A Curse So Dark and Lonely was clearly a retelling and did an adequate job making the classic it’s own. Having liked Grey just as much as other readers I was intrigued how A Heart So Fierce and Deadly would transform his story into its own fantasy from the original cursed world.
Did A Heart So Fierce and Broken break this Fangirl’s heart?
Yeah actually it did. Kind of. Not the way I expected. Especially coming from Brigid Kemmerer. This is an author with a lot of books under her belt and they’ve spawn tons of fans. With this sequel I just don’t understand why. A Heart So Fierce and Broken is your average fantasy with your average princess. It reminds you of other middling debut fantasy novels. There’s a little potential but it’s not used well. Now I’m not sure I have the heart to give other Brigid Kemmerer books a go.
My heart broke at ho-hum Grey.
My main reason for wanting to read the sequel was getting into Grey’s head. He was mysterious, loyal and smoldering. What a great narrative that would make! So I thought. For me, his mind wasn’t very manly. In fact, many of his actions didn’t make sense. If you took away the reason given in his head and examined just his his actions they didn’t aline with the Grey we knew from ACSDaL. It made him random, being yanked about by his author in a way that suits the story but not the character. I wanted Grey.
But Lia Mara tried to patch it up.
I liked Lia Mara. Her situation more that Grey’s made sense to me. She loves her mother and sister but also felt inadequate to cope with what they needed from her. And she liked who she was as a person, I can see why she felt conflicted.
But she also jumped to some wild conclusions about Grey, Rhen and Harper. Rhen was supposedly a genius and he had tons more time to ponder Grey but it’s Lia Mara who understands instantly?! It’s not believable.
It makes the fact she couldn’t see what would happen with her mother contrived. She has such clarity from a few facts about a stranger but she can’t see what was obvious to the reader? It made her story boring and predictable.
A minor character did give my heart hope.
Iisak is just the kind of character I love to see in fantasy series. His motives are shrouded in mystery and you aren’t sure who’s side he’s on. I found this part of the story the most intriguing. Tons more could have been done with it. Unfortunately when a story is contrived everyone suffers.
Is it any wonder all the contrivances in A Heart So Fierce and Broken hurt my heart?
Grey made a lot of decisions that just weren’t in line with how he handled things in ACSDaL. You don’t leave your closest and oldest friend you went through a horror with without saying goodbye. The motivation isn’t there. Sure fears may make you leave tons of things unsaid but not goodbye. That’s just speaking about Rhen.
Many readers saw Grey with Harper, that he was deeply in love with her. He wouldn’t have wanted her to worry so even if there was an adequate reason to not say goodbye to Rhen he would have assured Harper. It was contrived, as a way to cause doubt in Rhen and Harper’s minds. But it just doesn’t work.
A Heart So Fierce and Broken is riddled with these kinds of contrivances. Many of the secondary characters did things that didn’t fit their roles. For example, if you’re a body guard you don’t act rash because that can compromise the safety of your charge. But the author used it as a reason to cause a situation. There were other contrivances that could have been developed in a much more natural way. More time was needed, on the author’s part, to ponder and develop these basic motives into complex ideas.
A Heart So Fierce and Broken wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t anything special. A more ho-hum fantasy you can’t find. Much of the plot was contrived and there was a disconnect between the characters’ motives and events. Plus there’s a twist that smacks of A Court of Thorns and Roses and it outrages anyone who loves friendship.