Cover Image: A Broken Blade

A Broken Blade

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Member Reviews

I really wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but am pleased to report that is exceptionally good!

Keera is a Halfling, which means she belongs to the King. After decades of training she has risen through the ranks to be the King's Blade, the most senior position in his Halfling Army. So when a mysterious Shadow threatens the Kingdom, it is Keera who is sent on a mission to stop the him.

I wasn't too sure about Keera as a character to begin with. She felt a bit two dimensional, but as the story progressed she improved tenfold! The plot was fast paced and well written, and I'm keen to read the next book in the series!

I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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DNF @ 37%

this book definitely has an interesting plot, the execution of it just wasn’t for me. i feel like a lot is happening, but the story isn’t actually progressing very far and so i continue to put the book down because i get bored. 

if high fantasy is your favourite genre, then definitely give this a go, it just wasn’t for me :)
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Thank you Net galley for sending me a free copy of a Broken Blade in exchange for a honest review!

Due to my large list of books I want to read,I ended up reading this a bit later than most.

I honestly wanted to rate this book at least one star higher, considering the excellent world building,well crafted politics and diverse characters. 

I absolutely adored the MC,and her character development was extremely well written.

The only things keeping me from giving this a rating of 4 stars is the romance. The development of the romance felt unstable. I also think that Keeras addiction could of been handled better considering that the way it was written and described felt repetitive.

Overall I enjoyed this and will be looking forward to the next book!
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4.5/5 stars!!

A Broken Blade is a great introduction to a new fantasy series. It starts out with a lot of information but after about 40 pages it really picks up! There is so much action and adventure. There are Dark Fae and Elves and Halflings. The main character Keera is a Halfling who is known as the “Blade” which she works for the King to hunt down the Shadow. Keera is on her last chance to please the King before she is let go of her position. It’s either the Shadow dies or she dies. 

This book was everything I wanted and more. I could not put it down. I kept needing to know what was going to happen next! This is a must read if you like Throne of Glass (especially the earlier ones!) !
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4.5 ⭐
Thank you to Netgalley as well as the publisher for this ARC in exchange of an honest review!

"Shadows were largest just before sunset, but lost their power when night inevitably fell. For Shadows don't exist in the dark.” 

I had the most entertaining time reading this book! I honestly could not put it down, binge read it in two days. 
This book had it all, the best of the best tropes (one bed trope, badass assassin FMC, enemies to lovers, found family, hidden identity, just to name a few) yet it still managed to be poignant and tackle some heavy themes. This created a perfect balance in my opinion, what impressed me the most was how smooth the character growth and the plot development were.  We are introduced to a world where the “halflings” are forced to alter their bodies and hide their identities in order to live, where every decision made by the Crown is made to dehumanize them, assassinate them or force them into slavery, sex work or become assassins for the Crown. Keera, our main character, has to live with the guilt of serving as an assassin against her own people. Throughout her journey, we see a character that deals with her anger, guilt, and sorrow through alcohol dependence but we also get to experience her strength, her ambition and desire for recovery.  As she slowly starts to open up about her pain and finally feel comfortable enough to befriend others, find a community, we get to see her become empowered enough to take a stand against the Crown. 

I especially enjoyed how the author did not brush over Keera’s struggles but chose instead to address them and go deeper.  This debut was a great jumpstart into the universe this author created and I must say i cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel.

 “You don’t get to judge them for being the monsters the King turned them into. The Shades weren’t born as weapons. They weren’t born as killers. They were born as children. Stolen. Ripped from their parents and placed on that godsforsaken island.”
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A quick paced high fantasy with a fun and unique plot, morally grey characters, and a really interesting magic system and society. The character development and growth was spectacular and I was really intrigued by the whole halfling concept, it was very reflective of everyday society and discrimination against people who are different. This was action packed and so fun, the ending twist was brilliant and I can't wait for the next installment
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Thank you Netgalley and Union Square & Co for this ARC!

Today's the time for Melissa Blair's A Broken Blade (The Halfling Saga # 1) review! 
Let's talk about this book! What is it?
- fantasy NA (I'm not really sure, but on amazon it says 18+, so I think so)
- fae, elves, assassins, mysteries and court plots

I like it? Yes, but...
Let's start by saying that I was intruigued by this book because many people said that those who loved Throne of Glass might like it. In fact, there is! Obviously this can be a problem!
In fact, the plot reminds me of Thorne of Glass. Yes, let's say that there are similarities with Throne of Glass and with the Maas writing style in general, so you may like it as well as not. I've already read a book like this and it didn't bother me too much, even here there are really many, maybe too many, some things made me twist the nose because if you read her it is obvious that scenes you have already seen come to mind.
Despite this, when you get beyond the middle, where the whole story begins to make itself clear, I have to say it's enough entertainment. After 60% I read it very fast because I was quite curious.
So I must say that the plot in the end it entertains you, even if I would have preferred something more original. But on the other hand what I complain about, that I read it mostly with the intent to understand why people said it looked like ToG!

