Cover Image: A Broken Blade

A Broken Blade

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Stunning cover, and a stunning storyline. I am thoroughly impressed by this book. I was gravitated to this book through the cover alone and I am so glad I read this book. I loved the writing and cannot wait to see more of what this author will bring.
Was this review helpful?
This was really enjoyable and I will be putting it on the buy list for the library for the 2023-2024 school year. I liked the world and the MC. I have a few girls who I know will absolutely love this book when we get it.
Was this review helpful?
I received a copy of this from NetGalley in return for an honest review. 

2.5 rounded up to 3. 

I will preface this by saying that I do not have a tik tok account. I had no notion of the hype behind this book online. I simply thought it sounded like it would be a good read. There were a few things that I did enjoy. I liked how the characters had struggles and other concerns outside of the fantasy setting. These were issues, like PTSD, substance abuse, and self harm, which some may want to know going into this. I liked the setting, since it had been quite a while since I have read any fantasy with either elves or fae. 

However, the things I disliked far outweighed what I did. I was somewhat confused the whole time about the differences between the elves and the fae, and I felt like it wasn't particularly well explained. The setting was interesting but also didn't feel fully fleshed out with the history between the races and different kingdoms. The plot was very slow and right when something did happen, it was over quickly then we were back to waiting. I normally enjoy political fantasy, however, there didn't seem to be anyone I could particularly root for. The king was horrible, don't get me wrong, but no ones loyalties were clear and I felt like everyone's morals were all over the place. And the actual plot didn't necessarily feel new either. 

Overall, it felt like something I'd read before.
Was this review helpful?
This is such a great New Adult Fantasy. I originnaly saw it on TikTok and it lved up to the hype. I love Keera, the main character, espically her development through the story. and the slow burn romance really kept me intriguied!
Was this review helpful?
This may come as a surprise but I don’t have Tik Tok. I know, I know. It seems like such a popular platform for discussing, reviewing, and discovering books. I don’t know what keeps holding me back. Maybe I’m a little intimidated by it? Or maybe I just don’t like the idea of making videos that feature my face? I can’t decide. Anyways, this is completely relevant because A Broken Blade trended on Tik Tok for very specific reasons. First, it was originally released anonymously with only the clue of it being written by a fellow BookTok’er revealed. I can only imagine how fun it must have been trying to guess who the author was. Second, it was written with the fantasy BookTok community in mind. Basically, it’s an ode to pretty much every trending trope. You name it and it most likely has it. Enemy to lovers? Check. One bed? Check. Found family? Check. Should I go on?

Now, I know what you’re thinking… Are these tropes overplayed? Is it too much? The answer is no! Even though the plot and its characters are very formulaic, I still found A Broken Blade to be quite enjoyable. It is one of those binge-worthy books because even though you know what to expect, you’re still excited to see how it all plays out. I’ll be honest and admit that I don’t reach for fantasy like this very often. But there is always room for books that provide a quick escape with an easy-to-follow plot. Have you seen that meme about how people with anxiety watch the same show over and over again because it’s comforting on a level that isn’t even recognizable? That’s what this book reminds me of.

I don’t think I’ve read a fantasy book that explores alcoholism in the main character. And honestly, I kinda wish that were still the case. While I appreciate the representation, I don’t think that it was utilized properly. In the beginning half of the book, it is repetitively mentioned and described. After swapping alcohol out for a substance to help curb her cravings (not a recommended treatment plan), her addiction drastically drops off the storyline. It was just a little… too convenient. It was almost as if her addiction could have never existed, and her character and the overall story wouldn’t have been much different.

With that said, I did enjoy this way more than I thought I would. It reminded me of Throne of Glass and Kingdom of Essence, both books/series that I loved and would read again. I do wish there had been more of a focus on worldbuilding and lore. I’m still a little confused about the history of the world and why certain species are so hated. But overall, I will definitely be picking up book two once it is released. The story ends on a cliffhanger with a great last line of dialogue that left me with a goofy grin. I just got my physical copy in the mail, and I can’t wait to read the extra chapter included at the end from Riven’s perspective. Does this mean book two will be multi-POVs? I hope so!!!

I recommend this book for fans of: tropes, tropes, tropes, badass female MCs that are haunted by their past, people versus government, fast-paced reads, witty banter, YA fantasy like Throne of Glass, morally grey characters, and heists.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley and Union Square Co. for allowing me access to this eARC in exchange for my review. 

