Cover Image: A Broken Blade

A Broken Blade

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Member Reviews

This book was an entertaining read! I really appreciated the diversity in representation of the characters and the world building was good. The main character is feisty and that's really relatable. I'm glad the series in continuing so that more of the story can be developed.
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Firstly, the covers are spectacular and those alone generated my initial interest in this series. 

Keera, our heroine, who is imperfect, quick on her feet, and fearless. This series is a little darker than many of the other fantasy series. I liked the world-building, character diversity, and the lack of biases with which the characters were treated. Keera was the angsty, salty problem solver we'd all like to be in our daily lives. I will definitely read all the sequels.
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This was a fun, darker and grittier fantasy romance novel - I liked how it didn't shy away from some heavier topics. While it took me a few chapters to get into the story and characters, I got sucked in and flew through the story and even read Book 2!
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This one is a DNF for me. The writing was very basic and almost choppy with lots of shirt sentences. The way it was written didn't alow foe me to get into the story.
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Exciting, gripping, heartbreaking, this book really had it all. Keera is the Blade to the king, a halfling assassin who wants the king dead for everything he has done. Keera has been sent by the king to hunt for the shadow, a rebel who has been causing trouble for the king. I can't say much more without giving anything away but it's a very interesting story and I look forward to seeing the characters grow and the plot progress.
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So So So Good. Strong female characters - check. Sapphic - check. Badass fantasy novel - check, check, check!

Enjoyed this book so much and I can't wait to see what comes next from Blair. Also, I know you aren't supposed to judge but... look at that cover!!
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I will admit this one pleasantly surprised me. There was a lot of hype surrounding this book and I was skeptical but I went into it with an open mind. I mean, the synopsis kind of sums up all my favorite things in a fantasy read and I am a sucker for a book with Fae. 😂

Keera is an assassin and a spy, she’s the Kings Blade. No spoilers but this book is full of action, intrigue, and tension. I like the writing. It was easy to get into and follow the story. The story itself kept my attention the majority of the book. The writing was well done and I was a little shocked to find out that this is the authors debut. 

If you love fantasy reads with action, secrets, tension, and intrigue you might just love A Broken Blade. I will be reading the next one. 

**Thank you to the author for the review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**
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I typically try not to get into books that tik tok hypes up, but "A Broken Blade" was actually worth it. I'm always wary of people who compare fae/high fantasy stores to SJM or Holly Black because they almost never live up to those for me, but I would absolutely put this book up there with them.

Admittedly there were times I felt like I wasn't really paying attention to the plot because there were a few dry spots, and it was a bit confusing occasionally as I didn't fully understand the motive. But it was eventually all revealed by the end, I just needed to be patient! 

Keera, Riven, and his whole crew - everything about them was *chefs kiss*. The romance was also incredibly well done and I worry for the future of this couple...

But seriously - this plot was soo soo good. I'm fairly good at predicting plot twists so I was actually pleasantly surprised this time around and I will give Melissa Blair props for being able to fool even me.
It was so much fun reading this book and I'm in the middle of waiting for the second book to be available through my library on hoopla so I can listen to it on audio this time!
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The story was good but for some reason I couldnt connect with the protagonist. I found her quite frustating.
I liked thought reading her grow and change trought the book. The second characters were good and I liked (not loved) the love interest. 
In general the book was okey but I think that maybe it just was not for me. It took me a long long time to get trough it, It just did not grab me, but for any good romance and fantasy reader, I think they will like it.
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I really enjoyed this book. The characters and the world kept me hooked from the first page. The way Blair has created the world and how the character move through this world was great. The plot and background for each character was interesting and I can't wait to see what happens in the next one.
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Was it predictable? yes, but did I still enjoyed every moment of it? Also, yes.

This book has a lot of Celaena Sardothien vibes. From the scars to the skilled assassin...and some other things that I can't say without giving it away....but again it's predictable so you could probably guess it as fast as I did. 

