Realm Breaker

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Realm Breaker
Publisher
Age Range
13+
Release Date
May 04, 2021
ISBN
978-0062872623
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Irresistibly action-packed and full of lethal surprises, this stunning new fantasy series from Victoria Aveyard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Red Queen series, begins where hope is lost and asks: When the heroes have fallen, who will take up the sword? 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.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
A great high fantasy in the making
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
What Worked: Realm Breaker is the first book of a new epic high fantasy series. It takes place in a world that used to be connected to other worlds through portals called spindles. However, they have been closed now for hundreds of years, and some of the inhabitants are stuck from other places, such as the nearly immortal Elders and those of Cor blood. What was neat about this book was that in the prologue the world’s heroes all assembled for the takedown of the villain that stole a spindle blade and used his Cor ancestry to rip a portal open and they failed.
This story is what happens after. There were only two survivors of the battle and the spindle blade they were able to run away with. A group of misfits comes together as the last hope of stopping the villain, Taristan. They are comprised of an old sorceress, a squire, an elder prince, an assassin, a bounty hunter, a counterfeiter, and a pirate’s daughter who has Cor blood. The rulers of the realm balk at helping, some because they see forming an alliance with Taristan as their path to greatness, others would like the spindles ripped open so they can return to their homeworlds, and some out of cowardness. The odds are not in the remaining heroes’ favor, but they are determined, some because of morals and some because it is better than the world being destroyed and having nowhere to spend their gold.
In this first book the worldbuilding is being set up, the dilemma is building, people are choosing sides, and these unlikely heroes are slowly learning to trust each other. Each of their unique skills are needed to solve different scrapes they get into along the way to reseal the spindles. The book doesn’t explain why the spindles were closed or how they could be safely opened. However, there is a big bad waiting and the world is destabilized when a spindle is ripped. The story is told from multiple characters so sometimes the events feel like a wave, where the plot goes back in time and builds again from another character’s perspective of events.
What Left Me Wanting More: I started this book as an audiobook, but so many events and people were being introduced in the first few chapters that I had to go to the printed version until I had a handle on the plot enough to go back to an audiobook. There were no relationships established, but I do think at least two couples will be emerging in subsequent books; at least I hope they pair off like I suspect they will.
Final Verdict: This was a well-built world and the beginning of great epic fantasy. Hopefully, fans won’t have to wait too long for the sequels because the realm is in peril and the spindles need to be closed!
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An Instant Classic
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
It took me nearly a full month of reading, but I finally finished Realm Breaker, the first book in a brand new fantasy series from Victoria Aveyard. I’m not really sure what I expected going into the book. I really enjoyed the Red Queen series, but I knew this was going to be different. Different can be good though. Realm Breaker starts after a failed attempt to stop a portal to another realm being opened. The heroes have failed, and the survivors have gone off to lick their wounds and hopefully rally another set of heroes to do what the others could not. Following an immortal prince, a lowly squire, a witch, an assassin, and a girl who didn’t know the power within her, Realm Breaker is a high fantasy adventure where hope is lost and only the strong will survive.

The book begins with the squire who witnesses the fall of the heroes. Andry Trelland returns to his queen with the news that Taristan has opened the spindle gates, unleashing an undead army and killing the knights he was sworn to serve. Andry is one of my favorites of the series. He is what you’d expect a squire to be: loyal, moral, and brave. Yet this squire has already faced death and lived to tell the tale. He is haunted by nightmares and shadows, and his loyalty will be put to the test when his morals don’t match those he serves.

My second favorite character is Domacridhan, the immortal prince of Iona. He is ethereal and what I’d picture elves to be if he was from our own stories. His best friend and charge, a Cor blood, one of few who could open and close a spindle, was killed by Taristan at the opening of the story. Somehow Dom survived, and like Andry, is haunted by ghosts. As an immortal, death is not something he sees often and grief is rarely a feeling encountered by his kind. So he is set apart, angry that his queen will not raise an army to save the realm, and determined to find a Cor blood who can. When he learns that his friend had a daughter in secret, his hope is renewed. Dom is interesting in that while he is hundreds of years old, he still has childlike tendencies. He’s clearly been sheltered in Iona, and it’s endearing.

Other notable characters include Sorasa Sarn the assassin, Corayne an-Amarat a Cor Blood, and Taristan. Sorasa is first introduced when Dom is seeking Corayne. He knows he cannot find her on his own, and so he seeks the assassin’s help. Sorasa is cunning and a bit intimidating. She is definitely someone you want on your side. Corayne is a lonely girl, daughter of a pirate and too smart for her own good. Never knowing her father, Corayne longs for adventure. Then Dom arrives and Corayne’s world is turned upside down. The adventure she longs for awaits.

Taristan is the clear villain of the story. He is seen in the first pages leading an undead army and killing the hope of the realm. He intrigues me more than scares me. He is powerful, but what does he have to gain? Why is he opening the spindles that have long remained closed? Why risk killing everyone to gain nothing?

Overall, I enjoyed Realm Breaker. Told in multiple POV, as the reader you get a full picture of what is happening. Dramatic irony reigns as at times you know what is happening before the characters. The sense of desperation and the tiny glimpses of hope drive the story. I can’t wait for more of their adventures because the story is just beginning. If you are a fan of Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, and high fantasy adventures, I highly recommend you add this one to your shelf.
Good Points
- Epic Fantasy Adventure, similar to Tolkien
- Fantastic world-building
- Amazing and diverse cast of characters
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