Synopsis: Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought.
Luca needs a turncoat. Someone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet’s edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne.
Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren’t for sale.
Publication Date: 23rd March, 2021 (Orbit Books)
Genres: Adult Fantasy
Rep: Protagonists of color, LGBT protagonists, f/f main characters, m/m side characters, Nonbinary side character, older women
Trigger Warnings: Depictions of colonial violence (physical and emotional) and destruction, Gore, Past attempted rape, Threats of rape, Threats of torture
The Unbroken was a wonderfully complex book with complex characters and a plot which pulls you in right from page one. Here’s 5 reasons you MUST READ this book:
AN INTRIGUING PLOT
This book is a North African inspired military and political fantasy about a princess trying to prove herself and save her empire and a soldier fighting for freedom. The themes and discussions of colonialism is delicately interwoven in the plot while also talking about white privilege and racism and all of this is done seamlessly. I adored how the first few chapters of the book set the tone and pull you in right away. This makes it intriguing. The dynamic of the characters mixed with the plot and the high stakes of the book, make this an amazing book.
The main characters of the book are Luca, princess and queen-to-be and Tourraine, a soldier. Luca is an interesting character who is curious and has a thirst for knowledge but she isn’t the most likable character and I love how well-nuanced her story is. Tourraine was a character with the worst luck but best fighting spirit and I adored reading about her. Both the characters were well fleshed out and realistic and enjoyable to read about. None of the characters felt one dimensional so they annoyed you and made you scream but at the same time made this book even more fun to read. The romance felt a little underdeveloped but I’m excited to see how their story moves forward. The side characters were also great.
AMAZING WORLD BUILDING
The first thing which really made me love this book was the amazing world building. We are thrown right into the world and it might take a few pages to understand but once you do, its truly impressive. Honestly, even getting used to it was easy because the setting and tone of the book has you intrigued right from page one. I am truly so impressed by how good and complex the world building was and it played a huge part in making this book a must read. The detailed and intricate world building is my favourite part of the book!
BEAUTIFUL WRITING AND PROSE
I loved the writing and prose of the book. This book was described as a military and political fantasy so I was hoping for it to be intense and intense it was! The writing was so good and sets the mood perfectly. I have said this a lot but the author does a fabulous job of setting the perfect tone and intensity and in a way which makes it feel realistic and plays in your head while reading it. The descriptions of the scenes and the desert setting was stunning and leaves you wowed.
NARRATIVES OF COLONIALISM AND PREJUDICE
This book is unique in the way it not only describes colonialism as a theme but as an important plot point. It talks about colonialism is a raw and brutal way telling it exactly how it is. It’s a well-written and its nuanced take on the social and economic commentaries in the book also give the reader a very well rounded experience. Right from white privilege to racism to the prejudice faced by the Sands is all written well. I would particularly describe this book as raw in the all the various narratives it handles.
Overall, The Unbroken was an intense book which will make you go through many emotions with its well-written characters and world building and intriguing plot. If you’re a fan of books with pain, politics and military fantasy, The Unbroken is a must-read for you. If you’re looking to get into adult fantasy or are searching for an adult fantasy, The Unbroken should be top of your list!
Thank you to Caffeine Book Tours and Orbit Books for making me a part of the tour and for providing me with an e-arc of the book. All opinions are my own
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cherae has been a personal trainer, an English teacher, and an editor, and is some combination thereof as she travels the world. When she’s not writing or working, she’s learning languages or reading about war and post-colonial history. Her short fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, FIYAH, PodCastle and Uncanny. The Unbroken is her debut novel.
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