A Heart So Fierce and Broken is the second installment to Brigid Kemmerer’s modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast, A Curse So Dark and Lonely. Here, Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces yet another complication. His claim to the throne is being questioned with the rumors that the true heir is alive; meanwhile Karis Luran sees this as a leverage in waging war with Emberfall. Whereas Grey, his guardsman, is on the run, in hopes that he continue serving Rhen and surviving at the same time.
In this sequel, a few more characters were introduced. The story was narrated through the perspectives of Grey, Rhen, Harper and Lia Mara. Lia Mara was the eldest daughter of Karis Luran, though the first born, she was not chosen to be the Queen.
As a reader, I tend to get attached to the characters. There are certain characters I love more than the others. There are ships I hope to sail more than anyone else’s. So it is only natural for me to fervently want to see and experience the narrative through their eyes.
Sadly, I did not find it in AHSFB. Kemmerer’s writing was exceptional. The flow of the story was great. The characters were still as complex as they can get. I loved reading through Grey and Lia Mara’s perspective; they were very promising characters you could make a spin off focused solely on these characters. I had a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that this book wasn’t about Harper and Rhen. I had so many questions in my mind like what happened to them? Why are they behaving the way they are right now?
If you are like me, I suggest that you process everything and accept it as it is. That’s the only time you will be able to enjoy the book.
Succinctly, I moved on from my hurt feelings.
I enjoyed and savored all the remaining chapters. There were different elements injected in this sequel. For instance, the family and political drama surrounding the royalty of Sylh Shallow provided a great subplot to further the actions of the characters. It made the story richer and more compelling.
Kemmerer undeniably weaved a strong character journey for Grey. Grey was accompanied mostly here by doubts. He doubted his decisions and the people around him. I loved how his growth throughout this book was paced. Yes, he had good traits even in the first book but he is yet to rise to the daunting task of saving Emberfall and those he love.
All things considered, this is a good read. I cannot wait to see what happens next.
- Message: ★★★
- Originality: ★★★
- Character Depth: ★★★★
- Storyline: ★★★★
- Readability: ★★★★☆
- Narration (if audiobook): N/A
- Entertainment Value: ★★★★