Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA Publishing
Genre: YA Fantasy
Dates Read: January 22-25, 2020
“In the sequel to New York Times bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.
Find the heir, win the crown.
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.
Win the crown, save the kingdom.
Grey may be the heir, but he doesn’t want anyone to know his secret. On the run since he destroyed Lilith, he has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?
The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.”
I was absolutely swept away by this sequel to A Curse So Dark and Lonely.
Grey and Lia Mara are possibly my favorite characters and OTP of all time. The chemistry and the banter between them was everything and more I could have asked for.
Lia Mara is a strong and fierce female protagonist, and I absolutely loved her. I found that she was the perfect balance to Grey’s personality, and I felt so bad for her and the circumstances which she had to grow up around and endure.
Grey was my favorite character in A Curse So Dark and Lonely and I loved seeing his POV in this book. It made me love him even more, and I loved this journey for him accepting his destiny.
We saw our original characters Harper and Prince Rhen very briefly in this second book, and I know a lot of people had mixed feelings because of the way they were portrayed. I personally still liked them, but I did have a slightly hard time with Rhen in this one, even though I understand why he is acting the way he is (when you read it, you’ll understand). That being said, I can see where the story is headed, and I am excited to see how all of it will be resolved in the third book. I have faith that Brigid Kemmerer will make it all good in the end.
I of course would be remiss if I didn’t touch on the world building. In this second installment, we got to see a much more broad view of the world they live in. I found it to be very well done, and I absolutely love the way Kemmerer describes the setting. I never feel like anything she writes is info-dumpy or feels lacking in any way. I also always love the pace of her books, they never feel too slow or too rushed.
Overall, I actually feel like I loved A Heart So Fierce and Broken EVEN BETTER than its predecessor (even though I am not sure how, since I loved ACSDAL as well at 5 STARS).
If you love YA Fantasy with lush world-building, fantastic characters, magic, and royalty, this series is a MUST read. I can’t wait for the 3rd and final installment, A Vow So Bold and Deadly, in January 2021!