Cover Image: A Broken Blade

A Broken Blade

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Member Reviews

I'm convinced that this book has everything I've ever wanted in a book: enemies to lovers, one bed at an inn, characters with interesting backstories, amazing plot lines, and superb world-building. I had so much trouble putting it down - even though I had to with moving and work sometimes :( - but this was such a well-written fantasy book. I honestly felt a bit sad upon finishing it, as it's the first in a series, and I don't know when the next book will be released.

I don't want to give too much away, but this book had twists and turns that I did NOT see coming. The perfect amount of suspense and reveal led to a tense but enjoyable reading experience. I loved the characters' chemistry with each other, and the slow burn of it all. The supporting characters were intriguing in their own right as well, perfectly balancing the group out. I seriously need the next book ASAP with the way this one ended. Definitely a 5 star read for me!
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Thank you to NetGalley for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

This book was a solid start to a new series and a debut novel. It had me hooked from the first chapter and I’m a sucker for any book with an assassin as the main character. Keera is an assassin for the King known as the King’s Blade and she is known as the deadliest of the Halflings. Keera is a badass morally grey character and has her own demons that she deals with as the King’s Blade. As the King’s Blade, Keera is tasked with hunting down the one known as the Shadow who is threatening the Crown. 

I don’t want to give away any more of the plot because I don’t want to spoil it for you. I will say that I loved the variety characters in this book.
- Slow burn
- Enemies to lovers
- Forced proximity
- One-bed trope
- Found family
- Political intrigue

I’m looking forward to book 2 and can’t wait to see where this story goes!
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Really enjoyed this one for all of these reasons:

- slow burn enemies to lovers
- political intrigue
- morally grey MC
- Found family

All of the above always tick my boxes with a fantasy book! I absolutely loved Keera and have grown an emotional attachment to her. I loved her ruthlessness and sarcasm, but also she had this war of emotions going on inside as well with the internal struggles she is facing. It was great to have snippets of Keera's past interlaced through the story, it was a great way to learn more about her. 

The world building and other characters were great, although that betrayal stung. I liked that heavier themes were explored in this book, in a really good way. I also enjoyed how much action there was and all the plot twists along the way. Book 2 is out like tomorrow, right?
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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.
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<b> <I> Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a free copy of A Broken Blade (The Halfling Saga#1) by Melissa Blair in exchange for an honest review. All of the following opinions are formulated on my own. Any quotes in this review should be cross-referenced with the final copy for any possible edits.</I> </b>

<b> Overall rating: </b> 4 out of 5 stars

<b> Favorite quote(s) </b>
“Shadows were largest just before sunset, but lost their power when night inevitably fell. For Shadows don't exist in the dark.”

<b> My favorite elements: </b> I was on Booktok when everyone was throwing around the title "A Broken Blade". I never really heard what the story was about. I did find the marketing very intriguing for an indie author and I think it is smart that someone snapped up this story for traditional publishing. The complex writing of this debut is astonishing and feels as if it was crafted by a seasoned published writer. The story definitely gives me Throne of Glass vibes. I would say the MC is a smidge more on the morally gray side. 

<b> My criticisms: </b> I'm absolutely not a fan of the love interest and the end is confusing. This can always be pulled together in the next book. I don't think that it was particularly groundbreaking, and it doesn't have to be for a debut. I enjoyed it even though it felt forgettable. Let's be honest, readers forget the plots of 80% of the books they read in their favorite genre. 

<b> If you liked the following, you will probably like this book: </b>
<I>-Throne of Glass
- Bow Before the Elf Queen
-  A Violet Made of Thorns </I>

<b> Will I finish the series? </b> Yes, I intend to. Hopefully, I will see the next one floating around on social media and remember to add it to my TBR.

 <b> Does it deserves the hype?: </b> I would say it is a promising debut and yes, we should watch this author as she writer her upcoming books/series.
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Thank you Netgalley for sending me an ARC of this book!

4.5/5 Stars

This book right out of the gate had me enraptured within the world, from the very beginning I had the world envisioned right away. For someone who is a visual reader, this was amazing as I was captivated right into the world within the first chapter. I did find the first few chapters having a little slow paced, but after I felt like I was flying through the rest of the book. There are so many things I enjoyed about this book, the diverse range of characters, the world building, the magic, and more.

