Reviews tagging 'Trafficking'

A Broken Blade by Melissa Blair

7 reviews

lcesario's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional mysterious sad tense fast-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

4.25

Main character is a baddie, we love her. 

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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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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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nicolesbookcase's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional 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

2.5

A solid middle-of-the-road rating of 2.5 seems appropriate. The beginning of this book was a definite 1 or 2; I almost DNF'd a few times within the first 10 chapters. But after that it got a little better. And then the second half of the book was a solid 4 stars, for me.

This is very evidently a debut novel, and I believe better editing would have significantly helped this book. The writing is, for the most part, good, and the premise is amazing. The tropes and themes and representation in this book are fantastic. I just wish the introduction to all of it had been better laid out.

The flow of the writing was super choppy in the beginning; it was almost hard to read because there was no natural cadence to adjacent lines. This did get much better as the book progressed. I think this choppiness came from the content; there was a LOT of info-dumping in the first 10 or so chapters. In order to get the information needed about this fantasy world into the readers' minds, the main character was put into situations and events occurred that didn't make a lot of logical sense, purely so we could get relevant worldbuilding info. That definitely could have been done better. There was also a lot of repetition of a specific plot point in the beginning, which eventually led to huge character development later on, but it was hammered in way too much.

The characterization of the main character, Keera, in the beginning was all over the place. Keera vacillated between being this deadpan, badass assassin who cares for no one and doesn't give a crap about anything to being a devoted friend desperately trying to help to being a clumsy, giggly girl in front of most men she encountered. I understand that people have layers, facets...and Keera was perhaps all of these things, but it honestly felt like I was reading about two different people; she was a completely different person with each character she interacted with. I needed more synchronicity between these different personalities, and given this is written in first person, that should have been easier. I definitely felt like Keera's character was more cohesive in the second half of the book. After more supporting characters were introduced and plot points became more fleshed out, Keera came into her own more; I could actually buy the things she was saying out loud as things she would actually say. There was also great character development of Keera as the book progressed.

There were plot-holes and inconsistencies throughout this book, which I again think would have benefited significantly from better editing. I'm also still not totally sure on some of the worldbuilding points. What is the difference between Elves and Fae? Still not sure, despite all of the info-dumping in the beginning. Hopefully more to come in the following book; I can see how that could become a relevant plot point in the sequel.

I did really enjoy the premise of the book, and the plot in the second half of the book was tense and exciting! I liked the mystery and intrigue involved in who was who and who was involved in what and the risks being taken, and I am excited to read the next book. I also liked the enemies-to-lovers romance aspect, although I did feel like things were a tad rushed, with the enemy going from hating Keera one second to completely falling for her 3 minutes later. There were lots of tropes I love (including THERE'S ONLY ONE BED and WHO DID THIS TO YOU?). There was the classic romance aspect of boy meets girl and girl can't imagine her life without boy, which I don't love, but that's a romance plot for you.

Overall, this is a debut novel with a great premise, a very interesting fantasy world (although one I wish had been fleshed out more without so much info-dumping), great characters with fantastic development and growth, and a very intriguing ending that draws you in to the sequel, but also a book that could have done with some more content editing in the first half to clear up some plot-holes and inconsistencies, adjust the flow of the writing, and cement some characterizations and worldbuilding! I will definitely be picking up the next book, and I imagine it can only get better from here.

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ccouey's review against another edition

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adventurous dark 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

3.0


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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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pagepixie's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional 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

4.0

Okay so I read that people were comparing this book to Throne of Glass so I had to check it out. And I found that… they’re not wrong. In fact his book has most popular fantasy romance tropes, then I read the acknowledgments and it all made sense. The author SAYS that they took inspiration from all the books popular on BookTok and combined the best parts. I can tell and yet I can’t help but think it’s smart. They say write what you want to read, right? 

I found the writing itself to be easy and simple, but I’m pretty sure this is a debut so I won’t nitpick. I also know that this is probably a first of many in the series so I’m letting giving this one some legroom (Although I wanted to count how many times the words wine and scars was used). 

The main character, Keera, is an orphan Halfling (mortal and elf?) who is the King’s head assassin and spy. Her backstory made her character as well as her desire to help those like her, other Halflings who are considered less than human under the current king, find freedom. 

Riven was honestly not that interesting to me. A tall, dark, and handsome love interest. However, I think his relationship with Keera will get more interesting. I really liked the bonus chapter in his POV it made me like him more.



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