Reviews

The Unbroken, by C. L. Clark

dragonez's review against another edition

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adventurous dark

4.5

juneblood's review

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adventurous emotional tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

cramer2c's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

jgrime's review against another edition

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5.0

Fantasy exploring colonialism is kind of my jam. I read a lot of it, and I'll admit that I am a bit biased towards it. The Unbroken may not be my favorite story in the past few years, but it made me feel the human impact more than any of them.

merret's review

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adventurous challenging dark funny medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

jae_under's review against another edition

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3.0

“They have no right to determine how the rest of us live.”

Now this was probably one of the most unique reading experiences ive had. The Unbroken is a story about colonialism and freedom. I’ll start off by saying the story itself is written in the perspective of a colonizer princess and a lieutenant from the colonized land who as a child was taken and brainwashed by the colonizers.


“How long do they have to be patient on their own soil?”

To be completely honest, i was so drained, in the first 60% of the book, and not in a good way. I kept face palming and wanting to claw my eyes out after reading every line, because the perspective was completely from that of the colonizers and i kept screaming, Touraine (the mc) “OPEN YOUR EYES, DONT BE SO DUMB.” “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU”. And the princess Luca? Yeah i hated that bitch with every ounce of my being. And thats when i realized I’m meant to hate these perspectives. This is exactly what the author had intended to do.

Touraine, was a victim. She was brainwashed and trained and BEATEN DOWN into thinking the people of Qazãl, her original birthplace, were uncivilized, that they were wrong and the Balladairans (the colonizers) were right. And yes she has her own thoughts, yes she sees that this may not be right, but i forgot that Touraine was doing nothing but surviving. A single misstep, a single wavering of loyalties and she’d lose her life and this paired up with the brainwashing, can i really blame her?.

Then there is Luca. I hated her pov, her thought process. Because that is EXACTLY how colonizers think. That is exactly how they talk and treat the rest of us. They bring up reasons, they call it logic and yeah no, none of it justifies your fucking actions? You have a fucking choice and you continue to choose that way. That is on you. And from the way its written i think that was the exact reason this perspective was included. To show how disgusting and self centered actual colonizer mindsets are, that there is no reasoning with them unless it benefits them and the author showcases this brilliantly. I still hate Luca’s character and at the same time appreciate what the author wanted to accomplish because it was done spectacularly.

“We pray for rain.”

In terms of character growth, the character arc of Touraine was done so so well, i have nothing but praise for the author. The book does such a good job breaking down the psychology of such a character and telling a story in such a realistic way, aaah just amazing. And this arc felt even more impactful because the necessary dislike and hate from me as a reader was built in the first half of the characters arc, so when growth happened, it shone dazzlingly. I’ll note that despite the work on the mcs, side characters could have been developed more!

Now the world building and magic. People need to understand world building does not translate to countries. Because we spend the entirety of the book in the same country and yet the history, different parts of that country, the culture, health conditions, all of this builds amazing world building. The magic system too, was explained really well AND NOT in an info dumpy way either, it was sprinkled throughout the book!

The plot, battle sequences, AND THE PLOT TWISTS AAAAAH. Chef’s kiss!

Now with things I didn’t particularly enjoy (even at the end). The romance. Its a colonizer x colonized romance so it in itself was uncomfortable to read about. I’m still collecting my thoughts on it, but what i can say is that it was not handled entirely badly, yet it wasn’t handled the best way either, it also why i’ve not given this book 5 stars. Within this romance by the end, the colonizer was not glorified. It wasn’t anything like ahh my love my colonizer my savior. No nothing like that, we can see that the author had truly tried to separate the romance from this perspective even at the end and for the most part, succeeded. I just think that this could’ve been emphasized better or id prefer to not have this romance at all. With the side “villain” it wasn’t a notable villain, so thats a bit ehh. And i do wish there had been more political aspects, and luca’s character arc to have been moved to some other direction.

“This must be what it’s like to stand at the edge of a cliff and decide to jump.”

All in all, this was an impactful and important book. The author is brave for tackling this issue in this particular way and honestly there were so so good moments (tears around the 82% mark) and just AAAh, it definitely deserves more recognition. Thank you to NetGalley and Orbit for providing me with an eARC in exchange of an honest review.

lauren_is_a_reader's review against another edition

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2.0

I cannot deny the fact that this book is well written and the characters and plot are complex and politically driven. The setting was unique and added to the story. However, I know it’s probably me, but I can’t give this any more than 3 stars because I spent half of the book wondering what on Earth was going on. I don’t think I was in the right place for this book so maybe this is harsh.

thebooktaurus's review

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dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

pigolaus's review

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medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

penstarling's review against another edition

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DNF @ 10% This is just isn't clicking with me. I don't know if it's the pacing or the characters but I just can't get into it at all.