As for the characters, apart from the protagonist who - she is not Aelin even if, even here, there are many things in her past that remind her - she is there as the main character, we have a nice string of secondary characters, first of all Nikolai. I know it's the name but the iconicity, and, yes, I had exchanged it for love interest.
The romance part is not bad. I must say that from the first appearance I thought "well well", and although we are still at the beginning - because in the end contrary to what I thought there are not many romance parts - in my opinion they will have a good development despite everything.

All in all I enjoyed reading this book (I gave it 3/5), however, yes, while reading there were a couple of things that made me turn up my nose a little! But in the end it was nice!
I'll see if to continue!
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In Elverath, all Halflings born of Mortals and Dark Fae are considered the Crown’s property. Enslaved, the females are trained in the Order to become Shades— perfect spies, warriors and assassins. Keera is the king’s Blade— the leader of the Order. Just when her forced service brings her to a verge of a breakdown, a new threat to the Crown rises. Sent after the Shadow, an elusive man plotting against the king, she has to ascertain his identity and plan. In her hunt, she finds even more mysteries that make her question her assignment…

Melissa Blair created a fascinating world where Mortals, Dark Fae and Halflings live in faltering peace. A world with detailed geography, history and customs. Especially her ideas around the Halflings and the Order are impressive and quite unique. Keera makes a memorable main character. Slightly annoying initially, she grows on the readers while they learn more about her past. In the end, I need to say that I could really feel for her. Her training, the abuse she suffered, and the pain she had to inflict in her service were almost enough to break her. It was thrilling to see her slowly mend herself.

A Broken Blade was the first ARC I have ever read. It is a novel full of action, plot twists, vivid characters and a fascinating heroine. Reading it before it got published made the lecture even more exciting. I would recommend it to all the fans of fantasy.
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A Broken Blade by Melissa Blair - COMING AUGUST 2022 
I read the no author tiktok mystery book so you don’t have to. 

The marketing on this book was a stroke of pure genius. As someone who was super deep into booktok when this came out, I got to watch everything going down live - and it was entertaining (which kept me interested. Marketing A+ right there.) 

The big booktok creators were sent this book with no author and a bunch of clues to who that person may be - the kicker was it was one of them,(As in, another booktoker.) and the detective hats came out full force. I recall there being a spreadsheet at one point where all the tokers had compiled the different clues and code words/anagrams they had to try and make sense of a secret message that was meant to help reveal the author. 

Now, going into this book my expectations were…conflicted. The book had major hype, but I was not blind to the fact that most of this hype was on tiktok and involved creators who had received a PR package for the book. I was also not blind to the fact that this book publicly advertised itself as the ultimate tiktok book - meaning it combined the most popular tropes and character traits trending on tiktok at the time.

I’ll say, it started out strong. About 30 pages in I was engaged and excited to see where the story went. Unfortunately by page 50 I was dragging my feet and physically forcing myself to continue reading. 

For starters, “show don’t tell”…but don’t show me everything… no really, I do not need to be shown the characters walk from point A to point B. It’s boring and I skimmed, and once I start skimming - it’s over me. I’ve lost engagement. (Also, I think how a character walks was described as “sauntered” at least 6 times in this book. I really don’t need to know that. Just tell me he entered the room.) 

Secondly, the characters. Something felt really lacking to me with all of the characters in this book, even our main girl Keera. They all felt very flat, like they were copy pasted from other popular fantasy novels and not given much deeper personalities. And Keera, there is a difference between bad-ass and ass-hole and she tight rope walked on that line a little too often for my liking. If I’m going to be reading over 400 pages inside this character’s head, then I want to at least like (Or sympathize with…I’m looking at you V.E. Schwab)  the character whose head I’m in, and I just didn’t.

And the plot, I paid it little attention because I was so busy skimming over the unimportant narration… but from what I got it was interesting! I just think it would have been much better executed with perhaps 150 less pages. 

So, was this book the physical representation of a booktok book? Sure, it had all the tropes it promised and the character building blocks that make up the best book girl/boyfriends. Unfortunately, I think in trying to become the manifestation of popular trends it left me feeling rather empty. It was more like reading a book of hollow characters in hollow tropes than flesh and blood enacting those tropes with a purpose. 

So, was the tiktok mystery book worth the hype? In my personal opinion - No. But hey! If enemies to lovers, assassins who are *traumatized* and the fae are up your alley, then give this a go! 

