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Publisher's Summary

Bloomsbury presents A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer, read by Melissa Bayern, Matt Reeves, Kate Handford and Davis Brooks.

In the sequel to New York Times best-selling A Curse so Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.

Find the heir, win the crown.

The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers. 

Win the crown, save the kingdom. 

Grey may be the heir, but he doesn't want anyone to know his secret. On the run since he destroyed Lilith, he has no desire to challenge Rhen - until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother's violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

The heart-pounding, compulsively listenable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.

©2020 Brigid Kemmerer (P)2019 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

What listeners say about A Heart so Fierce and Broken

Average Customer Ratings
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Distracting Narrator

I was extremely excited to start the sequel to A Curse So Dark and Lonely, but the narrator reading for Lia Mara's voice is often shrill, with strange inflections. It's distracting and doesn't lend itself well to the "serious" and "clever" character. I found myself wishing hard for the other narrators to take over and hating the character.

6 people found this helpful

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Horrible narration

The person who voiced Lia Mara was just grating to listen to, and the mens voices were so droll and uninspiring. If I could give performance 0 stars I would- I had to finish reading on my Kindle and I will likely not finish the series as this book was extremely frustrating to get through.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Don’t read this book in hopes of getting more from Harper and Rhen

I came in to this book desperate for some more Rhen, Harper, and Grey. I loved loved loved the first book. But then this book became a book about Lara Mai, Karius Liurun, and Grey. The Grey part—and the scraver- kept me going for half of the book, but then I just couldn’t take it. I didn’t care for Shyl Shallow or any of its people, so I skipped to the end which was the only Rhen chapter. I will be on the lookout for the next book in hopes there will be more Rhen and Harper, but this book meant pretty much nothing to me.



Spoilers!!!:

Additionally, a Grey and Harper romance was always subtly hinted, and Grey just moved on and I don’t know. I wish I would’ve gotten some closure IN THIS BOOK before he moved on to lo and behold-Lara Mai. Don’t get me wrong. Lara Mai isn’t awful, like her mother, but she’s just ehhhh. It’s like she was forced on me. She’s not Harper but still kind of tries to be? Idk it’s not that it should be a comparison it’s just that I don’t care for Lara Mai. And half of the book is her. I literally would skim her chapters or force myself to read her parts.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Narrators, eh, story, great

The male narrator was fantastic, but the female narrator could get very screechy. This book was better than the first!!

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Character Development Takes a 180

I loved the first book. It was fabulous fresh take on a overdone story. But this one turns the characters you grew to love and were led to believe have grown from the first page to the last, into the villains. Harper and Rhen are now the “bad guys” I strongly disliked this. It seemed unnatural to the the story line. I powered through it just to end it.

2 people found this helpful

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Not my favorite narration

The story was good, although COMPLETELY different from the first, but I had a hard time enjoying the female narrator. While she did a wonderful job expressing emotions, her characters came across a bit whiny...almost cartoonish at times.

2 people found this helpful

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Bummer

So I read the first book, a curse so dark and lonely, it was like a beauty and the Beast meets I Am Dragon. But the girl narrator of the new character WAS HORRIBLE! I might pick this book up to read myself so I can find out what happens to Grey. But man, the narrator can make or break a story and this is one of those cases. At least the guy was good but the girl was Just whiny and obnoxious

1 person found this helpful

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Ruined Charaters!

I loved the first book but this one went and did a 180 on a the characters. Why make Rhen the villen???? I am not happy!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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better characters than the first book

I liked the first story, but the new love interests are more interesting in book two. I never loved the main character in book one so painting him in a more sinister light made sense to me. I am excited to see how it all comes together in book three!

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Decent book- poor narration

I loved book 1 of this series and read it twice. I read this one when it came out, and now am re-reading it (via audible- so listening to it) before I start the third book.

The story itself is ok. I didn’t love it like the first book-the villainization of the main characters wasn’t really my thing, but I’m holding out for book 3.

The narration- oh boy. Where do I begin? The narrator for Lia Mara was just horrible. Her voice does not even slightly fit the character- which isn’t her fault, I blame whoever chose her for this- but nevertheless absolutely made her parts like struggling through a tape of someone using nails on a chalkboard over and over and over. Her emphasis and emotion seemed very forced and unnatural. It was so unsuited, I was tempted to skip all her chapters... then I remembered how much of her story took over about halfway though the book, so I had to struggle through it. So, so bad.

The man voicing Gray was not suited for him either, in my opinion. His voice and cadence however, were very easy to listen to and quite lovely. He just sounded very unlike what I felt fitting for Gray and he sounded (to me, anyway) about 35 and not 19-20. That threw me off. But his parts were superior in comparison to Lia Mara.

Harper’s narration didn’t exactly fit my expectations, per se, but she did a nice job. Too bad there wasn’t more of her in this.

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  • Ted Ryan
  • 05-13-20

Sequel Blues...

