A Heart so Fierce and Broken is a fantastic book and a disappointing sequel at the same time. Let me explain.
A Curse so Dark and Lonely is a refreshing and beautiful retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It’s full of interesting and lovable characters with depth, flaws and decent character growth.
I adored all three of them: Harper, Rhen and Grey. The only thing I wished for was a bit more fulfilment of the romance than what we got, but I expected the next book to address that. The gentle hints at a potential love triangle concerned me, but the author assured us that it wouldn’t be the case. I was confident that A Heart so Fierce and Broken would deliver everything I hoped for. Not so much.
A Heart So Fierce and Broken Review
First of all, Brigid Kemmerer wrote A Heart So Fierce and Broken from Grey and Lia Mara’s perspective, while Rhen and Harper barely got any page time at all.
Second, she turned a previously positive character into an antagonist, basically from page one.
I hated those two changes with all my heart. If it was a standalone book and not a sequel to one I loved that would have been different. I could say that A Heart so Fierce and Broken is an absolutely fantastic book. I loved Grey and Lia Mara, their entire journey, the complex problems they must face.
It’s an amazing story with quality execution. I’d highly recommend the book, but a fair warning: you need an open mind, because expectations will be shattered, and they will be shattered early.
A comparison to A Court of Thorns and Roses
Mild spoilers for both series below. ACOTAR spoiler is what almost everyone already knows. The Heart so Fierce and Broken spoiler is something that becomes clear so early in the book it’s hardly a spoiler, but I wanted to give you a warning.
I couldn’t help but think of another Beauty and the Beast retelling: the hugely popular A Court of Thorns and Roses. There are clear parallels between the characters, but as if there were two different Feyres. Feyre1 for book one and Feyre2 for book two. It’s like this:
- Rhen is Tamlin: Rhen and Tamlin are the beasts without question. Their character developments are eerily similar. I say character assassination and anyone who’s familiar with ACOTAR knows what I mean. The difference is that in my opinion Tamlin deserved it (yes, it’s controversial), while Rhen does not. #saveRhen
- ACOTAR’s Feyre is Harper: I guess I don’t need to explain that. Harper and Feyre are both the beauties who fall in love with the beasts. Feyre falls faster than Harper and they have slightly different personalities, but the difference is insignificant.
- Lucian merged with Rhysand is Grey: So here are the facts: Grey and Lucian have a lot in common. Both are loyal companions of the beasts, who see their good side and deal with the bad. I’ll make my case why I think Brigid merged Lucian and Rhys into Grey. Rhys was an old friend of Tamlin, who became a rival. While there is a lot more bad blood between Rhys and Tamlin, the end result is fairly similar: they turn against each other. Grey is powerful. This is just my speculation, but I would make a significant bet that he will turn out a more powerful magesmith than Lilith herself before the series ends. Just like Rhys is the most powerful high lord in history. Then of course, there Rhen and Tamlin are the male love interests in the first book, while Rhys and Grey are the love interests in book 2.
- ACOMAF’s Feyre is Lia Mara: I felt as if Brigid Kemmerer didn’t like the fact that Feyre switched partner in A Court of Mist and Fury. So in her version, the second guy got his own love interest. I don’t mind this idea. I know not everyone likes Lia Mara, but I think she is good. She’s a bit shallow as a character compared to the others. Of course, she has a very different personality from Feyre, but you get my point how her role is similar to Feyre’s in book 2.
I’m not suggesting the two stories are the same, but there are patterns. I genuinely hope that Rhen won’t go far down the Tamlin route, though, and the similarities between the two series will end here.
Not because I didn’t like how A Court of Wings and Ruin ended, but because I want The Cursebreaker series to be different. The characters are different, even if they were dealt a similar role so far. I would like to see them grow and go on their own journey rather than follow a pattern in another book. This trilogy needs a unique, satisfying ending.
Without giving anything away, the last chapter gave me some hope that things are going to turn around and I look forward to book 3 of The Cursebreaker series. I want to see friendships repaired, families united and romances grow. I want redemption, and the truth revealed. Is that too much to ask?