This book was quite an adventure! The only reason this book did not get 5 starts is I wish it was a little quicker paced at the beginning. Overall, I love this book by Melissa and cannot wait to jump back into this world with the second book! If you are a fan of The Shadows Between Us or Throne of Glass, then pick up this book!
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This book was such a comfort read for me. I grew up reading nothing but YA fantasy and after having read so much else lately this one just felt like a return to the sort of fantasy books I grew up loving. The book is not YA, but in it we find a lot of the same sort of elements and tropes I love about the genre. Keera is a reluctant assassin for a king who is responsible for having stolen the land of her people. When she is tasked with hunting down a mysterious figure called The Shadow, she takes the opportunity to try and bring down the king, and along the way discovers a found family. Keera is a morally grey, flawed MC, dealing with alcoholism and the ramifications of working as an assassin for a wicked king. Enemies to lovers is of course my favorite romance trope and the chemistry and build up in this book was perfect. The story is a great blend of action, romance, and political intrigue and I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel. If you like Sara J Maas’ Throne of Glass series I think you’ll want to pick this book up!
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Disclaimer: I received this finished copy and e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: A Broken Blade

Author: Melissa Blair

Book Series: The Halfling Saga Book 1

Rating: 5/5

Spice: 2/5

Diversity: Sapphic couple mentioned, Bisexual MC

Recommended For...: fantasy, LGBT, new adult, romance

Publication Date: August 2, 2022

Genre: Fantasy

Age Relevance: 18+ (racism, violence, gore, alcohol consumption, death, war, sexual assault, colonizing, “blood purity”, cutting, slavery, cursing, romance, alcohol addiction, withdrawal, human trafficking, sexual content)

Explanation of Above: The book has a running theme and allusion to racism and discusses things like colonizing, “blood purity”, slavery, and human trafficking based on ones birth. There is a lot of violence, war, death, and gore in this book, specifically blood, corpses, and vomiting. Alcohol is consumed by the MC and other characters, but the MC is suffering from alcohol addiction and goes through withdrawal in the book. Sexual assault is alluded to but not specifically mentioned or shown. Cutting, specifically cutting names of people the MC murders onto her skin, is shown in the book. There is some cursing. There is some romance and some sexual content with scenes/body parts described in detail.

Publisher: Union Square Co

Pages: 431

Synopsis: 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.

Review: I really liked this book! I thought it did so well talking about real life atrocities, such as Indian Boarding Schools, slavery and running away to freedom, and the creation of cops to stop run away slaves. The book focused a lot on the political/humanitarian side of the issues, a lot like Ash Princess, and it did well with the enemies to lovers romance (and there’s even a one bed trope!). Overall, I felt like the character development was well done and the world building was great. The book is very well written and I can’t wait for book 2!

However, I did have issues with the slow pacing of the book overall and I felt like the action build up was super slow as well. There were some time skips as well that I felt didn’t help further the plot. But my biggest issue is that I don’t understand why this book is shelved as young adult fantasy. The MC is 68 years old in the book and there are some graphic sex scenes in the book. There’s also a character in the book who is a teen that the MC sees as a child, which is a great indication of this not being a YA book. While the book could definitely be passed off as NA because the MC says that due to her slow aging, I don’t agree with the YA shelving because it contain NA/adult themes rather than YA.

Verdict: It was great! Highly recommend!
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I enjoyed the book so far…the plot is interesting and the world building isn’t too overwhelming. I saw this book on TikTok and didn’t do too much research on it…unfortunately I had to stop because the SH triggered me. (I saw another review about this just now but I didn’t see/check trigger warning beforehand, which is totally my own fault) 
I‘m very intrigued though, so I will probably pick it up again and maybe skip certain parts.
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A few centuries ago, in the Kingdom of Elverath King Aemon decreed that there are only two species, mortals and dark fae. Halflings and elves they were either destroyed or owned by the crown. 

A Broken Blade is the first book of a new high fantasy saga, some of the tropes are: 
• Morally grey characters
• The Evil Overlord
• Political Intrigue
• Enemies to lovers

Keera is the blade of the kingdom and has been for the last few decades, her work is to  find Halflings and kill them, she a complex character that feels guilty about her work and resorts in drinking to mitigate the guilt. You will root for Keera, even if you haven't lived her experiences, you will understand her and want support her cause, I enjoy her character development. 

There is a lot of action, blade scenes (love it) Keera will join a group of diverse characters for the fall of the king and and his horrible government. They are great characters,  morally grey too, sarcastic and loyal.
There is romance too, specifically Enemies to lovers, the tension here is 🔥,  my favorite part is the communication part, the trust in each other. 

Is a good debut, I was hooked, it’s fast paced, the world building is interesting, I want to know more about the differences between the species and their magic. Also, the story touches many topics like alcoholism, self harm, violence, and colonialism. 

I don't know how many books there will be but this ends in cliffhanger, I need info about the second book ASAP. If you like books like throne of glass or six crowns I think you will enjoy this.
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I enjoyed what I was able to read so far. The characters and worldbuilding was certainly interesting. I won't be able to finish this book however as I got triggered too badly by the self harm.
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I received this book as an ARC. 

I didn't get a chance to read this when it originally released so I am very grateful I got to receive this ARC and read it. I absolutely adored this! 

The pacing was a bit slow at times but I also think that was necessary for the world building. It definitely felt like there was a lot of set up happening here so that the next few books can delve deeper into the world/lore as well as the plot. I am excited to see how everything develops moving forward.

