Cover Image: Realm Breaker

Realm Breaker

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A very long yet inoffensive YA fantasy that feels forgettable compared to other current genre offerings.

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This book has pretty much everything I love about high fantasy: unsuspecting, humble heroes who wish for a bigger life, a misfit group that must work together, interesting antagonists who could be admirable if they’d just make slightly different choices.

At 576 pages, it’s a long book, but it went by quite quickly. The worldbuilding and magic system make sense, as does the way the characters come to work together. Of the characters, so far my favorite is the squire, Andry, and the assassin, Sorasa. But really, the entire “fellowship” is interesting, and each offers something to the group. They each have their own reasons for working together.

As for the antagonists, Erida, the queen, is the most interestingly developed. She has clear-cut reasons for what she does—even if we don’t agree with them.

Bonus: No YA love triangle. In fact, only the merest hints of romance. It does, however, have the “chosen one” teenage girl who is responsible to save the world.

I’ll definitely be telling my friends and students about this one. Looking forward to the next book!

Possible Objectionable Material:
We’re saving the world, folks—there’s lots of fighting with pointy objects, and a fair amount of blood. Sorasa is an assassin, and she enjoys her work. There’s some lying, cheating, and stealing. It’s a fantasy novel, so there’s magic of various types. Mild cursing.

Who Might Like This Book:
People who like epic fantasy and are willing to invest in a series that’s going to take a couple of years to finish. It should appeal to both women and men alike. Although it is marketed as young adult fantasy, it is quite accessible to the adult reader.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

Also reviewed at http://biblioquacious.blogspot.com/2021/08/what-contrast.html

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I haven’t ready any of her books yet, which is surprising, so this was my first! It follows Corayne, a girl used to living under the shadow of her famous Pirate mother, hoping for something more. She finds out that she is so much more than she seems, and she is joined on a quest to save the world by a group of unlikely allies. I know it sounds like every other YA book, but it was good! I liked the other characters, especially the witch Valtik - she added a little crazy to a pretty somber journey.

I really liked Aveyard’s writing style, so I will absolutely be getting to her other books asap! The world building ended up being a little tricky for me. I finished the book and am still a little confused as to what was going on. But it didn’t stop me from enjoying the book at all. And I am excited to see where the story goes, and where these characters end up!

I was given an advanced reader's copy via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own

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I absolutely loved the Red Queen series and was beyond excited when Victoria Aveyard announced she was working on a new series. I followed the progress of Realm Breaker through Aveyard's social media, itching for the day I could, FINALLY, get my hands on a copy. Sadly, I think my anticipation hyped up the book too much and I found myself slightly disappointed with the end result. Don't get me wrong, Aveyard is a FANTASTIC story teller and her books are amazing, but Realm Breaker just didn't live up to my expectations (which, I'll admit, were very high).

Let's start with what I didn't like....

Aveyard is wonderful world builder. She's not afraid to own up to her nerdy obsession with maps and Realm Breaker has a beautiful map in the front that allows you to fully picture the world she's created. However, all of this world building took up the majority of the book. While I love that she put so much thought and detail into Allward, the descriptions bogged down the storyline a little too much. I felt that over half the book was spent describing the geography of Allward and its inhabitants, which meant less time building the actual plot and character development.

Speaking of characters, there are a LOT of them. It took me about half the book to remember every character and the part they played. And when the story moved into action sequences...well, I found it a bit hard to follow who was doing what. Additionally, when there are so many characters it's hard to get decent character development for each of them, and I found some of them a little flat.

Now to the parts that I loved...

Like I said, Aveyard knows how to build a world. Allward really does come to life for the reader and you feel that you can easily map out the progression of the characters' travels as they move about the realm. Each kingdom within Allward is well developed and Aveyard gives readers a look at everything from the topography to the culture. You really feel as if you are a citizen of the realm when you read her descriptions.

Though some of the characters fall flat, those that Aveyard does develop further are beautifully fleshed out and you feel as if you are really in their head. I hope that Aveyard is able to spend time developing each character further as the series progresses.

I'm curious to see where the series goes and what new adventures Aveyard has planned for her ragtag group of heroes and their quest.