This story is full of many good and popular elements, and while that got me interested in picking up the book, the writing and storyline just didn’t keep me excited to read more. I just felt like I was dragging through the book as most of it just felt “expected.” 

It was still a trope-y, fun, fantasy adventure!
Was this review helpful?
This is such a great New Adult Fantasy!!
I love the character development we see in the main character, Keera!!!
With a dark past, finding her way
With a slow-burn romance that keeps you pulled in ;) 
Definitely worth the read if you like fantasies with fae, elves, and magic!!
Was this review helpful?
The Book I've Been Searching For. 

I find it difficult to believe that Melissa Blair is a first-time author. 
I find it even harder to believe she reached her critical acclaim on TikTok. 

A third of the way through Blair's debut novel and I was already desperate for a sequel. Blair tackles many difficult nuances with ease and grace of prose. 
We see gentrification, sexism, homelessness, slavery, sex work, self-harm, abuse, alcoholism, racism, elitism, and classism (to name a handful of topics) delivered point-blank. Unflinching and without exploitation or excess. On the flip side we also see unabashed queer representation without reproach. And an enemies-to-lovers story that feels entirely organic.

Whatsmore: A Broken Blade's worldbuilding and lore feels fully fleshed out without being overwhelmingly expansive, giving you only what you need to know to be in the moment without being pulled from the pages or making you feel confined to a narrative-exclusive sandbox. The driving characters are pushed and pulled by morally grey tides leaving few (if any) clearly defined heroes. And magic is both believable and awe-inspiring. 

Halfway through the book and I purchased a physical copy. 
Two-thirds and I pre-ordered the upcoming sequel. 

Without giving away plot, all I can say is that this has been my 2022 book of the year and I plan to revisit it often. 

[Thank you to NetGalley and Sterling Publishing for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.]
Was this review helpful?
This was a really enjoyable book! It's a lot of fun and action-packed. It's also fast-paced and has representation. If you love morally grey characters, then I'm certain you'd like the main character, Keera. She is a very morally grey person so it's very in line with Six of Crows or A Darker Shade of Magic people. There are a lot of tropes many of us tend to like as well such as one-bed tropes and enemies to lovers.
Was this review helpful?
wow wow wow!!! this was phenomenal. this gives major Throne of Glass vibes. I was hesitant starting this when the main character had a drinking problem as that can be so overdone in books, but it was handled really well and added to Keera's character and growth a lot. the ending was really disappointing to me so I'm giving this 4.5 stars. I still can't wait to read the next one!
Was this review helpful?
It was good and I had fun listening to the audiobook, but it's basically a combination of popular fantasy books and it completely lacks originality. I still recommend it if you love enemies-to-lovers, a badass MC and fae.
Was this review helpful?
This book has been blowing up on TikTok and I was so excited to get my hands on it. It was fast and fun and I hope there is more to come!
Was this review helpful?
VERY sad to report that this did not work for me, but I really admire the author and am grateful to have read an advanced copy (late!)

I liked the bones of the story, but from the first chapter I felt a bit too dropped in on the action - I generally like when world building is done on the fly, but this one just felt very hurried. 

The alcoholism was an interesting plot line, but I am not sure how well I felt it was handled. Finally, the story just felt kind of generic and as though I had read it 1000 times.

I know this has an audience who loves it, so I may give it another try!!
Was this review helpful?
A broken blade is a very enjoyable fantasy read that also interested me after the BookTok mystery around it was solved. This book had me immediately interested as it had diverse characters and an intriguing plot that definitely kept you hooked. Once you’re in the book, you won’t want to put this down. The chemistry between the ‘enemy’ and the main character Keera was amazing and this book has a lot of popular themes that would definitely appeal to audiences who enjoyed books like ‘The cruel prince’ and audiences who enjoy high fantasy. There isn’t much romance but since this is going to be a series I don’t doubt that it’ll develop. There is a lot of worldbuilding that is a little hard to get past, but once you get the hang of it you’ll love it.
Was this review helpful?
This is a fast-paced fantasy with an evil emperor and a reluctant, morally gray main character who gets drawn into a plot to overthrow him and free the enslaved halflings.  

