Cover Image: Realm Breaker

Realm Breaker

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Member Reviews

Victoria Aveyard can seriously do no wrong. Realm Breaker delivers another new world of diverse characters, witty banter, and oh-my-god-I-did-not-see-that-coming plot twists. This is the kind of book you devour in one sitting and complain when someone tries to diver your attention away.

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Sigh. I…did not enjoy this book at all. It was a drag to get through, and 567 pages takes a long time to get through when you’re dragging through it.

I can only liken the narrative to skim milk. Good enough to hydrate in a pinch, but not fortifying enough to fill or use to take with some ibuprofen, which I needed to get through the book.

I feel this book had an overabundant amount of filler between the two or three action sequences that progressed the plot along at any measure of pace. The characters were thrown together haphazardly, didn’t mesh well together at all, and there was no common ground among them except to “save the realm” and keep the simpering sword wielder from dying.

The last 100 pages were more compelling than the first 463 ahead of it; more character interaction, unit cohesion, plot discoveries, and narrative twists (but not really) to make the reader leave the journey with a rousing feeling of forgetfulness for the drag the whole first 4/5 of the book put him or her through. I find that an unacceptable trait in a “bestseller.” Then again, who says bestsellers are good stories? They’re just good sellers.

My thanks to NetGalley for the albeit late approved ARC, (which I requested months before the release date and could not leave a review for until after the release date, which I usually never do because it's unprofessional) for which I give my own opinion.

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There are ALOT of characters, places and individual stories in this book. My advice, just take them all in and they will eventually come together and make sense, don’t fight the goodness of the story! As usual Victoria Aveyard transports her readers to a magical realm of wizards, sea creatures and spindles pried open by an evil force. Corayne years for a life beyond the one she knows, hemmed in by her pirate mother who gets to have all the adventures. When an immortal elder and an assassin arrive and offer her a change she jumps at the chance, not really prepared for what is to come as they race to save the Ward. As their ragtag group of 7 travels towards the Spindles they find themselves lashed together by duty, honor and possibly friendship. Clearly this book is the beginning of another epic series by Victoria Aveyard!

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Victoria Aveyard does what she does best, takes the reader on one crazy adventure and leaves them wanted to go on the next one. This book is so full of characters, countries, and even new realms that it took me quite a while to remember what name was a character and what was a place. Aveyard places the most random assortment of people together to save the world from those pesky villains. However, this book is long, kinda slow, and it really took me a while to wrap my head around what I was really reading and what was happening as there are so many POV's.

Thank you to NetGalley and publisher for an eARC of this book in return for an honest review.

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I didn’t know what to expect going into Realm Breaker, as I’m probably the only person in my friend group and possibly in the world who hasn’t read Victoria Aveyard before – a mistake I will soon remedy, I promise – but I can say this: If you like fantasy, this is the book for you. And I’m not even quantifying that. Fantasy lovers in general are sure to find something to enjoy in the new series from the author of Red Queen.

As a reader, I prefer to stick more with low fantasy than high fantasy, which means that this might have been a book I overlooked if I hadn’t signed up to review it. My preference is always slanted towards more character-driven books, and I have even been known to forgive plot issues if the characters are compelling enough for me.

There are no plot issues to forgive in Realm Breaker, a very-well plotted book that nonetheless manages to strike the rare balance of also gifting us with compelling characters. From Corayne an-Amarat, our heroine, to the band of misfits that end up gathering around her, there’s bound to be at least one character that doesn’t just interest you, but touches you. This is a particularly hard thing to do when there are so many characters in a book, and even harder to do while establishing compelling dynamics between those characters. And yet here we are.

For someone who isn’t a typical high fantasy reader, this might seem like a long book, and it does take a little bit to get into it if you’re not truly used to the genre, but the plot is interesting enough to take you to where the characters take over, and then, when the characters seem like they need more to totally hook you, the dynamics between those characters take over, and you are absolutely gone. You can’t stop reading.

The dynamics, in particular, are super interesting, because as much as we all love a good team-as-family story, the best ones don’t truly start out that way, and this one really doesn’t. Instead you have a very confusing mix of characters who should be enemies – and in some cases remain so – but need to be allies, and who don’t actually get along or like each other that much. In fact, I’d even argue that these people mostly don’t care about saving the world, and they certainly don’t care about saving each other. All their care is about what’s best for them.

Our main character, Corayne, in particular, is set up not as someone eager to save the world, but as someone eager to see the world, to get away. We can all relate to parents being overprotective, and Corayne’s mother is that, but she’s also a hypocrite, considering she’s basically a pirate but her daughter needs to stay on land, and safe. “Safe” being a very relative term considering the second she wanders out alone she’s met with an grumpy immortal who was friends with the father she never knew, and who needs her, of all people, to save the realm.