But, it was nice to see her crawl back from the bottom of the bottle to help the people of her kingdom. I can't wait to get started on the next one
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Thank you, NetGalley and Union Square, for this ARC! 

I completely forgot I read this book, so here are my notes and thoughts.

Let us begin with the good things: I liked 1. the MC, 2. the representation, and 3. the action. 

1. Keera is very different from other women leads in the Fantasy genre, so I enjoyed reading something different from our classical "She is so beautiful and so powerful, but she doesn't know any of this yet"; she knows she is dangerous, she is flawed,  and morally grey (I am a sucker for this kind of MCs). 

2. Everywhere you read, you will find diverse characters. LGBTQ, disabled, POC, you name it, and, in my opinion, this made the book stand out from most Fantasy books; it is my favourite genre, and I will read pretty much everything to find a new favourite, but it certainly gets boring when most authors make their characters identical in looks and experiences (God save R.F. Kuand, N.K. Jemisin and all the new Fantasy POC authors who are giving us different backgrounds!) 

3. A Broken Blade is fast-paced and full of turns and twists. I appreciate a book with more than a romantic subplot (which ABB has, and it was pretty good!); there were so many political and historical things going on in this book that I thank the author for taking into consideration that not all Fantasy books need to be like ACOTAR (I love me some romance and smüt in all books, but I also like plots, you know?)

Now to the not-so-great stuff, shall we?

Although Melissa Blair has a fantastic storytelling voice, and I had high hopes for Keera, this book wanted to have everything and be everything. And I am sure 100% that without some of the MC's "adult" flaws, this saga would fit right in with other YA books, which does not mean YA is not great, but it felt written at times for a younger audience. 

Now, yes, it does have a strong world-building and a historical/political side to it, Blair tried her best not to make it another Booktok book, BUT well, if you enjoyed ACOTAR, you will probably like this one too (and it is not just because of the fae factor.)

Overall, will I read the second one? Possibly, I want to see where Blair is going and how she plans to move forward with this story, so I shall continue once it is up for grabs in my public library.
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This was a great introduction to what promises to be an amazing fantasy series. I loved Keera so much, not only because she’s a badass assassin but also because she has her own demons that she constantly battles with in an effort to do her job and not be dragged under. The only thing I loved just as much as Keera was the world building. I really appreciated how the author slowly revealed things about the world and the events which occurred long before the events of the book take place. This metering out of information made it easy to understand the world and how it works from the beginning, versus having everything presented right out of the gate and then having to read halfway through the book before finally understanding how everything works.

The pacing of the book kept me reading pretty much non-stop from the time I began until the book was over, I only set it down long enough to go grocery shopping for dinner. Unlike some fantasy books which can get really bogged down halfway through the story, I didn’t find that to be an issue with this book. I loved seeing what Keera would discover next and where her findings would take her.

The other thing I loved about this book was the slow burn romance that checked the box of enemies to lovers as well as the ever uncertain only one bed moment. I loved this debut and cannot wait for the next book to come out. After that ending, I needed it yesterday.
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This was remarkably bland. After all the hype on BookTok last year, I'd expected something about this to make an impact. Sure, I wasn't expecting a literary masterpiece, but I was expecting to like this at least a little bit. I didn't dislike it, but I also didn't feel anything regarding it. Keera was a bland MC, the romance was unremarkable, and the plot was stagnant. I'm only reading Book 2 because I have an ARC of it.

Thanks to TBR Beyond Tours for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review
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A Broken Blade is an entertaining read that provides all of my favorite tropes along with a simple, fast-paced story. The familiar fantasy setup made it easy to fall into the world and I didn't stop reading until I had finished it. 

The characters were probably my favorite part of this story. Keera is a fantastic main character. So many people in her life dismiss her or reduce her to her identity as the King's Blade. I really enjoyed slowly getting to know her and watching her grow as a character. The love interest Riven was a bit too stereotypical at times but overall I really enjoyed their relationship. Nikolai is easily my favorite character and I fully expect that to cause me pain later in the series.  

