel, whereas book one was like mONSTERS. TORTURE. HARPER YELLING AT PEOPLE. Soooo...I found this slow.

But then I also couldn't put it down.

(It sped up towards the end too and I loved the last pages.)

[the characters]
I'd utterly DIE FOR GREY. He is such a Hufflepuff, so doggedly stupidly loyal, but he also is panicking in this book. He's stretched to the limit, he's betrayed and anxious and warring with himself and his newly found birthright. He's realising magic can be good, not just evil. He's realising brothers can be evil, not just good. He's absolutely broken AND THEN he's rebuilt. I cry. I really love him and everything he goes through.

We also meet Tycho (the utterly adorably loyal younger teen who would also die for Grey; you and me both, Tycho!!) and Iisak (a sort of monster creature who I loved just because he's a monster creature) and there is a lot more Jake and Noah content too! Jake tries to drown Grey at one point and they bond. It's really lovely. Bless.

And Lia Mara? Okay by the end I loved her. At the beginning...😂she was the chapters I wanted to skim. I like her budding romance with Grey but it felt a bit out of place with all the terror and stress of the story line, but hey. Apparently that's how romance works. Inconvenient timing and makes demands for you to give your jackets to cold girls and start WWIII.

[my feels]
Ugh like I said. I had a lot of feels. The main things were, I really was hooked by the second half. I was captivated by Grey and the choices he had to make, I loved his rag-tag crew, I was intrigued by the budding magic. I loved how the book also dismantled what it is to be strong. It took a GOOD LOOK at the toxic view of "strong" (whether it was toxic masculinity traits or the "strong young woman" view point and how none of it is okay!!! being emotionless and vicious is not strength!!!) and it handled these so deftly. Plus, it just put a neon sign towards the words F E A R...ah, it really messes you up.

90% of the characters in this book are motivated by fear. It made me feel a lot to consider that.

I kind of hate Rhen now, and also Harper's actions felt insipid, but I think I get where the book is going? I'm eager for Clash Of The Brothers in book 3. (view spoiler)

Honestly this was an emotional roller coaster, packed full of intrigue and betrayals and heartache. The title fits SO WELL after you've read it. I just want Grey to be okay and for someone to find out why Tycho is hurting and make everything better for him forever. Also I need more monsters!!! Hoping for more monsters in book 3!!!
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Reading Progress

February 10, 2019 – Shelved
February 10, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
January 18, 2020 – Started Reading
January 18, 2020 –
page 109
23.49% "this whole book could just purely be about Grey and I would be okay with that"
January 20, 2020 – Shelved as: young-adult
January 20, 2020 – Shelved as: read-2020
January 20, 2020 – Shelved as: magical-fantasy
January 20, 2020 – Shelved as: epic-fantasy
January 20, 2020 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Bethany I really, really enjoyed this one, as Grey was ma boi from the beginning. I never really liked Rhen, but (view spoiler) Also, please give me all the Noah and Jake snark.

Annie I want to just copy and paste this review. So well articulated and me just speechless...wouldn’t know where to start!!

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