In all, I'm a huge fan of Aveyard and, though Realm Breaker was a bit slow (the action really picking up in the last hundred pages or so), I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

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I found the beginning slow and had to keep with it, I think I had the same issue with her last series. The world building is amazing, I just wish things would start happening a little quicker and without so much info.

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When the heroes have fallen, who will take up the sword? The tag line for Realm Breaker immediately got my attention, and it did not disappoint. Corayne an-Amarat finds out that she is the last of an ancient lineage, and the last hope the realm has before it is totally destroyed. She is joined by a collection of companions that all have their own strengths and weaknesses, and their own secrets. Victoria Aveyard does a fantastic job of putting together this story where the heroes are dead and the people left are trying their best to stop their world from being destroyed. Despite the vast number of characters involved in the story, we get to see many of them fully fleshed out and changing over the story. Part of this is the number of viewpoints we get. There are at least 5 different perspectives the story is told from throughout the book but it never feels jumpy or like we are missing things that make it hard to follow. And there were still so many twists that shocked me and made me more invested in the story. Aveyard may have done a fantastic job with Red Queen, but she has truly triumphed with Realm Breaker.

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Red Queen was such a good series, so of course I was extremely excited to get to read Realm Breaker! It did not disappoint! I loved every moment of it, and I absolutely recommend it to any fantasy fan, as well as those who loved her first series. I can’t wait to see where this goes!! So excited! Thank you so much for allowing me to have an early copy!

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I loved the Red Queen Series, so I was very anxious too get my hands on Miss Aveyards newest series. It was a little slow at first but once I dived deeper into it I found that same captivating imagery that was so effortlessly put together in her red queen series it was a pleasure to read and I cant wait too read the next.

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Realm Breaker has the makings of an Epic fantasy to rival Tolkien. In this story, a ragtag crew comes together with one goal, saving the fate of the Realm. There's a large cast of characters, but each one is beautifully flawed and so well developed, that you connect with each one on an emotional level. Corayne is the daughter of a pirate who contanstaly denies her hopes of an adventure. Coranyne's desire for something else really resonates with me as a reader and I love the pairing of her with Dom an immortal who literally is the last of his kind that cares about the fate of the world. Another favorite character is, Sorasa, an intriguing character who slowly reveals her secrets and loves to banter with Dom. Through this tale, more characters are introduced each one as just as oddly matched as the first three. If the variety of the characters are any indication, this book has a very diverse world. Aveyard did a phenonmenal job world building in this novel! This is a HUGE world. I refered back to the map several times. In the end, I was gripped until the very end, and am so excited to see where this epic journey will lead.

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I loved so much about this book. I loved LOVED the world building. The characters were well developed and easy to become invested in. I’m very curious how the second book will carry our characters forward. I’m definitely a character over plot type reader but this did both so well. Instant new fave. Well done, Victoria!

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The opening of the book is problematic and left a sour taste in my mouth. I have enjoyed the author’s previous works. But I did not appreciate her talking through the lens of a man of color and speaking for so many folks of different skin colors in the prologue as a white author. Left a sour taste in my mouth.

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This was an entertaining enough read, but the material felt derivative enough to me that the writing would have needed to do more to elevate it in order to make up for that than I think it ultimately proved able to do here. However, I suspect a lot of teens who liked the RED QUEEN series and other similar bestselling YA high fantasy epics (eg. Sarah Maas) will really enjoy REALM BREAKER and its sequels! Thank you so much to the publisher for approving me for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I very much enjoyed this story. I thought the Spindles as a way to travel between realms was very creative. Victoria Aveyard is a master at world building and creating complicated characters. You fall in love with the heroes and hate the villains. The story is one of adventure and intrigue; there are a lot of ups and downs and you never know which way the story will go. Realm Breaker keeps you on your toes the whole story.

