Reviews tagging Sexual violence

The Unbroken, by C.L. Clark

10 reviews

melaniereadsbooks's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

4.25

This is such a great epic fantasy! I really loved the world building and the main characters! They are so enjoyable to read. There is a lot of intense stuff in this book but it was so good. I really think the world building is stellar in this one and can't wait to see what else comes of this world and series!

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firefly's review

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adventurous dark tense slow-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

3.5


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butchsunflower's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional hopeful mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

You know that one Lady Gaga GIF  where it's her going "amazing incredible never the same etc."? That's me at this book. Man oh man was this a brilliant debut that literally left me breathless. I'm not even sure how to describe this book besides absolutely stunning. If you love political fantasies that tackle colonialism, imperialism, racisms, found family, a unique magic system, lovable, complex characters and a very messy wlw relationship then I highly, highly recommend this book.

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aquamarine18's review against another edition

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adventurous dark tense 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

The Unbroken is a fantasy novel with a setting inspired by French colonial occupation in Northern Africa with two POV characters: Touraine, who was stolen as a child and taken to Balladaire where she is raised to fight for the colonial power occupying her homeland, and Luca, a princess of Balladaire given power in occupied Qazāl and desperate to prove her competence so she can take the Balladairan throne.  The plot follows both characters' (and other characters') political maneuvering and shifting loyalties in the context of a rapidly growing rebellion.  Overall, I really liked this novel + will definitely read the next book in the series.  I thought many of the characters were very well developed + particularly appreciated Touraine's perspective; I hope that some of the more peripheral characters get more focus in the sequel.  I also thought that the book was well written - the action scenes especially - and that the political intrigue was compelling.  I appreciated that sexual diversity is the norm in the world of this book -- many characters are lgbtq+ but this itself is not a plot point -- and that women being in positions of power is also the norm here.  I will note that while both Touraine and Luca (and a number of other characters) are queer and a number of reviews describe the book as sapphic, it ought not be construed a romance; there is an extreme power difference here (Luca has the power to deem Touraine's life forfeit given that Touraine is her empire's property) which negates consent.  While the characters are both individually complex and well-developed, their relationship did not feel that way to me; I could not wrap my head around how
Spoilerboth their decision-making processes were so deeply impacted by their personal relationship, which consisted of some moments of tension and of Luca sexualizing Touraine,
and ultimately wish that the suggestion of chemistry between them had just been left out entirely.  

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liminal's review

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

4.0

I love this book. The characters beyond the two POV characters were so interesting and vibrant. Love the Jackal, for example. This book is about two characters from the opposite ends of the power spectrum in a colonised city. A princess of the empire, and a conscripted soldier from that particular colony. Just one warning - don't read for the romance, while it has a romance threaded through it that is not the main focus. While this novel absolutely deals with themes of colonialism and racism, there doesn't seem to be any homophobia or biphobia. one MC is a bi disabled woman, with a lot of privilege,the other is a lesbian. There are a wide range of ages represented, including some amazing women in their 50s. The setting is broadly based on France and colonialists North Africa.

My only beef with this novel is that some key elements felt rushed, and I had to go back and re-read a few chapters. Sometimes it wasn't clear who was speaking. Also I didn't feel like Touraine got a real chance to establish her badassery before she was thrown into fish out of water. Her loyalty to the sands felt a bit stop/start but then as an ADHD person I absolutely forget groups of people that deeply matter to me so.

However I absolutely felt for her and got so angry on her behalf throughout the whole novel. There were amazing scenes that had me cheering and passages I want to go back and annotate. As a debut novel this is stellar and I would recommend to fans of the Baru Cormorant series, Sabaa Tahir, and anyone looking for queer fantasy that doesn't focus on romance. Steer clear if you're looking for books without exploration of colonialist/racism.

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harrownova's review

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dark tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

I rly enjoyed this book. But also very painful. But also very good.

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mandkips's review

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adventurous challenging dark 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

3.25


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deedireads's review

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adventurous emotional tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

All my reviews live at https://deedispeaking.com/reads/.

TL;DR REVIEW:

The Unbroken manages to flip tropes on their heads and make big statements while giving fantasy lovers all the things they love: an underdog, a mystery, magic, and a world worth fighting for.

For you if: You’re looking for sapphic, BIPOC epic fantasy.

FULL REVIEW:

Here are the things you need to know to get excited for The Unbroken: It’s a sapphic epic fantasy novel set in a place based on Northern Africa about the brutality of colonialism. With disability rep. You in yet??

There are two main characters: Touraine, who is a conscript (read: slave) in the empire’s army, and Luca, the empire’s princess whose throne is threatened by her uncle. Touraine’s company and the princess arrive in Qazāl, the empire’s colony where Touraine was born before she was taken by the empire, to try to settle the local rebellion. Soon, Touraine finds herself in Luca’s employ as a negotiator, caught between two worlds (one she doesn’t know, and one who will never accept her), trying to find a way to protect her friends who are sure to be caught in any crossfire.

Let me tell you, this plot is a roller coaster. Soooo much happens. I actually did think that the book felt a little too long, but at the same time, I’m not sure what I would have cut. It’s filled with big, full characters faced with no good choices doing the best they can to achieve their own goals. It was full of action and twists and shocking moments and had a big, exciting ending.

The depiction of colonialism here is one place where it really shines — because it shows clearly that ultimately, there are no winners, just bloodshed. No good choices, only bloody ones. The impossible dichotomy between greater good and personal safety; the prospect of dying for a cause versus preserving a life that will be, but never quite how you want.

I also always love the power of fantasy to create worlds in which society’s view of gender and sexuality need not be bound by the norms and biases we face in real life. And this book does it very, very well.

A winner, for sure. I can’t wait to read the next one.

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dedonohoe's review against another edition

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

5.0


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swordsandstarships's review

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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