Thank you to Booksparks for sending me an advance copy of Realm Breaker for an honest review!
“There are breakers of castles, breakers of chains, breakers of kings and kingdoms.”
“Which am I?”
“You are a realm breaker. You would crack this world apart and build an empire from its ruins.”
Realm Breaker opens with a massacre. After following his master into battle, Andry Trelland is one of two survivors of an unexpected fight against a supernatural army. The second is Domacridhan, an immortal prince sworn to protect the realm. Across the country is Corayne an-Amarat, daughter of a pirate queen and the last of an ancient lineage. She’s eager to see the world, but her mother leaves her behind every time she sets sail. So when she comes across Andry, Dom and an assassin named Sorasa, Corayne jumps at the chance to leave home. The unlikely crew bands together with a witch, a forger and a bounty hunter, and they set out to take on the evil threatening the realm.
In her new series, Victoria Aveyard looks at what happens when the heroes fail. Realm Breaker’s prologue features all of the typical heroes dying at the hands of evil; our main characters are those left to pick up the pieces and they aren’t your expected chosen ones and champions. In an interview with Den of Geek, Aveyard said:
“It’s no secret Realm Breaker was written to comfort my 14-year-old self, who wanted so desperately to be part of the Fellowship…With Realm Breaker, I hoped to give a little more space and possibility to the concept of a classic fantasy hero, and an adventurous quest.”
Realm Breaker feels like the start of a great Dungeons and Dragons campaign; every character in this ensemble of deadly misfits is a dynamic delight. There are pirates and assassins. There’s a grumpy but loveable immortal prince and a squire who knows the true importance of always having a teapot handy. There’s a queen that goes season eight Daenerys Targaryen, but in a way that makes complete sense. I found myself rooting for everyone, even the side characters and those with villainous tendencies.
Fans of Aveyard’s Red Queen series won’t be disappointed. Realm Breaker’s fast-paced plot, well-written action scenes and dynamic characters easily draws in newcomers to the author (like me!). It also leaves off on a huge cliffhanger; I just finished it and I’m already clamoring for a sequel. I enjoyed every page of this adventure, and I’m sure you will too.
Realm Breaker is available to read now! Pick up a copy at your local independent bookstore or online at Bookshop.org.
TW: murder, blood.
This review was originally published 5/12/21
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