Melissa Blair is a debut author and she is obviously a good writer! I have no doubt that future books by her will be improved and, with her amazing marketing skills, will be successes. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Union Square & Co. for the ARC copy in exchange for an honest review!
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I learned after starting that this book was written by a popular TikTok person and was released as sort of a scavenger hunt of "who wrote it". As far as marketing goes, this was clearly a fantastic move.

The reason I stopped reading and started googling and ended up learning the Mystery Booktok release story was because it read so clearly like fanfiction. I could tell where more than just inspiration had been taken from very popular YA fantasy stories and pulled together create this story. For example: Keera is the King assassin, she's an orphan, she's half elf but it's also heavily hinted she's *special* in a way we will discovery later, she's drinks a lot, and she gives herself scars to represent the people she's had to kill. Sound extremely similar to another character the internet is obsessed with.

The writing itself shows that the author has potential but when I say this read like fanfiction I mean no story editing has taken place. Between too many descriptions and too many useless scenes the story dragged on with very little happening. I kept reading because I was told it got better when Keera went to Faeland, which turned out not to be until chapter 12 at 30% in, all of which could have easily been reduced to two chapters of key necessary information. I aggressively skim read the rest of the story and while I agree it does pick up from there, my original issues with the writing are still  there.
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A Broken Blade follows Keera Kingsown, a halfling unwillingly serving as the head assassin for an immortal human king in a world where fae and elves have been nearly eradicated by war. A Robin Hood like figure called the Shadow is causing tension across the kingdom, and Keera is sent to eradicate him. 

Keera is morally gray, full of flaws and sheer willpower. She definitely becomes more developed as the novel goes on, but I found her unlikeable on her own without a surrounding cast. Her convictions felt loose and she came across as incredibly self-centered. Her struggle with alcohol addiction was merely peppered in here and there, but nearly magically cured with a special potion whenever it started to bother her. The rest of the cast was interesting and provided fun banter to balance Keera's melancholy.

ABB was a tough read for me, and I think that's because I was sucked into the TikTok hype surrounding the novel (which is exactly how it was marketed). I thought the story was solid, with good bones, albeit very very inspired by books like Throne of Glass, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and From Blood and Ash. There were bits and pieces from FBAA specifically that I was able to identify: the red and gold trees, Keera's red dress and the masquerade, her penchant for daggers and stabbing, her unique heritage, her scars, etc. The love interest was a Booktok lover's mashup of Castiel and Rhysand. Back to back popular tropes, which isn't necessarily bad but kinda exhausting. I will say that I was disappointed by the amount of "kill your gays" trope this book followed, with the only three queer relationships mentioned ending in the death of one or both of the lovers. I was surprised no one had mentioned that in their reviews before. 

The writing itself is very easy to read, though choppy. I don't think it flows as well as it should, but that is probably a result of it being the author's first novel. Overall, a good beginning to another fantasy saga but a solid 3 stars in my opinion. 

Thank you to NetGalley for my review copy.
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this was very good, actually. my favorite part was the worldbuilding, personally. i really enjoyed the world the author created and how she reveled it as we moved through the book - i've mentioned i don't like huge moments of info-dumping, and while there were moments where things were introduced at the start, and then later as the story progressed, it never felt like info-dumping. it worked for me at least.

i also liked keera. if you like morally grey characters, who do bad things and feel conflicted about it but are willing to make choices that will later torment her - then she's a great fit. i personally really enjoyed her character, as well as prince killian. the rest of the characters were fine, i don't want to say the names in case it's a spoiler, but the other main character worked fine for me, he just... didn't stand up that much. i feel like i should have liked him a lot more than i did, but i ended up just feeling 'ok' about him, which works as well, i mean, maybe it's a character i will grow to care for when i read the sequel (yes, i do want to read it). the other secondary characters were also ok, but again, i liked keera the most.

there was one main thing that i didn't like that much and it was the use of a vague 'she' through out the book. i get why it was used, it's just a pet peeves of mine, i just don't like it when it's used like that, it bothers me, but that's personal preference. other than that? i don't think there's much else that i didn't like. there were small things, but overall i really liked the book. the most i can say is that some parts of the plot felt maybe a bit generic, but i loved the world building so much that it kind of off set that, you know?

this is also very fast paced for the most part. i think it slowed down at one point towards the middle of the book which felt a bit weird, but for the most part if you're looking for a fantasy that is fast paced, yeah, i'd say this is fast paced.