Which, in the end, speaks to what makes this book exceptional. For every twist it delivers, for every trope it turns on its head, it truly takes you on a journey where you, for a moment or five, believe that you know what’s coming. You’ve seen a character like this one before, you know the beats. You understand them. And yet you never truly do, not the way you think so. The author is always one step ahead, which is always a delightful thing to realize in the middle of a book.

The crew of misfits at the center of this book doesn’t always make the right decisions. They don’t always have the best intentions. And there are times when you might want to throw a book at a wall, that’s how silly some of the decisions they make seem. But you never want to stop engaging with them, you never want to leave them to their own devices. Even when you’re mad, you’re invested. You’re seeing this thing through to the end.

We all have a favorite from this ragtag group, of course, and I will admit to having a little bit of a soft spot for the morally grey queen, and the stoic and yet actually mostly soft character. But everyone gets a moment to shine, or at least a moment to make you question your allegiance to just one character. It isn’t possible to like them all the best, but there are times where you might feel like you do.

I particularly want to take a moment to talk about worldbuilding, which isn’t always something that takes me out of a book, but it ends up being someone that can bring me into a world, make me invest more. The level of thought and care put into the worldbuilding in this book is exceptional and Allward feels like a real place, even if you might not recognize how it looks.

But if there’s one reason to give this book a try, it’s this one: the book is fun. Not light, not easy, no, but fun. And we could all use a fun book that makes us think a little, couldn’t we? And if that’s not enough, let me leave you with this quote, mostly because it hasn’t left me since I first read it. Tell me you don’t want to try the book after it:


When is the next one coming? Because if the answer isn’t tomorrow, then the wait is already too long for me to bear.

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This one was one of my most anticipated releases of the year. I love the Red Queen series and mainly for the characters. I did really enjoy this book but I feel like it fell a little flat for me? I will definitely continue the series and I feel like my opinion will change once I see how this book set up the rest of the series. I just feel like the pacing was a little slow for me. I liked all the characters but I feel like I barely got to connect with them despite it being a long book. I do really look forward to book two though!

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I liked this more than I thought I would based on the Red Queen series by Aveyard. This one has more of my favorite fantasy elements. I hope the momentum for the series can keep going.

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If you're reading REALM BREAKER because you're a huge fan of RED QUEEN, I promise you won't be disappointed. A diverse cast, twists, turns, betrayals, magic - everything we've come to love and (whether she wants us to or not) expect from the amazing Aveyard. I would have picked up this book no matter what, but hearing Nic Stone also rave above it just moved it from 2 to 1 in my TBR pile, and I suggest you make the same move.

The basic premise is a world on the brink of collapse as evil Taristan, of old Cor blood, rips Spindles open (I think of these like wormholes) in a furious attempt to basically get revenge on the world because his parents loved his twin brother more. Now, that might feel like oversimplification, and it probably is, but that's how it felt to me. An angry little kid throwing a tantrum while playing a ruthless, cold, conniving grown man (because he's 33 even if he doesn't always act like it). In perfect Aveyard form, she sets him up to be the villain quite vividly to the point where we are distracted from the other villains who are slowly creeping into the story. This is one of the beautiful ways she twists the knife into our hearts.

There's no one I loved more in this novel than Andry, the sweet, loyal squire who never seems to get the respect he deserves. He's just good, to his heart, and it feels cliche but good guys never win. His love for his sick mother will melt any mother's heart, too. He's a much needed presence in the book and offsets some of the cruelty and just bad-guy-ness of the other characters.

I can't say enough great things about this book - the characters are diverse and fully formed with clearly different lives, as if Aveyard knows each of them personally and extensively. The story is unique but has a few of the Game of Thrones elements that made me fall in love with that series (not the X-rated stuff, just the manipulation and betrayals, don't get confused). If there was one thing that I could change, and I'm really searching here, is that sometimes the names confused me - especially at first. They are long and unlike anything I've heard before, which is probably a good thing. We need new things. But sometimes I was stuck having to go back to previous chapters to try to figure out who was who (especially among the elders). Since I didn't really know how to say the names aloud, it made it tough throughout. I think if I'd done the audiobook, it'd have been a different story. I don't think the story suffers from this one single bit, it's just a personal preference to be able to track/follow characters a bit more easily, especially when the story is told from multiple viewpoints.

Just do yourself a favor and pick this book up, ya spindlerotten scoundrel. =)

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Very slow start. Half the time I was confused as to who was who. I felt like the characters didn't have motivation in their task. It did have a lot of promise and I liked the story.

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I had a really difficult time getting invested into this book. There were too many characters thrown at me from the beginning. It got better as I went on, but wasn't exactly what I was expecting. Red Queen is one of my favorite series and I was so excited for this new adventure from Victoria Aveyard but I didn't really find what I was looking for in it. With that being said, I'm sure that some of my students will enjoy it, just a different demographic than those that love Red Queen. It still has a place in my library.

