Tomorrow, Realm Breaker will be out in the world for everyone to read! Gah, it’s always so exciting to be writing a review for a book months in advance. I feel like it’s been forever since I read an up-and-coming novel that has a lot of highly-anticipated readers with a huge dedicated following from her previous book series. I think the last was The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue last year. I guess this is my yearly “getting-on-the-train-early-and-waiting-for-it-to-take-off” and I’m glad to be on board. While I haven’t read Victoria Aveyard’s first fantasy series, Red Queen, I think this new one from her will be more my style especially as an epic YA fantasy.
Here’s More About Realm Breaker
A strange darkness grows in Allward.
Even Corayne an-Amarat can feel it, tucked away in her small town at the edge of the sea.
She soon discovers the truth: She is the last of an ancient lineage—and the last hope to save the world from destruction. But she won’t be alone. Even as darkness falls, she is joined by a band of unlikely companions:
A squire, forced to choose between home and honor.
An immortal, avenging a broken promise.
An assassin, exiled and bloodthirsty.
An ancient sorceress, whose riddles hide an eerie foresight.
A forger with a secret past.
A bounty hunter with a score to settle.
Together they stand against a vicious opponent, invincible and determined to burn all kingdoms to ash, and an army unlike anything the realm has ever witnessed.
It’s been a while since a book’s lived rent-free inside my head. I spent my weekend thinking about Andry, Dom, Corayne, and Sorasa and the adventures they get into throughout Realm Breaker. It was a pretty easy read in comparison to some bigger named epic fantasy titles and the multiple POV provides excellent detail on a specific scene from multiple angles. I really loved this world and the strange magic within it.
I love that this is a group of random strangers all somehow related to the royal world they live in. Their worlds are all different, but they all have skin in the game of taking down the royalty. Corayne is the daughter of an infamous pirate and a very famous mortal who’s blood and sword can open realms called “Spindles.” It felt a little like alternate universes with people from a specific bloodline having the ability to open them. Dom is an immortal who’s worked alongside Corayne’s father. Andry is a squire who watched as Corayne’s father was killed. Sorasa is an assassin, but working closely with Dom and therefore becomes a part of the group.
This book was action packed! Either they were traveling through some wild parts of the map or they were faced with giant sea creatures, there weren’t many moments where you weren’t entertained. Even the characters themselves turned out to be intriguing and you wanted to know more about them. They were all flawed as well and this is what I really enjoyed about the novel; nothing came easy. Plans got messed up or something big and twisted happens to keep you pushing for the heroes to win. I love a good battle where people think they have everything under control, but everything turns out like trash regardless.
I’m also a huge fan of “royalty gone wrong” stories where the corruption within the royalty is what sets off this group of randoms to fight against it. And they are sinister. I was surprised because there are sections where the Queen has her own POV, but when the twists started for her side of the story, I was floored by where Victoria Aveyard took it. It made sense with the story, but it surprised me nonetheless.
The only other thing I wanted more of was the relationships between these characters. At first, I thought Andry, Dom, Corayne, and Sorasa were going to be the main characters in the group. They had a rapport especially with each other and I can see hints of possible romantic connections in future books. I can also see some more natural friendships developing, but overall, I wanted there to be some more moments of downtime where the group can get to know each other rather than moving onto the next task.
But as the story moved along, more characters were introduced and became very integral for the movement of the plot. I wish they were introduced much earlier (they were introduced pretty much in the middle of the book), so that we can follow along with them. Also, there were characters that had their own POV, but I wasn’t completely sure its relevance to the story. You get hints here and there, but it felt weird to be reading components that didn’t really fit with the rest of the book. I’m assuming they’ll be introduced in subsequent books, but I kept these character POVs in mind in case they came up later in the story. I don’t think they really do.
Overall, this was a great start to a brand new YA fantasy series. I’ll probably be following along as Victoria Aveyard publishes the rest of the titles for this series and rereading this one again in the future. I look forward to seeing what happens next!
I received a copy of this book from Epic Reads for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.