Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard
Summary: A strange darkness grows in Allward. Even Corayne an-Amarat can feel it, tucked away in her small town at the edge of the sea. She soon discovers the truth: She is the last of an ancient lineage—and the last hope to save the world from destruction. But she won’t be alone. Even as darkness falls, she is joined by a band of unlikely companions: A squire, forced to choose between home and honor. An immortal, avenging a broken promise. An assassin, exiled and bloodthirsty. An ancient sorceress, whose riddles hide an eerie foresight. A forger with a secret past. A bounty hunter with a score to settle. Together they stand against a vicious opponent, invincible and determined to burn all kingdoms to ash, and an army unlike anything the realm has ever witnessed.
[Spoiler free review]
This was my first Victoria Aveyard read & it will not be my last! If this fantasy read is on your TBR pile, know up from that there are 5 POVs in this book with a 6th introduced towards the end. That took some getting used to and honestly, if I’d known to expect that up front, it would have made the reading a bit easier.
Aveyard’s world building in this fantasy is 10/10! I started out listening to this one on audible, but because of the complex world building & the multiple POVs, I had a hard time keeping up 😅 So I started over with my physical copy. With Aveyard’s writing, I had zero trouble picturing every scene and each character. The action felt natural, rather than forced. Realistic, too. In some fantasy’s, authors will get too far out with their plot twists & and I truly felt like each hiccup and pivot in this book kept true to the story.
Corayne is a MC you can’t help but root for! She wanted to see more of the world & she sure as hell got her wish. Her bravery is admirable, but it was her attention to the people around her that made me love her even more! Quick witted & compassionate! My heart breaks for her when it comes to the relationship she doesn’t really have with her parents. I wish her mother could see her value, but the further I read, I realized Corayne’s mother choices were in place solely to protect her daughter…at least I hope that is the case. Hoping the get a deeper dive into Corayne’s family dynamics in book 2!
The romance in this is A TEASE. That is usually a turn off for me in a book, but it fit in perfectly/made sense given all the chaos these characters were put through. I can see the love triangle that’s forming…or maybe I misinterpreted it all. Corayne has Andry [a squire] & Domacridhan [an immortal/elder] by her side & I love them both so much & can’t choose! At first, I was getting some love triangle vibes, but thank goodness I was wrong. With everything going on in this book, a love triangle would have taken away from the story’s true journey. However, I do wish SOMETHING had happened between either of them, but that’s just my hopeless romantic side talking. Keeping my fingers crossed for more romance in RB2!
If I had to choose a favorite aspect of this book, it’d have to be how Sorasa [an assassin] wanted Corayne to learn how to protect herself. Sorasa was a character I didn’t like at first. She came off selfish, only interested in doing what would benefit her. I did not expect to grow to love Sorasa by the end & she turned out to be my favorite character in this book! The back of this book describes her as skilled and heartless, but readers will see small glimpses of her loyal heart as the story progresses! Never thought I’d love a side character over an MC but it is what it is.
If you’ve got a thing for romance between villains, you’re in for a sweet treat ❤️ Diving any deeper might spoil things, so I’ll just leave it at that!
Each characters’ development felt realistically flawed and triumphant in their own ways. These characters have a ways to go, but their growth in book one had me rooting for each of them along the way.
This book was an absolute adventure! Five stars for sure. If you haven’t given this read and chance, I HIGHLY recommend.