After reading its prequel and immensely enjoying it, this was definitely an anticipated read for 2020. However, I am sad to say I was really disappointed with how this book turned out.
Kemmerer did a great job at not only crafting her own twist on Beauty & the Beast, but creating a vast world with a complex cast of characters. This second novel fails to capture that intensity, instead character developments were ignored and the majority of this book was written to develop a relationship between two characters that really didn’t deserve the page count - well, one did. The other definitely didn’t.
The biggest disappointment was the lack of plot. Kemmerer cut the perspectives of Harper (who for personal reasons was a favourite of mine. But also her character was vital in the last book) and Rhen (Yeah. This book really ruined all of his growth from the last book. He now suddenly became the villain of this world) - they were reduced to narrators for the prologue and epilogue and they appeared in about five scenes.
This book was actually dedicated to Grey, as he struggles to accept his new status and Lia Mara, the daughter of Rhen’s enemy. Instead the execution was poorly done. This story really didn’t need Lia Mara as a narrator - as a character she annoyed me, the love story felt incredibly forced and I think a few chapters from her perspective would’ve sufficed. She also lacked any agency, unlike Harper - Lia Mara was a bit of a Mary Sue in her arc.
Grey on the other hand was too angst filled for my liking. His relationships with Rhen and Harper were reduced to almost nothing. Which made his actions hard to believe and frustrating after awhile.
The threat with Luris Karan and her status as a rival monarch should have had way more impact and stakes in the plot, instead Rhen’s uncharacteristic orders throughout the kingdom, made him more of an antagonist and the Queen’s ending anticlimactic.
This was admittedly a difficult read to get through - Harper and Grey should’ve been the narrators of this piece and with everything going on, Lia Mara’s perspective and her romance with Grey was the last thing I wanted to sit through.
I will be continuing this series with the third and final book next year, but the author needs to focus on the complex relationships between her original main cast, which is what made her first book so compelling and this book was sadly far from that.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-17-20

A good book.

It was a good book. I enjoyed it but I personally would have liked a few more Harper and Rhen chapters to see what they thought of the situation.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Doublespeedson
  • 01-30-20

Better than the first book

A really easy listen that developed characters from the first book. Ends on a cliff hanger.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Emily
  • 02-04-21

Pleasantly Surprised! Spoilers!

Given that I wasnt overly fond of the first book picking up book 2 wasnt part of my plan but I am so glad that I did because I really enjoyed it! Even in book 1 I found Grey to be the most likeable character in the book along with Harper so to find out this was mostly about Grey was brilliant! the only reason I'm kot giving it 5/5 is because of the complete 180 personality change Rhen bad when compared to before but that's understandable it just would have been interesting to see inside his head instead of being left to wonder what motivated his actions, it reminded me a lot of what Sarah J Maas tends to do with her characters and it caught me off guard because it is not a trend I overly like but think it worked in to the plot well I only wish there were more chapters from his point of view.

Grey and Lia Mara are both really interesting characters and I really enjoyed their interactions! I'm looking forward to reading book 3.

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  • Tasha
  • 01-21-21

Awful sequel - SPOILERS!

I loved the 1st book but this sequel literally just stomps all over the character progression and turned the redeemable bad boy into the villan, with zero explaination.

I HATED the love story in this, I was shipping Gray and Harper from the start and can't stand Liam Mara at all. Harper is hardly in this book and I find it extremely unbelievable that this heroine from the first book would suddenly turn into a simpering wet blanket and stay with Rhen, when he is clearly an absolute twonk and on the verge of being emotionally abusive.

I listened (Audible) until the end and will listen to the third book, but honestly after this total slap in the face of a sequel, I don't have much hope for the remaining book.

Ps. I will forgive this awful second book if Gray and Harper end up together!

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  • Scarlet Wilson
  • 05-30-20

Didn’t love narrator

Grey was my favourite character from the first book and I couldn’t wait for him to get his own story. Unfortunately, for me the voice didn’t suit what I had in my head for Grey. It was too polished.

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  • Scott Dewar
  • 05-29-20

The Tamlin treatment all over again...

A good read. I was happy to see grey get some genuine develop and see things from his perspective and the side characters( Jake excluded) kept my attention, interest or curiosity enough to remain relevant. I liked the slow and easy growth for the relationship too. What I didn't like was that prince ren pretty much became what I like to call A tamlin or rather he was given the Tamlin treatment to make him more unlikable in order to develop Grey and make him more likeable. Even if the focus did move away from the original mains, this book could have gone without muddying Ren and making the original female lead useless and indecisive after she was so strong willed in the first book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Emma (Star Crossed Reviews)
  • 03-08-20

Great Sequel

A Curse So Dark and Lonely was one of my top reads in 2019! I love a Beauty and the Beast retelling and this is up there with some of the best. I have been waiting for this for what seems like forever.

The last book was told almost exclusively from the POV of Rhen and Harper. This book is told mostly from the POV of Grey and Lia Maria. In the first book, I loved Rhen. I loved him so damn much but his fears, his fears, they just take over. It makes him very difficult to like.

Grey and Lia are fantastic characters. Both grow so much throughout this book. Grey goes from loyal Guardsman to the rightful heir. But he does it so reluctantly and naturally that it doesn't feel like a betrayal. Lia has always been strong and a natural leader but she doesn't realise it. Her sister has been chosen as the heir and that's the end of it for her.

It was clear from early on how this story was going to progress. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the journey very much. I also enjoyed the whole host of side characters that we got to meet.

I am not very excited for book 3 which cannot come soon enough!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kay bilsby
  • 03-02-20

This Book had me rapt

The second part of a well rounded story, set in a believable world. I loved it. The whole thing was enhanced by the excellent narration. I await the inevitable third book with anticipation.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Hal
  • 01-28-20

Keep on reading!

Book two in the Curse-breaker series is absolutely brilliant! I enjoyed book one (a curse so dark and lovely) but there were moments that I felt like I was reading a child’s book - Harper’s character does not have much depth but there was something overall that kept me interested.

This book is great! A story of friendship, romance and adventure- more colourful & interesting than the first. It goes beyond the main characters and brings so much more to the book with the fabulous Grey, Lia Mara and so on...

Highly recommend

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-27-20

Very annoying female narrator

The voice for Lia Mara was extremely whiny. She was almost too emotional and always sounded as if she were on the verge of tears. She also gave some of the other characters terrible voices. For example, Lia Mate's sister and their advisor. The voice was so annoying that I couldn't wait for all of Lie Mara's chapters to be over. Grey's chapters were always a huge relief because his narrator was nowhere near as awful.

3 people found this helpful