Cover Image: Realm Breaker

Realm Breaker

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The book starts off with an epic fantasy battle, which is usually reserved for the end of a fantasy novel. Andry Trelland is a squire who witnesses the battle and must bring word of the event to his queen. Queen Erida of Galland is also one of the book's many narrators. Her story begins as she struggles with how to use the information the squire has brought to her and thwarts her council's attempts to find her a husband.

Corayne an-Amarat lives on an out-of-the-way island and spends her days gathering information for her pirate/smuggler mother. She longs to go out on her mother's ship but her mother adamantly refuses. Then two strangers arrive who offer her a way off of the island, but her price is that she must save the world.

Sorasa Sarn is an assassin who is recruited by one of the mysterious Elders, immortal beings trapped in this world when the Spindles broke and travel to other worlds became impossible. They join Corayne and Andry and pick up a witch, a forger, and a bounty hunter on their journey.

The team of seven is the only force that stands between the invincible Taristan and his mission to conquer all worlds and watch them burn. Taristan recruits some formidable allies that make the company's mission to stop them seem insurmountable. The plot is filled with twists and treachery, making the reader wonder if these companions will ever be able to save the world.

The many narrators are common in epic fantasy novels but may deter readers who aren't used to keeping track of so many storylines. Each character is interesting which makes the switches between stories welcome instead of a trial. Victoria Aveyard is good at switching characters when the action begins, so a reader is left on the edge of their seat through the next chapter.

Fantasy, especially YA fantasy, was inundated with dystopian novels with strong female leads after the success of The Hunger Games and Divergent. I was still reading these novels, but they all began to run together after reading so many similar series. This novel is the beginning of a series rooted in classic epic fantasy like The Wheel of Time with a diverse cast of characters.

In many ways, this book outperforms Aveyard's previous Red Queen and its series. Both are enjoyable, but this one truly shines. Realm Breaker is a book not just to simply enjoy, but to devour.

Recommended for all fans of epic fantasy or YA fantasy.
Was this review helpful?
Overall, I think this was a solid book, but it really took me a while to actually get into. 

From the first page up until the 25% mark,  I felt like I had no clue what was going on. There was talk of spindles, weapons, and a whole lot of action, but not a lot of "grounding." I'm not sure if that's even the best word. It felt like I was thrown right into the middle of the book, instead of being introduced to the world and characters more organically/slowly. Perhaps that was because this is an arc, but I'm curious to know if other readers felt the same. 

There was a lack of context for things and characters that left me utterly confused. It definitely slowed down my reading process as the entire time I was sitting there thinking, "what in the world is going on? Who are these people, why are they important, what's even happening???" 

Again, this remedied itself after 1/4 of the way through the book, but it definitely colored how I read everything else. I mean, when you have no context, how are you supposed to understand who these characters are or why they're important? 

Conceptually, the book is good, but I think the plotting/writing needed a little more work.
Was this review helpful?
"But I am a queen, not a king. I must be careful in what I say, and what weapons I give my enemies. I will not give anyone cause to call me weak-minded or mad." ~ "Realm Breaker"

This novel is everything I enjoy in a book: medieval atmosphere, adventurous knights, strong female characters, and surprising plot twists. Victoria Aveyard has successfully created the formula for the perfect book - and has executed it well! The reader becomes immediately invested in the personal journey of each of these characters, both heroes and villains. I love that it jumps straight into a battle scene, immediately giving the reader a sense of the pacing of the book.

This is an ideal read for fans of "Game of Thrones," "Outlander" and the "Fable" duology. There are pirates, knights, queens, and assassins, so a little bit of something for every kind of fantasy reader. This is the first book in a new fantasy series, so it took me a few chapters to get into the story. At first, there is a lot going on, but Aveyard makes the motivations and choices of the characters make sense early on. 

I anticipate that this is one of those series that will improve as more books are published because, at the conclusion of this book, I was left with way too many questions. For example, while the heroes are fleshed out, Erida and Taristan's relationship hasn't really developed yet. Erida is my favorite character - she's so badass, witty, and even though I think she's making the wrong decisions, I know it's for the right reasons. I felt her reasons for getting married to who she married were too unclear, so I really want her character to be explored in the sequel. All in all, I am dying to read this book's sequel!
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC of this novel. 4/5 stars.

Okay, I was TOTALLY looking forward to this this year. I didn’t like her Red Queen series, but I was excited for the concept of this with the ragtag band all getting together to save the world. The concept and the premise? AMAZING. The pacing? SLOW. Like, I knew this was a part of the series that’s coming, but the first 80% of the book was basically just world and plot building for the rest of the series. By the time the action - happened - the book ended in a cliff hanger.

I love all of the ragtag band, and they all bring something unique. This really is a mosh pit of fantasy tropes and realms, but with an ease of being able to combine cultures and what not without it being overbearing.