The hype leading up to this book was fantastic and I was a little worried that the material wouldn’t hold up to my expectations, but this was truly well-written and well developed.  The world building was complex and I loved the lore and history that was created.  The only thing that was a little confusing for me was the term ‘halfling’ being used to describe half human/half elves.  While it makes sense to use this term, I am so used to halflings being the short, humanoid creatures of traditional fantasy.

I really enjoyed the romance.  Slow burn/enemies-to-lovers is one of my favorite tropes and this one fantastic.  I did predict the twist towards the end, but I don’t think it took away from my enjoyment of the story itself, and I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.

Thank you to NetGalley, Melissa Blair, and Union Square & Co for the e-arc of A Broken Blade in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I received an ARC for this book, but my review will be my honest opinion.

A Broken Blade is an adult fantasy romance about fae, where halflings are oppressed under the rule of a mortal king. It follows Keera, who is the King's blade and assassin. A threat to the kingdom known as ‘The Shadow’ appears, so the king assigns Keera to take care of it. But Keera has already failed to subdue him once before. Luckily, she’s given another chance, but another failure could be life or death for her. She manages to track him down again while figuring out whether the shadow actually posses threat to the crown. They fight again, but instead of delivering the killing blow, the Shadow kisses her. 

That threw me off guard, because up until that point I thought I had this story more or less figured out. And that’s the thing about this book, even till the very end there’s still more yet to learn. There are still so many unanswered questions and that makes it all the more thrilling. 

While reading this fantasy, it was hard not to see how the reality and struggle of halflings reflects on reality. The racism, colonial rule, the depiction of trauma…it’s all so realistic. For that reason I do suggest you to look up TW first before getting into it. It would feel wrong to continue my review without mentioning this, because it's very much part of the story.

I loved the world-building and the characterization. I think in that respect this book did so well, because everything had depth to it. Keera is such a badass, smart, caring, and complex character. She kills whoever she has to kill, and she's skilled at it. But she is not unaffected by her job.  She’s a victim who is simply trying to survive in a system that actively oppresses her. The king himself is the criminal, but he uses halflings to continue his tyranny. When Keera is sent to the fae lands to find the Shadow, she is confronted to think about who the real enemy is. There’s a lot of cruelty, a lot of mistrust, a lot of secrets jam packed in this book, along with some really touching moments too.

The beginning few chapters felt slow for me. I know some people don’t mind reading a few chapters while the story sets up, but personally I’m a little bit impatient. One thing I did appreciate was the passage of time. It makes this story feel all the more realistic to me, as opposed to stories that fit the entire plot into one-two weeks. 

Overall, I think it was a well done story, and I think anyone who loves fantasy with fae, should not pass up on this. A Broken Blade was such a well executed, page-turning read! 

Thank you for this ARC!
Was this review helpful?
I was so excited to receive A Broken Blade from @netgalley and @librofm . I’ve followed Melissa Blare on TikTok for ages, and was so excited when she revealed that she was the mystery author of A Broken Blade, which was originally published anonymously last year. 

You need this book if you are a fan of:
✨ badass assassin MCs 
✨ enemies to lovers
✨ action

This book was such a fun ride. If you’re wondering about the balance of romance to fantasy, I would put it as more of a Throne of Glass. While there is a romantic plot line, it’s not the main draw of the book.

The world building was really well done, and I overall found it very easy to follow without any infodumping. 

I struggle with exclusively listening to fantasy books, so it was so helpful to have the kindle version in case I needed to reread something. I alternated between the ebook and audio, but really enjoyed the narrator’s performance.
Was this review helpful?
“𝘠𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘹𝘦𝘤𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘳, 𝘒𝘦𝘦𝘳𝘢,” 𝘴𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘢𝘪𝘥. 𝘏𝘦𝘳 𝘦𝘺𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘴 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘢 𝘴𝘰𝘧𝘵 𝘱𝘰𝘶𝘵. 𝘐 𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘺. “𝘕𝘰, 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵. 𝘈𝘯 𝘦𝘹𝘦𝘤𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘷𝘪𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘥 𝘢 𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘭,” 𝘐 𝘴𝘢𝘪𝘥.