I was really impressed by how Melissa Blair captured the complexity of oppression. Even the rebellion side was flawed and the characters often had to face the possible collateral damage of their plans. 

There isn't a lot about A Broken Blade that made it stand out from the crowd. That is not necessarily a bad thing. The various popular tropes were all incorporated well and made the story incredibly entertaining. I appreciated that it never felt like the tropes were included simply as selling points for the book. All of the characters, though a tad archetypal, were fun and worked well together. I suspect that the characters will become more complex and unique as the series progresses. In fact, I have a few theories about some of my favorite characters that I am very interested to explore in the sequel. 

A Broken Blade was the perfect palette cleanser after a dense fantasy book but it lacks enough unique elements to make it stick with me for a long time.
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TW: ritual scarification & torture

I really enjoyed this book! Although Keera is an assassin/spy, and has to do horrible things, you really root for her. Even though she is in a position of power, at the end of the day she is more or less the King’s slave. I think the way this book described the interactions between races (Mortal, Elf, Fae, and Halfling) was really interesting and not something I’ve seen in other books. The pacing & writing were well done. 

Thank you to NetGalley & Union Square & Co for this advance reader copy. All opinions are my own.
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“I’d spent years surrounding myself with nothing but ghosts. Now, I had chosen fight for the living instead.”
A Broken Blade by Melissa Blair
Great worldbuilding? Check
Morally Complex MC? Check
Enemies to uneasy allies to potentially something more? Check
Only one bed trope? Check
Plotting against the genocidal King? Check
Undiscovered magical heritage? Check
Fae, Elves & Magic? Check
Almost 70 year old MC with a possible immortal lifespan? Check

This was one I was quite dubious going into because of the hype surrounding it, it made me second guess whether the story was truly going to be enjoyable or whether it has just cause the hype current. I am happy to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. While it was a little slow to begin with, once the pace started to pick up it was hard to put the book down. Keera was a great MC, with a lot of heart & soul, battling her past demons & her addiction to alcohol which came about to help keep the demons of her past & the horrors of her work as the Kings Blade at bay. You could see how soul destroying she found the work she was forced to do, & how much she did behind the scenes to offset the horrors the King inflicted on those he considered his property. Her constant secret acts of defiance & rebellion made me admire her & suspect she was far more complex than she was willing to acknowledge to herself. I loved the blossoming found family in the book, it is without a doubt one of my favourite tropes & it has been written so well in this book, it didn’t feel forced, or that it happened too quickly. Nikolai in particular endeared himself to me, I am such a sucker for the jester & peacemaker of a group, perhaps because I myself am such a hothead I enjoy having a friend who can break the tension so easily with a funny quip or fast placed expression. All in all a solid four star read and I’m already delving into the pages of the second book which I’ve been fortunate enough to secure a digital ARC of, so stay tuned for a review on that one soon!
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I read this book knowing everyone compared it to Throne of Glass and I didn't mind it at all. 
Really liked Melissa's writing and I was intrigued with the worldbuilding. 
Despite not being fast pace, which I was looking for cause I'm in the mood for fast plots, it's a good story and I'll be reading the second book.
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I like this first installment in this series.  The world building and character development was very good.  I was interested in the book when I heard about it on TikTok when the author was unknown.  I love supporting indigenous authors and I'm glad this is getting widespread distribution.
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I was super excited to read this book, just because I had heard many good things about it... and I am kind of let down. Let it be noted that this isn't necessarily a bad book by any means (I still enjoyed it and had a good time). It just... was very bland and felt very predictable. And maybe that's my own brain's fault for feeling that way, but it just felt like another "I'm not like other girls/halflings" story that tries to combine too much into one book.

Keera is an okay character, but she doesn't really do much to connect with the reader. I did love her friendship with her maid, which was my favorite relationship in the book. The Shadow.... a cliche and I had his type pegged from the beginning.

I will say that there was a tiny bit of a plot twist that I was not expecting, so kudos to Blair for getting that in there. But otherwise, a very mid-tier book. Worth it if you want to try it out, but it's nothing AMAZING.
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