The MULTIPLE POVs though were EXHAUSTING to read and navigate. I really think it’s more 3.5/5 due to just how SLOW it was, but the world is beautifully crafted for the rest of the series.
Was this review helpful?
Aveyard does a remarkable job developing this epic fantasy thriller. In this case, we are taken to the world of Allward, which hasn't seen true magic in quite some time. Aveyard's biography notes that she originally studied screenwriting and it's very clear in her writing style. She shines when it comes to visualizing the big battle sequences that take place. The narrative thread can get lost at moments once a battle starts. Yet, she's smart in grounding the story moments with a strong protagonist, Corayne. As is typical in many YA dystopian novels, she's a young woman who is severely underestimated. Yet, she does hold some surprises and a supporting cast that is anything but expected. A sequel feels inevitable by the end, making this a strong first entry.
Was this review helpful?
Victoria Aveyard for me is one of those authors whose novels just suck you in and make you beg for the sequel at the end. It's like a movie on the page right before your eyes. She hits again with Realm Breaker. The female protagonist is mildly like Rey in Star Wars. Fun to get to know, flawed, and such a great read. Check this one out!
Was this review helpful?
Realm Breaker is a strong start to a new series by Victoria Aveyard. It is an action-packed adventure featuring a rag tag group of characters on a quest to save the world. In this novel, Aveyard turns tropes on their heads and is not afraid to throw a sucker punch of a plot twist your way. I cannot wait to see where this series goes!
Was this review helpful?
An epic fantasy for fans of The Lord of the Rings and Throne of Glass, Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard takes readers on an action-packed journey across land and sea in search of the holes between realms. It will be up to a small, rag-tag group to close the tears, or watch the realms crumble around them. 

Corayne has always dreamt of the sea, of seeking the horizon. But when an immortal and an assassin arrive on her heels, tell her rifts are being torn between realms, and that her blood makes her the only one who can close those tears? Corayne thinks maybe she’s content where she is after all. Seventeen year olds saving the realm is the stuff of stories, not Corayne’s boring life. But embark on a journey she does, and along the way Corayne will befriend new allies and encounter new enemies from across the realms. She might have started off on this journey because of her past, but if Corayne wants a future she will have to fight to save the realm - or watch it fall around her. 

There are not enough platitudes for Realm Breaker. This story is epic, hands down, and will grab you, captivate you, and leave you yearning for more. Victoria Aveyard has created a fantastic - and fantastically huge - new land for readers to explore, with vivid details, unique characters, and an unbelievable plot. Since Aveyard is introducing readers to a new world, Realm Breaker starts off with some exposition and world building. The action quickly picks up, though, and soon the reader is dodging capture, eavesdropping, and fighting right alongside our band of heroes. The characters in Realm Breaker are diverse, coming from all over the realm with all kinds of backgrounds and statuses. It’s clear from the very first chapter that Aveyard isn’t here to write another typical fantasy adventure. No longer is the world being saved by white men and old wizards; readers can dive into a world where women are worldly and the old guy makes mistakes while acknowledging his feelings for the first time. Aveyard has written a new type of epic fantasy where it’s okay for girls to be strong, brave, and curious, and boys can be supportive leaders and followers. Aveyard’s writing will pull you into the story, and it won’t take long before the reader is off to save the realm right alongside Corayne. 

Realm Breaker is a magical, epic adventure that is fantasy at its finest. Fans of Victoria Aveyard will love exploring her new world, and new readers will find a new favorite author in Aveyard.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you for giving me the chance to read this, but I actually was granted the ARC through Edelweiss and classified it as a 'did not finish'. I read the first chapter and couldn't get into the story. Red Queen was amazing and Victoria Aveyard is talented, but I couldn't connect to the writing style and characters. I also struggled because the book was in third person. I didn't care to read about the knights at the beginning and after realizing this was a long book that I wasn't clicking with, I decided to set it aside.
Was this review helpful?
There were so many things to love about Realm Breaker; the characters, the settings, the sass!
I absolutely loved the Red Queen series, and I know that it's sometimes scary for both reader and author when the author comes out with a brand new series, but Victoria Aveyard did not disappoint. Told in multiple perspectives I was able to get new information with each chapter.
There's a lot that I can't get into without spoiling but the characters were by far my favorite thing out of this book. Not only the way that our main group interacted with each other but also the villain!
*slight spoiler*

I know I'm not the first to say that I loved Maven from the RQ series and this book has the dark power couple that we wanted from RQ.