A Broken Blade is such a fitting title and I didn’t realize it until now . Keera is the King’s blade— a royal assassin forced to kill her own kind. Where the King is Mortal, Keera is a Halfling and the King despises them and this he has them hunted down or forced into work . In order to get the jobs done, Keera drowns herself in liquor . 
Until the Shadow arrives and has the skills to end Keera’s reign as Kings Blade . Even though she’s a murderer— she tries to provide any mercy she can. All that will end if this Shadow takes her out and she’s replaced . 

This story is a stellar debut . The character development and the journey we watch Keera take as she battles her addiction to substances is heartbreaking.. she drowns herself in order to keep going. Even though she feels guilt and anguish over her choices- she makes them nonetheless making her an incredible morally grey character . This isn’t a cinnamon roll disguising as a badass . Keera is a badass assassin who won’t hesitate to do what needs to be done.. even though it sends her straight to the bottom of a bottle afterwards. 

The author also takes the huge issue of colonization and by adding a magic system, takes a simple fantasy novel to the next level . It’s a complex world rife with oppression and this debut sets up everything really nicely as a jumping off book so that we can really get into the action in the next one (hopefully). 
This book is my fav of the month so far, I’d encourage you to pick it up if you love: 

🔪 Strong, morally grey MC 
🔪 First person POV
🔪 Enemies - Lovers 
🔪 Political scheming 
🔪 Found Family 
🔪 One bed
🔪 Fae + magic 

Apparently this book blew up on TikTok but I’m not on there because I’m too old to learn new technology 😂 so I may be late to the game but I’m glad it found it’s way to me!
Was this review helpful?
"Hiding in the shadows would not protect him for long. I knew something of shadows, having trained to live within them. Shadows were largest just before 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."

This is an amazing debut novel by Melissa! Wow the writing is sharp, world building is epic, characters are relatable and well defined, and the storyline is tight! I mean the world building! I could see it all in my mind and it was LotR-esque! So vivid and stunning!!

I see nods to Throne of Glass and FBAA but this takes them and makes them unique! Yes, Keera is an orphan assassin to a tyrant king like ToG but Keera has this kindness and determination to do good. I loved seeing her relationship with Gwyn! She really looks after Gwyn and brings her gifts and does these experiences for her and basically tries to bring light into her life as a servant that can't leave the castle. And the fact that she starts and funds this movement to help Halflings escape! Keera's this amazing person!

Riven is dark, mysterious, and brooding. Just how we like our MMC! With his story line I see FBAA but way better!! I enjoyed seeing his found family with Nikolai and Syrra and both of those characters are well fleshed out and fantastic!! Melissa has this way of writing that makes each character completely different but yet something in each of them is so relatable you love them!

This is action packed and I flew through this in one sitting and now am eagerly awaiting the next book! I can't recommend this book enough! Absolutely amazing! Thank you Melissa, Netgalley, and Union Sqare & Co for the opportunity to read this! One of my favorite reads of 2022!!
Was this review helpful?
A Broken Blade is the first book in the Halfling Saga by author Melissa Blair. The Halfling Saga is a new adult fantasy with a dash of enemies to lovers romance. This book was a really solid start to a promising fantasy series. I can’t wait to grab a copy of the next book and see where things will go from there.

My review is purposefully going to be a little vague, because the book is written king od vague and mysterious surrounding certain characters and events, and I don’t want to ruin any of the surprises or fun I had along the way. It’s one of those books that you just have to experience for yourself to understand. But here is what I can tell you….

This story is about our main character, Keera who is a halfling, half elf and half human. In this world halflings are deemed only worthy of being slaves to the crown. Keera was chosen from a young age to train as a warrior spy for the king, and she has been very successful in that role, but it has come at a serious cost to her. When we meet her, she is just a shell of a person and she has a drinking issue (among other things). One of my favorite aspects of the book was watching Keera come into her own. Keera gets an assignment from the King to track down and kill an assassin called The Shadow, and that quest sets Keera off on a totally different course than she ever though was possible.

Away from Court life, Keera’s eyes are opened to a lot more of the world that she ever experienced. Not only did she run into the Shadow but she also found a group of rebels, and with them comes a great cast of characters. I would have enjoyed the romance element of the story to be a little heavier, but this book was definitely more plot driven. The romance was there but it was pretty minor in my opinion. If you are a fan of plot driven quest style fantasy novels with mysterious and morally grey characters, plenty of secrets and betrayals, then The Halfling Saga might be the series for you. I enjoyed A Broken Blade and I am very interested in the next book.
Was this review helpful?