other than that, i really enjoyed the writing, i really am curious as to how the conflict develops.
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I really liked this book. I thought that it was great that they put in trigger warnings to let people know what was in the book before they got started. The plot twist was unexpected and exciting. Though it took me a while to read this I really enjoyed it in the end.
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Thank you Union Square & Co. publishing for the ARC! Unfortunately, I was unable to finish this and I DNFed it around 60 pages in. It’s not that this was a bad book, but I found that the book went into a lot of triggering topics and it got to the point where I was very uncomfortable and squeamish. I am willing however to give this book a second chance in the future but for now I’m going to put it on hold. I’m rating it a 3/5 stars just because I haven’t read it enough to give it an actual rating so it would be unfair to give it a low rating, but thank you again for the ARC!
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This book was like a mashup of ACOTAR and Throne of Glass and I absolutely loved it. 
At the beginning of this book all content warnings are listed and that’s just such a bonus, it really helps accessibility for readers. 
This was probably one of the best books I have read this month, I can not wait for the sequels to be released - because that plot twist… wow. I mean… I kind of guessed you-know-who had something to do with it, but the predictability doesn’t weaken the plot. 
This was a solid four stars and I am so excited to see more from this author.
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I was given this ARC in exchange for my honest review!

I read this book in one day! I couldn’t put it down! The twists and turns kept me turning the pages! 

I absolutely love Keera! Every once in a while we need an amazing, strong, skilled female lead and she is it!

Now I need the second book!
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Kill the King. Save the Kingdom.

When I first read this novels’ summary, a scarred assassin, a provoking prince, a quest to save her people – I instantly thought, “Okay. This is just Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass all over again.” 

Au contraire, mon amis. 

This book has many unique elements, prose that allures and captivates, and a woman’s journey to redemption, for her and her people. All things that make those 4.5 stars well-earned. If that is not enough to draw you in: Fae magic, espionage, shadowy promises, enemies to lovers, a double agent, and unexpected twisty twists. 
Keera (a Halfling, herself) has an inner darkness, despair, secrets, and a soul tainted with the blood of hundreds. She is not the embodiment of light, nor is she a teenage princess; she struggles with addiction, regret and self-doubt – all things that make her character relatable. 

Keera’s world encompasses a kingdom of mortals and non-mortals, the downtrodden “Halflings,” who are no more than slaves in the eyes of the King, greed, and suffering. Halflings in this society are akin to Rowling’s “Mudbloods,” though without the magical endowment. Only those stout and ruthless enough to survive the “Trials,” a series of five challenges specifically designed to break its initiates, are selected to be “Shades” for the monarchy. 

A furtive, hooded stranger, “The Shadow” is inciting rebellious acts against the Crown, threatening its’ power and tenuous hold on its’ “Blade.”

“Shadows were the largest just before the sunset, but lost their power when night inevitably fell. For Shadows don’t truly exist in the dark. It was time for me to bring the night.”

Minor issues were present, such as Keera marking her definite (and self-afflicted) lack of friends in the beginning of the novel. However, we’re soon introduced to her chambermaid Gwyn; a woman that Keera regularly worries over and brings back gifts from her travels. Another instance is Keera’s grudging subordinate, Gerarda, who at one point chases after Keera into forbidden territory, and yet the reason for this is never explained. The characters all have depth and their own complexity, though I feel physical descriptions were slightly glossed over in some areas. This, at times, made it difficult to truly picture their appearance in our minds’ eye. Keera is the Blade, and therefore the highest-ranking member of the King’s Arsenal, but there are problems with this: She despises the position (of which she makes no attempt to hide it), she doesn’t perform the expected tasks that come with leading the rest of the “Shades,” she rebels against authority, and she holds her position by fear, not respect or loyalty. All these elements left me confused as to how, in this world, she would remain the Blade under an impatient King with only indifference, bordering on hatred for her kind. 

I’m hoping for more details on the “Trials,” additional background on the Fae/Elves, and even more twists in the follow-up novel. Our newfound loyalty to Melissa Blair and page-turning prowess are rewarded with a hair-ripping cliffhanger. This reader will simmer quietly (or not so quietly) until the sequel is finally within my all too impatient grasp. 

I want to extend my gratitude to the publisher and netgalley for providing this copy to me.  
***I was given a free advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.***
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I wanted to like this but I just couldn’t get into it despite how much I wanted to like Nikolai and Riven. I do like both of them but the story was hard to really get into like I usually do that being said the plot has a lot of promise and I am debating possibly rereading it around the time book 2 comes out. It has a lot of promise but not a lot happens and what does happen feels a little rush and forced.  However, the end of this book has me curious for the next one and eager to see what will happen next.
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I loved this. It captured and kept my attention the entire time. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves fantasy. Definitely a 5 star from me!
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I loved the book. It had a slow start, where I struggled to get into it, but once I was I didn’t want to stop reading. The story is fairly well written, and I love books about assassins. The characters are dynamic, and the plot twist at the end, while I did see it coming, was still well done. I think there could be a little more world building, but it’s not so lacking that it hurts the book and it can be built on in the rest of the series.
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