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Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins for the advance Kindle copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 for this highly anticipated new release. It actually came out this past Tuesday, but it’s a DOOZY at almost 600 pages, so I’m a little late here. In an ancient realm, Corayne, whose mother is a pirate and father is unknown to her, discovers that she is the last of a lineage that can save the world from destruction. No big deal. With several others who have stakes in this - an immortal, a sorceress, a bounty hunter, a squire, and a forger - she stands against an army, ready to defend her lineage and win. The story is told in several voices and leaves it open for a sequel. Highly recommended for fantasy fans in grades 8+.

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The blurb in Realm Breaker suggests the question of the story is “When the heroes have fallen, who will take up the sword?” But the heroes didn’t fall—not the way we think of heroes falling. There was no drawn-out quest for those poor souls (that readers see, anyway), no epic battle. There were just knights who fought, knights who lost. No, the question Realm Breaker poses is not who will fight after the heroes die; it’s who can be a hero, who counts as a hero, and what the best thing to do is when all options lead to death.

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I am a huge fan of high fantasy and quest fantasy stories and Realm Breaker does not disappoint. The story started out a little slow, but as this is the first book in a series that is to be expected as the story is set up and the background information is presented. However, once the story picked up it was difficult to put the book down. The story was well thought out and the characters are well written. The only downside to the story is having to wait for the next story to come out. I can't wait! I would highly recommend this book to anyone that is a fan of these fantasy genres!

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In this book, the first in a series, Aveyard tells the beginning of a story where the world is in the process of falling apart, and 7 companions must race to save it. A number of fantasy tropes appear, most importanly a “chosen one” who is important because of her “blood” and a magic weapon. The many characters were unique and mostly fleshed out, but there were far too many points of view, which made it hard to get invested in the quest. It was also difficult to get invested because it wasn’t clear why this was happening (i.e. the villain’s motivations), what would happen if they did (what is What Waits?), or the plan to stop it (so difficult to judge success or failure at each step).

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Wow! This is the story everyone should be reading this spring and summer. It has a wide variety of characters and great fantasy tropes. I enjoyed how the chapters were written with the different characters' perspectives. The story is very plot driven with all of the characters working for a greater purpose. I would recommend this to anyone looking for an adventurous fantasy novel.

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The start of a trilogy that I will be counting down the days for book 2 and 3! Seriously, pirates, monsters, magic, immortals, and a mission to stop the total destruction of life as they know it! Just need to fan art to start coming out to tide me over :)

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The beginning was a bit jarring. The characters, while great, took some getting use to. I feel like it might be better suited for audio.

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This book!! Victoria Aveyard has improved drastically from her original series, Red Queen and if you weren’t particularly fond of her then I implore you to give Realm Breaker a shot. Heavy on the world building. Aveyard has created Allward, a realm linked to so many others through the dormant and forgotten Spindles. There’s still blood in the land that remembers, although most go on about their lives having never experienced it. Until a great evil, What Waits, finds himself a new champion to slay the heroes of old and open the spindles up to wreck havoc on the world and take over. This adventure gathers new heroes, a very rag tag bunch of criminals, a squire, an immortal, and most importantly a pirates daughter with adventure coursing through her veins.
I’ll also mention that I haven’t had a book that I’ve been unable to predict in a very long time, and this one did just that. You’ll see when you read it exactly what this new series has in store!!
Personally, the only gripe I had with it was that it’s a very slow-paced introduction. Although there are action scenes every now and again, it focuses on character building and the heroes trying to begin their own adventure with no help from others. That doesn’t bump it down a star though, and I fully recommend it if you’re able to make it through until it picks up around halfway through. I’m excited to read the next in the series AND what action surely awaits!

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Despite the hype surrounding it, I will admit that I was not a fan of Red Queen. I even read it twice to make sure. So I had rather low expectations when going into this book. But man! It was fun. I loved the characters, the fast pace, and the world building. I liked that there was a hint of a romance (slow burn) but nothing was rushed. Honestly, this read like a prologue into the rest of the series...and I'm okay with that. This is a solid start and I can't wait for her to continue!

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It's been a while since I posted because this behemoth of a book is 576 pages! I absolutely loved Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen series. It was absolutely incredibly (so if you haven't read it, go find it now!) I was eager to see what Aveyard has planned for her new, completely unrelated novel and Realm Breaker certainly didn't disappoint.

Corayne is seemingly a normal girl who lives in a world where her mother is a fierce and feared pirate. No big deal, right? That is until one day when she is approached by an Elder, someone who is immortal, who claims that she just might be the secret to saving the world from being completely destroyed. It seems there is a dark and powerful force (referred to as "What Waits") that wants to simply turn every realm to ash. It is up to Corayne and this Elder to recruit a misfit team together to somehow save the world.

The differences in the characters and how they interact is probably the best feature of this story. You will think they don't like each other one minute and then they are saving each other the next! Their witty banter will keep you wanting more.

One last reason to read this: there just might be an encounter or two with a Kraken!

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