** end slight spoiler**
Corayne was a heroine literally thrown into this magical quest and there were so many moments when she responded the way that more heroines should act. She knew of the weight on her shoulders but she wasn't constantly taking everything onto herself because she knew that out of everyone in the group she was not the leader, she was not the strongest, she did not have to lead a rebellion - she was needed, she was important but she wasn't tragic. The decisions that were made were made as a group and that was worth everything to see. It's why I think this book was so fantastic because every character brought something to the team. They each had their specialization so it never seemed like there were just people on the quest simply to be on the quest.
There were multiple times throughout the book that I had to reread because I simply couldn't believe that something happened - Victoria Aveyard loves a twist, loves a betrayal, and it definitely showed in this book.
The ending wasn't so much of a cliffhanger as it was a transition. While I'm upset that I not only have to wait for the release of Realm Breaker but now its sequel, in addition, the ending made me slowly place the book down and whisper "okay then, that happened."
Realm Breaker is one of my new favorite series and I cannot wait for everyone to read it.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book from the beginning to end. The prologue hooked me and definitely made me want to keep reading. I loved all the characters and watching them develop throughout the story. I cannot wait to follow this series.
Was this review helpful?
Realm Breaker is the modern high fantasy book of my dreams. It is easily my favorite book of the year thus far. Aveyard, as with the Red Queen series, is a wizard when it comes to world-building and descriptions. As with her previous series, it was easy to get lost in enjoying her new world and fall in love with the characters. It is not often that I like every single character in a book. In this series, I love each and every one of them. They are all uniquely wonderful in their own special ways. This book contains political intrigue, a chosen one, and a band of misfits joined to save the world. As the first book in a series, it was moderate passing and plenty of action. Chapters are written in the third person but each follows a separate character's journey. This book is appropriate for middle to older YA readers as it has some violence and gore.
Was this review helpful?

Let me start by saying that I thought the Red Queen was one of the more successful completed YA series post Hunger Games, it was very good. 

I am less enthusiastic about this new offering. High fantasy is not my favorite genre so that may have something to do with my experience. Realm Breaker has a ton of characters and places introduced in rapid secession that are hard to get to know or tell apart. But again that seems to be common in the genre. 

While I was interested in the outcome of the plot, it was bogged down by too much detailed description that failed to advance the story. This took me far longer to read than normal. 

I thought the Queen Erada storyline was by far the most interesting and original part of the book so hopefully she features more heavily in the sequel.
Was this review helpful?
I read up to page 33 of this book and had to stop. I felt so lost while reading  this and it reminded me way to much of game and thrones. The author throws you into this world without really doing any world building and it was extremely jarring. I felt like I missed a book and because of that I was unable to finish this book. If I could give this 0 stars right now I would, because to me it wasnt worth the read and felt like a rip off of game of thrones.
Was this review helpful?
Victoria Aveyard takes us on a new adventure in Realm Breaker. This book covers a lot of bases, it pretty much has it all! Swashbuckling Ship Fights, an Undead Army, Immortals, Knights, Assassins, Bounty Hunters, Witches/Wizards, and Royal Lineages. This included a lot of really fun and fresh takes on several Fantasy tropes, and I loved seeing the evolution in Aveyard's writing since Red Queen. Come meet Corayne an-Amarat as she realizes her destiny and puts together her world-saving crew. There is whit, angst, and snark galore as characters begrudgingly realize they have morals (or don't). Who doesn't love a good villain? (Seriously, I can't wait to fangirl over the villain with you all soon!)
Was this review helpful?
Loved the plot of this book, but what really made it great was the relationship between the characters.
Was this review helpful?
Dare I say I enjoyed Realm Breaker more than Red Queen?! Well yes I did. Realm Breaker does not disappoint. It is filled with Lord of the Rings and Game of thrones type vibes. This is an adventure which follows an unlikely cast of comrades who set out to save their realm from evil. With a large cast of interesting characters and action packed adventure and I can not wait to read the rest of the series.
Was this review helpful?
I did not finish. I’m an avid fantasy reader and I just could not get into this book. I felt that too many characters were introduced in the beginning and it made it hard for me to cafe about any of them. The pirates daughter is the only one that stood out.
Was this review helpful?
This book was absolutely fantastic! Once I started reading, I didn't want to put it down. Aveyard takes the familiar territory of a Tolkien-style fantasy epic and completely flips it and revamps it for the modern day, creating a story and characters that I immediately fell in love with. Of everything that I loved about this story, one of my favorite parts was the bits of realism that grounded the characters. Our ageless, powerful Elder is every bit as out-of-touch as someone who barely interacts with the modern world should be, and our protagonist, who's never held a sword before, is practically dwarfed by the blade she inherited from her father. Everyone feels real in a way that is often overlooked in fantasy. Even with these bits of reality though, we are still treated to a fantasy epic, one that I cannot wait to read more of.
Was this review helpful?
Pirates, assassins, and an unlikely group of rag-tag allies.
This book took me awhile to get into.  The world building felt loose for awhile and many things were left unexplained for a bit.  Eventually I felt Aveyard hit her stride in telling this story, and I was hooked after that.  I enjoyed watching these characters grow over the course of this book, as they got to know each other and worked towards a common goal.
Was this review helpful?