Reviews tagging 'Gore'

A Broken Blade by Melissa Blair

6 reviews

melissaslibraryy's review

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Wow wow wowwww! I had no idea what to expect from this book since I only picked up the audiobook on Libby for being a fantasy romance (without reading the blurb) but it beat every expectation I had. I assumed it was YA, so imagine my surprise when the characters started cussing in some parts and there was even some spice (though they didn’t go all the way). I love that it was a high stakes fantasy that didn’t shy away from the violence and gore especially since most of it was done by our badass female lead. As for the romance, I’m not mad about the person who was “The Shadow” being predictable bc it leads to an amazing enemies to lovers situation filled with tension due to their forced proximity (and even the “single bed” trope😉.)
Spoiler The ending may have also been a bit obvious with its plot twist but it left off at a good cliffhanger, so I can’t wait to pick up the next book!

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jassiecones's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional funny inspiring tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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gsaliare's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0


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missgarceau's review against another edition

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adventurous dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25


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starrysteph's review against another edition

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adventurous dark funny mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

A Broken Blade was a playful yet powerful start to a fantasy series! I love the Booktok love. :)
 
Keera is an assassin working for the crown; and as the Blade she is the most talented spy in the kingdom. When a mysterious figure called the Shadow starts making moves against the King, he becomes Keera’s next target. But things aren’t as they seem, and Keera starts to question her loyalty and who her enemy truly is.
 
This is a first person narration, and Keera is a very compelling, morally gray protagonist. As an orphaned Halfling (half elf and half human), she has no rights and is “owned” by the Crown. She’s constantly torn between her own survival, trying to help her fellow oppressed people, and bitter self loathing. Keera struggles with alcoholism, and I thought this aspect of the story was written with care.
 
I enjoyed Keera’s journey and her character development. Without sharing spoilers, she learns how to let others in and stand up for her people - something she was unable to do before, without the support of a community. She grapples with her ethics and with her copic mechanisms. She makes tough decisions, but is ultimately quite likable.
 
This is a story about oppression. The leaders of this world hold all the privilege and all the power, and those beneath them are struggling to adapt and survive in any way they can. A good chunk of A Broken Blade is slower-paced worldbuilding and setup which lingers on this abuse and trauma, but this is the first in a series - a reshaping of the world is in order (starting with book 2?!). The content can be heavy at times, and Blair (who is an Anishinaabekwe author) doesn’t shy away from her themes of colonialism and systemic violence. 
 
At the same time - this book was dedicated to Booktok, and it playfully engages with many of the tropes that Booktok tends to favor. You’ll see a slowburn enemies to lovers romance, an “only one bed” scene, Fae, etc. There are lots of classic fantasy elements, but also some unique storytelling and great representation (many - most? - of the characters are POC and queer). 
 
The ending was a pretty big cliffhanger, and there were also some interesting plot points with unanswered questions. I’m looking forward to the next book!  
 
CW: murder, racism, violence, gore, alcoholism, sexual content (18+), assault, colonialism, slavery, war, depression, grief, suicidal thoughts, self harm, vomit
 
(I received a free review copy of this book; this is my honest review.)


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soniajoy98's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional inspiring mysterious 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

3.5


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