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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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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    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!!

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Moves Slower

In the end I liked this book but it does move slower. Different point of views but it makes you wonder what happened to the two other characters from the other book? Hmm 🤔 The performance was good it’s just slow moving story.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Hated this Story

I loved A Curse So Dark and Lonely, but this story drove me up the freaking wall! It took me three times to get through story....and I am still not there. (So close, but so painfully far...couple more chapters) Lia Mara is the worst! She is whiney and very UGH. Holding Rhen to double standards. Everytime she second guessed herself and was all, "I'm not good enough" I wanted to yell at her that she's right! Also, I don't buy her romance with Grey at ALL! Speaking of Grey, another character that I hated in this story, which sucks because it was basically just the two of them. I really enjoyed him in the first book, so much that I really wanted him to end up with Harper, even though I knew it wouldn't happen. He seems so out of character in this book that by the end I couldn'teven think about him the same way.
I get what the author was trying to do with Lia Mara. Showing that strength doesn't mean brute force/ fear all the time but she drove me CRAZY! I feel like the first book did this very well with Harper, but failed miserably in the second with Lia Mara. I dont like that I am supposed to dislike Rhen in this story, which I still dont. I think he is acting very much like a person who was raised royal, cruse for centuries, and was betrayed by someone he would have literally died for in the last book multiple times! PTSD is a real thing and I'm not sure how Grey has gotten through with out any glimmer of it since they both suffered devastatingly for so long.
Overall, I want Rhen to be king, Grey to get his personality back, and Lia Mara to tragically die/ disappear/ just leave. However, I dont know if I will be reading the next installment. This one might have killed it for me. I'll just keep re-reading the first like a stand alone and pretend this one never existed.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous. Flawless. Fantasy.

This was just fantastic! Kemmerer has really exceeded my expectations and more. And she still ends with her signature cliffhanger flourish!

⚖️ Plot: At first, it seems like a slow burn. But a few chapters along the way and you realize you’ve turned your loyalties! The pace was meticulously timed to immerse us through the roller coaster of twists and turns.

🗺 World: Since this was the second book of the series, I was already familiar with the setting and didn’t need too much description. This is a good thing too because Kemmerer’s strength seems to be plot and character driven stories.

💑 Characters: I cannot believe I’m now in love with Grey! I always knew there was more to his tale, but this man is developing into a legend. I’m delighted to see how well developed Lia Mara is. She is unique, lovely and brings an excellent contrast to the rest of the cast.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

good reas

A wonderful story with great narrators. I like how they branched off from the initial story, it was not at all what I expected after listening to the previous story.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Grey

I really enjoyed seeing things in a new light in Grey's eyes. The struggles he went through and the new found magic. He finds love which is well deserved.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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bravooooooo

I have to admit I had my doubts in the middle of reading,I felt it lacks the charms and adventures of first book and I really missed rhen and Harper ,I felt some chapters of grey and lia can be replaced by rhen and Harper for diversity but the epilogue and last chapter just wooow moved the wholec book to a whole new level and made me understand the complete intended absence of rhen and Harper just woow chapeauⁿ for brigid how she transformed a breathtaking retelling of beauty and the beast to something more and beyond explanation and chapeau for her for reflecting human nature and complexity of feelings ,how I love rhen,Harper,grey and lia ,how I cannot choose a side ,how I understand the reasons and fears and fights and reasons for each character ,how it truly reflect the true nature of human,no one is 1oo percent good or evil we human are not perfect we r controlled by our owns reasons and what we see right and how we r as humans always in continuing battle to get things right ,no author and I mean no author made me feel this heart broken, confused,week ,understanding,compassionate, afraid like Brigid,she really can reflect human emotions ,chapeau for Brigid and ahhh my heart is broken for both rhen and grey can January come early?I am dying here and chapeau for one of the best authors and to the best young adult novels written

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Ted Ryan
  • 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.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Gemma
  • 04-16-21

If book 1 was a gold coin, book 2 is a £1 coupon

Lia Mara was the most annoying. I don’t understand how wren was turned into a villain and Grey into miracle Jesus. Harper is all of a sudden a simpering tag along!?
The thing I liked about Grey in the first book was his subtle yet cool presence. In this one he is a bit frustrating. The whole book just seemed unnecessary and disrespectful to the first book and it’s characters. I only liked Tycho and Noah tbh.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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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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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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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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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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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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    4 out of 5 stars
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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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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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    3 out of 5 stars
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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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-04-21

love it

an exciting adventure the whole way through. a story where you're there, with the characters and feel their emotions. looking forward to the next chapter.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-13-21

Worth a read

The female narrator was hard to listen to. Very whiny
Storyline is amazing though and not cliche at all