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To be quite honest, this book was daunting. It is MASSIVE. As I started to read however, the words melted away and a new world formed behind my eyes; Victoria Aveyard is a master at high fantasy. This book is so different from anything else on the young adult shelves right now. The deceit, the immortality that isn't always so immortal, the secret missions, and diversity of these fantastical cultures meld together to become a beautiful story wrapped in an equally beautiful cover.
The only one downside to this novel was the sheer amount of names in the prologue of the book. It was overwhelming, to say the least, and forced me to slow down and map out the names in my head before continuing.
All in all, I'd highly recommend reading this book to anyone who loves fantasy, no matter the age. The Realm Breaker has no equal.

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I loved Red Queen, but I was skeptical with Realm Breaker because I couldn't finish the Red Queen series. I had the same issues with Realm Breaker. The story was wordy and I struggled to follow the many plot lines. Now, I did finish it and I will read the next one, I just found myself wishing we could focus on one character, one story line. I feel like that would have made the plot so much richer.

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Once anyone could travel from realm to realm -- between the more strange ones like the ice realms and fire realms to the more humanistic realm of Allward -- all thanks to the Spindles. Travel between realms, however, has not occurred for a long time since all the Spindles were closed. But Taristan, one of the Old Cor whose family has the ability to open the Spindles, along with Ronin, a sorcerer, set out to open enough Spindles to collapse the realm of Allward. In an effort to prevent this from happening, a group of strangers come together to escort seventeen year old Corayne, the only other heir in the Old Cor line, on a journey across the realm.

The central premise of this book is great, and sets up a series that will have enough meaningful conflict for a few books. There are so many characters in this sprawling world that there will be plenty for Aveyard to work with in books 2 and 3. While I'm not a fan of the main protagonist (Corayne) quite yet, I will say that Sorasa, Dom, Charlon, and Sigil definitely peak my interest for future books to come.

While also in the fantasy genre, this is a departure from Aveyard's "Red Queen" series, which was situated in a more familiar world with magic. "Realm Breaker" is more aligned with the "high fantasy" genre. I found it a bit too ambitious for the first book, and getting into the plot and conflict was clumsy in the exposition. The world building was unclear at times, and the number of shifts in the narrative frame were jarring. It took a long time to get through the first half of this book for me, but the end was pretty good!

My only other issue with this book was the "tropiness" of the main villains motivation. For something this dramatic (aka lets-open-a-bunch-of-spindles-so-this-realm-can-fold-in-on-itself), I felt like Taristan should have something other than being a neglected second son. Maybe Aveyard has something up her sleeve in book 2; there were a few hints that perhaps he's not as wholly evil as he'd appear to be at first glance.

Hoping for more answers and way more character development in book 2!

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This is wholly accessible fantasy for someone new to fantasy while still being rich enough to satisfy seasoned fantasy readers. Importantly, there is no romance here. Tiny hints, easily missed or ignored, not even enough to be considered something. The world building is rich and complex, as is the magic (I still have questions, but there's more of this to come), and the characters are all fully realized and interesting - even those who you meet only briefly as a reader.

This is good stuff. Definitely recommended for those who enjoy fantasy with strong world building and well-developed characters.

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As a huge fan of Victoria Aveyard I was really excited about this book. Being the first book in a new series, it does drag on a little and focuses more on world and character building.

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Aveyard is a master storyteller and world spinner. Her novel doesn't disappoint, from the first chapters I was transported to her world and could not set it down despite the copious amount of essays I needed to grade.

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Victoria Aveyard needs no introduction after her Red Queen series. She creates gorgeous fantasy worlds full of magic and mystery, and Realm Breaker is no exception. It follows a cast of characters that range from too-good-for-this-world to reluctant-to-do-the-right-thing to pure-evil-incarnate-who-wants-universal-domination. But even the bad guys have range, and you’ll find yourself intrigued by their story as much as the heroes’.

If high fantasy is your genre of choice, I can’t see any reason why you wouldn’t fall in love with this book. It’s as epic as it comes, spanning several kingdoms and countries. There are a handful of main players, and plenty of other characters to pique your interest. If you like assassins, warriors, pirates, queens, monsters, or wizards, then you’ll definitely find something here.

Realm Breaker sets up a larger world and a bigger overall arc that we’ll explore in future books. By the end of this first one, you’ll undoubtedly be ready to pick up the next to see what happens to Corayne, Dom, Sorasa, and the others.

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