I enjoyed the romance but if you are not a fan of slow burn enemies to lovers, you will not care for this. 

I enjoyed the themes in here of rebellion and strength. I also really LOVED the trigger warnings list. I always appreciate that.
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I DNFed this book. I tried to give a try to some booktok hypes, but, never really works for me. Just like this book.
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I unfortunately missed the anonymous hype train of its original release but am so grateful I was blessed with this ARC. The author is one of my favorite people on BookTok and this novel lives up to the hype. It is unique, endearing, while also being tough and having lots of nice conflict. If you like morally grey characters or fun worldbuilding - this book is for you!
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A very enjoyable read! There is a ton of action and fitting throughout this story that adds to the impact. Keera is sent to a mysterious man but can't end up finishing the job. she has to make the difficult choice of who to trust, who to kill, and how to survive. Keera is strong and feels very deeply. There is some gore and self-harm for people to be wary about. 
Overall very interesting concept and great execution.
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The Broken Blade is a great slow-burn enemy to lovers, and there is a plot twist at every corner in this book. I loved the FMC the most because she was so morally grey.  The depth the FMC character had was amazing, which I loved the most. She was the King's blade and had a really traumatic past which made me love her more. All the characters were flawed, and that's what made it more likeable. It does address deal with heavy topics like alcohol addiction. 

There were some things that I did not like to be honest which made me give this book 4 stars. I wasn't a big fan of the monologue, and the side characters were a bit underdeveloped. I would've loved to see development in other characters, even the MMC needed some development. 

I do realize that it's the first book and the enemies part was awesome but the lovers part was sudden at the end and it kind of ruined stuff.
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A Broken Blade is an action packed story of striving for freedom and fighting corrupt system.

Keera is an assasin forced in the servitude by an evil king. And while she fufills the missions given to her, Keera doesn't stop thinking about overthrowing the Crown. I loved that the heroine is morally grey wirh difficult choices. It made me think how would I survive Keeras life and if I would be able to follow her footsteps.

I enjoyed the pacing of the book and worldbuilding, but I hope the author will dwell deeper in the history of this world. There are some aspects that intrigued me, but were not written in this book (Mages, Light Fey etc).

The only think that I wasn't keen on was the romance part. I prefer when enemies to lovers take a longer time to develop. Neverthaless, this is a strong 4 star book for me

I received an eARC from Union Square & Co (Sterling Publishing)  & NetGalley in exchange for my honest review
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Keera is the kings assassin. She is sent on a mission to end a mysterious figure called the Shadow. She finds that secrets about the kingdom and wonders who her true enemy is. 

I liked the characters and how they all worked together and I’m excited to see how they will form connections in the future. 

I really enjoyed the action scenes that had deeper meaning attached to them. It made the book seem more realistic. 

The pacing and writing style was a bit slow, but it’s almost necessary in order to get a better understanding of the world. World building and descriptions made me think of LOTR, super cool. 

This book contains very classic Fae fantasy elements but I wish it had a bit more to help it stand out. 

Fans of Throne of Glass will LOVE this. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this copy!

4 Stars
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We all know those books that are hyped on BookTok that end up not having the strength to back up that hype — and OMG I am so happy to report that this is NOT one of those books.

A Broken Blade is an absolutely stunning and fun entry into Adult Fantasy (with a splash of romance for all those peeps who love a good I’m-sworn-to-hate-you to wait-your-side-kinda-makes-sense to lovers)

Our protagonist Keera is a killer, and not just in the sense of the author slapping on that label to make her seem edgy - she is a sworn Blade to the King of a realm bent on eradicating her kind. We see the choices she makes, we see the consequences of her actions, and we see her suffer: in her choice to self-harm by engraving the names of her victims into her skin, and in her addiction to alcohol. (Also, while our protagonist isn’t visibly older due to her bloodline, she’s still not 16 or 20 something, and has had decades of experience in her world - I loved that choice!)

When Keera is assigned to hunt down the shadow, and repeatedly fails, she begins to feel the pressure from her peers, from her King, and her grip begins to slide even more. This puts her in the perfect position to doubt everything she has been taught to believe and to obey. And the story’s momentum only gets carried on from there.

This was an incredibly solid debut and I’m genuinely impressed by how good this was. Props to the author for self-pubbing this amazing story and to everyone who hyped it before so this could be traditionally published!

I will most definitely be keeping an eye out for whatever Blair writes next.

*I received an eARC from Union Square & Co (Sterling Publishing)  & NetGalley in exchange for my honest review*
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Of course by now we all know the mystery that surrounded A Broken Blade. This was probably one of the most hyped up books in a very long time. Was the hype unfounded? Absolutely not!! This book was well worth the read.

Was it absolute perfection? No
Was it thoroughly engaging? Yes
Do I need more; like yesterday? Yes, yes I do

After that ending I cannot wait to get my hands on tje next installment of ABB.

**Received ARC through NetGalley. Voluntarily reviewed**
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