Reviews tagging Trafficking

The Unbroken, by C.L. Clark

6 reviews

madamepincers's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional funny reflective 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

4.75

Incredible world building and magic system and I can't wait to read more. Only drawback for me was characters who consistently make Very Bad Choices and change their minds/seem to adhere to different moral codes at different times, but given the context, I think their confusion and issues with determining their own priorities was believable. But it happens to be a major pet peeve of mine so 👀

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dariusmortee's review

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challenging dark emotional inspiring 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

3.0

I want to start by saying I really wanted to love this book.

I did, in some ways. The message Clarke is trying to bring across is loud and clear and this book will make you feel uncomfortable as it is very confronting. The characters are very interesting and I would like to get to know the world better.

However, even though the characters were very interesting I didn’t feel connected to them. Clarke didn’t go enough into depth with almost every aspect of this book for me. The important scenes for the character development were just not it. The build up was there, but then it was gone. This, and the both (strangely) slow and still fast pace of this book did knock down a few stars. 

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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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cerilouisereads's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional tense 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


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callmekt'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
It isn't supposed to happen like this. This is the common thread throughout The Unbroken, book 1 in Magic of the Lost by C.L. Clark. It feels like I've read this story before, a story riddled with good intentions and bad outcomes and miscommunications. Politics and war and the struggle of leadership. But I haven't read the story like this, a story that centers two women with similar hopes but different motivations. A story about a soldier educated with propaganda who unlearns her upbringing when confronted with the plight of people who look like her. A story about a royal who wanted to set things right but was too wrapped up with scholarly theories to fully understand the breadth of her decisions. Plans go awry. Hearts are broken. Relationships are strained. And through it all, questions of magic and gods and what it means to believe in a being more powerful than you can understand. Keep your eyes on The Unbroken. Pray for rain. 

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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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