Reviews tagging 'Vomit'

A Broken Blade by Melissa Blair

10 reviews

triley's review

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adventurous dark mysterious tense fast-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

4.5


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moodreadererin's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional tense slow-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? It's complicated

4.0

A Broken Blade follows Keera , the king's blade . She is given a mission to find the new enemy of the crown: the shadow . We go on this journal with her find the shadow and everything that precedes/follows . This is a story of addiction , loss , love , revenge , and violence . 

Things I liked :

-enemies to lovers execution was fantastic 

- one bed trope

-bipoc representation 

- exploration of loss , addiction, recovery in face of violence . 

-found family 

Things I didn't like :

- the pacing was slower than I liked . I didn't like it until the end /last part of the book.

With that said , I still recommend this book. I am looking forward to the sequel .

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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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islandbookwyrm's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional funny mysterious sad 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? It's complicated

4.5


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terezax's review against another edition

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dark mysterious tense fast-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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booksalacarte's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional funny hopeful inspiring mysterious sad tense fast-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? It's complicated

3.5

A Broken Blade- 3.5⭐️ 2.5🌶️


Keera is a killer. As the King’s Blade, she is the most talented spy in the kingdom. And the King’s favored assassin. When a mysterious figure called the Shadow starts making moves against the Crown, Keera is forced to hunt the masked menace down.

She crosses into the magical lands of the Fae, trying to discern if her enemy is Mortal, Elf, or a Halfling like her. But the Faeland is not what it seems, and neither is the Shadow. Keera is shocked by what she discovers and can’t help but wonder who her enemy truly is…

The King that destroyed her people? The Prince that tortures them? Or the Shadow that threatens her place at court?

As she searches for answers, Keera is haunted by a promise she made long ago. A promise not only to save herself but an entire kingdom.

✨My Opinion✨

The cover is beautiful! The iridescent is so fitting for the mystery of an assassin.

The FMC is an alcoholic, so be aware of that being actively described throughout the book. She also self-harms. It brings a severity to her character that is heavy and hard to get past. 

The book takes a look at the genocide of a race of Elves and a war brewing beneath the surface. Characters are multidimensional from the start. The foreshadowing was great and I really enjoyed the characters.

Morally grey FMC
Chosen one
Female assassin
Enemies to lovers
Forced proximity
One horse
One bed
Who did that to you
Betrayal
Bi rep

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lastblossom's review against another edition

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adventurous sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes
tl;dr
Solid inclusion in the ladies who are assassins in fantasy worlds genre with a lot of cool characters. World building can be confusing.

About
Keera is the King's Blade, his favorite assassin. She's killed many in his name, including her own people. Her latest mission is to hunt down the Shadow, a mysterious fighter who's been causing trouble for the crown. But when she chases the Shadow into the faelands, she discovers that everything she's learned about the kingdom and her history may be a lie.

Thoughts
Are YOU a person who likes a YA/NA fantasy novel centered on a female who carries a ton of blades? Because if so, I've got great news for you. "Lady has a lot of sharp objects" is one of my favorite genres, and I was happy to discover that this one is genuinely lethal, and not simply lethal by lip service. (Her kill count in this book alone is well over a dozen.) There are actual several ladies with sharp objects in here, and several fight scenes where they get to show off. This book also features quite a bit of magic, a masquerade ball, political shenanigans, and a sparse amount of lovemaking (spice level: middle?). While there's a clear enemies-to-lovers slow burn going on, it largely takes a back seat to story, so don't expect too much on that front.

World building is sometimes difficult to follow. Terms like fae, elf, mage, and halfling all hold specific meanings that don't always line up with the widely accepted definitions, and then we find out later in the book that some of those definitions were misconceptions anyway. It's a lot to try to keep sorted.

As for the plot, it takes a while to get started. The actual conflict between Keera and the Shadow is postponed quite a bit, and there's a lot of time spend setting up the pieces on the metaphorical game board. I don't think genre savvy readers will find a lot of surprises, but it's still a mostly satisfying series of events, with a
Spoilercliffhanger ending that puzzled me a little bit in terms of its execution
.

As a final note, Keera's alcoholism plays a major role in the story and her arc, and might be a difficult read for some.

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aliciawhatsthestory's review against another edition

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adventurous 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? It's complicated

4.5


Wow. What a journey from watching booktokers receive their anonymous ARCs of this book to now, finishing my own eARC from Melissa’s publisher—Union Square & Co.

