A review by sunshine169
A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer


After finishing A Curse so Dark and Lonely I was highly anticipating this beautifully covered follow-up and was super ecstatic that I was approved for the e-arc. Unfortunately I find myself saddened and let down. I cannot review this book without spoilers so fair warning.

I'll start with Grey.

What happened here? He was so adamant about not wanting the throne that he ran away from Rhen.

He eventually is accidentally caught and brought back to the palace. He and Rhen have a sit down and pretty much affirm their bond of friendship. Then Grey decides that he will not tell Rhen who the heir is because he fears he will be killed. He doesn't trust Rhen which is outside of the character story from book one, which is a whole other issue.

Has no one heard of abdication? You don't want the throne don't take it. Have a sit down conversation. No one has to die. This was unbelievably irritating. I realize without this there would be no story line but that just makes for a poor one in my opinion. Honestly, I would like to believe, even though Rhen was horrible in this book, that he would not have killed Grey. Instead Grey decides to escape with Lia Mara, the unfortunate daughter of Queen Karis Luran and poor Harper replacement, and basically becomes influenced to take the throne and eventually threatens to march on Emberfall. Yet it was Rhen's remark to Grey at the end that, "A friend would have told me. A brother would have told me," that reaffirms my belief that something could have been worked out prior to Grey's brainwashing.

Other disappointments include the disappearance of Princess Harper of DiSi and the character reversal of Prince Rhen. Our strong heroine from book one completely disappears from this book and only serves as a prop to quell Prince Rhen who has made a reversal in character development. Rhen spent book one trying to NOT be a bad guy only to become the crazed bad guy in book two. I'm going to need to know why but I am not sure I want to invest anymore of my time hoping to find out. Also is he that thick that he couldn't figure out Grey was his brother after Grey repeatedly refused to give him a name? Everyone else figured it out right away. It took Grey's show of magic during his escape for Rhen to realize what was right in his face. Not really king worthy in my opinion anyway.

Overall I did not enjoy this book. I was pretty disappointed in the plot turn.

Thank you to Netgalley and Bloomsbury YA for an e-arc of this book in exchange for my honest review.