This debut YA fantasy novel was such a great read. Once I got to the 30% mark, I couldn’t put it down. This is the book that will keep you up reading until 5 am. I loved that you get all the fantastical elements of other high fantasy, but with an anti-colonialist perspective. You really get a look into not only the workings of Keera’s world, but also into how she has been affected as a woman who has never been able to choose how to live her own life, including dealing with grief, alcohol abuse, physical violence, and threats of sexual violence (please do check TWs before reading!), not to mention the guilt that hangs over Keera from actions she was forced to take or die herself. 

My single complaint about this book was that, at times I felt like a little detail in the world building was left out, leaving me a little confused about technical things like how exactly Fae/Elven/Mortal/Halfblood genetics work. 

That aside, I really enjoyed this book. It’s a dazzling debut that left me anxious for more (as in I need book 2 right now so I can find out what happens after this cliffhanger!!!). I will eagerly await more from Melissa Blair, and I’ll definitely be picking up a physical copy of the gorgeous, subtly metallic, paperback to add to my shelves when I can. 

Thank you to #netgalley and the publisher for granting me a advanced digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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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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beforeviolets's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious tense fast-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

I signed up for a mystery and I got a new favorite book??? I certainly was not expecting that!
(Also if you're interested in helping solve the mystery, there is a Google Doc available with clues here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1f7rsy_2mJIS9wZFEjNwmN0kMJb2_k1Mc?usp=sharing)

This is a new adult fantasy perfect for fans of Six of Crows. It follows Keera, who is the lead assassin and spy for the King. When a mysterious person called The Shadow starts making moves that seem to threaten the Crown, Keera is called to find, unmask, and stop them. This book is fast-paced and action-packed, balanced out with a delectable enemies to lovers, a comforting found family, and a sprinkle of spice. It is SO addicting, and I literally finished it in just over 24 hours - with a break for sleep, of course - and though it was partly in order to solve the mystery, it was also because this book is genuinely that good and I never wanted to set it down. Genius marketing ploy aside, the writing is pure brilliance.

The thing I feel like I need to gush about the most in this book is the representation. Essentially all the characters of this world are queer until proven straight. The MC is canonically queer and POC and all of the characters, aside from a few, are POC as well. There is a side character that is disabled and though her on-page presence is brief, it is powerful. She is described as a wheelchair user and the thought that has gone into the way that she would move, function, and even dress was incredible thoughout. And moreover, her disability never gets in the way of her success, as a valuable member of the Crown. It is obvious that the author cares deeply about positive and diverse representation, and it greatly elevates the material. In fact, I found an anti-semitic character description in this book and upon messaging the author about it, they thanked me and we discussed some ways to change it so that it can be fixed in future printings. THAT's how you listen, folks.

Now, I can't talk about this book without mentioning the romance. The main romance in this book is a m/f enemies to lovers and OH MY GOD I think this rivals the enemies to lovers plotline in The Wolf and The Woodsman, which y'all should know I LOVE.
Spoiler I mean he literally kisses her MID-FIGHT and then she moans while she stabs him in the chest
And the thing I greatly appreciate about the romance is despite the fact that it is m/f, it feels very queer (which is good, because the characters are queer!). What I mean by this is that what makes their relationship feel so brilliant doesn't correlate to gender or gender roles at all. The things that they find sexy and attractive about the other are things like strength and beauty and kindness, not based around the concepts of masculine and feminine. Honestly, the compliments they gave to each other and the way that they trusted each others' independence and skill and the way they listened to each other was what made the relationship so incredible for me. It felt as though they were people to each other first, and their gender didn't matter to either of them.

Another thing that I felt was handled very well was the MC's alcoholism. The character's struggle is intense and honest and raw, and the topic itself is handled with such grace and care. Alcoholism is usually portrayed quite poorly in other fantasy worlds, and it was really nice to see the way it was approached in this book. 

Lastly, I feel as though I should mention that the biggest over-arching theme of this book is the negative effects of colonization both on a large scale and an individual scale. It specifically shows the way that individuals live within a colonized society: the different types of coping mechanisms that are used for the sake of survival both mental and physical, and the forced assimilation of marginalized communities within that society. It discusses how it feels to be reduced down to an identity, the boxes individuals must live within in order to survive within their assigned identity, and how it feels to feel powerless against the system that put them there. It held wonderful conversation about how those that have been colonized often don't have the privilege of acting under their own moral compasses; how they have to do what they can to keep themselves and others alive and safe and should not be judged for the actions they take to survive, regardless of the consequences. (No ethical consumption under capitalism, for example.)

I truly can not speak of this book highly enough, and am pleasantly surprised to have found a new world of characters to love out of what was initially just a bit to me. If you were on the fence about this book, thinking it might just be a mediocre book hiding under a large marketing campaign, I can assure you that that is far from the truth. The marketing campaign is a well-planned treasure map to the absolute gem that is this book. I can not WAIT to read the rest of this series.

P.S. Good soup.

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