Blog Tour, Book Reviews, Compulsive Readers

The Unbroken – C. L. Clark.

ISBN: 9780356516332. March 25th 2021. Orbit Publishing. With thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for letting me take part in the blog tour, and for arranging for a copy to be sent my way to read and review.

WAR. OPPRESSION. REBELLION.
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.

From the moment I heard anything about this book, I just knew I needed to read it. When I got the email about the blog tour, I jumped at the chance. And I have the pleasure of posting this review on the release day, so Happy Release Day to C. L. Clark for The Unbroken!

It’s taken me a lot to time and energy to work out how to talk about my love for this book without just screaming at you guys. There is always a chance of things getting lost, and/or the reader getting bored when you write a book so deeply entrenched in politics, (Looking at you, A Song Of Ice And Fire), but C. L. Clark does an absolutely phenomenal job. They managed to get the ratios just right. This novel will both intrigue the reader and break their hearts. There are so many little intricacies in this novel that you need to pay close attention to, and yet it is not the end of the world if you missed it in your first read. I highly recommend reading it again to see what you may have missed before.

The world that The Unbroken is set in, is so thoroughly set out that it was easy to fall into. Taking clear inspirations from our ‘real world’ political histories, especially that of colonialism, this book puts you right into the story. This book DOES NOT info-dump, so you need to read to learn more. It is told from the point of view of two characters from completely different life stories. One royalty, and the other, a soldier who was taken as a child and trained to protect the colonist’s country. Both learning what it’s really like in the rest of the world outside of their little bubbles, testing and building loyalties.

Every single character in this book is unique enough to stand out amongst the rest. They each have clear motivations and distinctive voices. I absolutely loved getting to know each and every one of them, but especially Djasha and Aranen. I hope we get more mention of their history with each other, and of Djasha’s with Cantic in the next book. I also really loved getting to know Jaghotai, and I hope she and Touraine get a moment to sit and just ‘be’ in the next book too.

The plot for this book was pretty easy to follow. It has a few tropes, but in my opinion, they were the best kind of tropes. Which means they added to the story, rather than taking away from it. C. L. Clarks writing style is just so easy to get on with. She makes you forget you’re reading a book, and help you fully immerse yourself into the world.

There were some moments I struggled with, and most are related to the Trigger Warnings that she helpfully put on her own website, (which you can find here). Below are the Trigger/Content warnings listed.

Content Warnings: depictions of colonial violence, gore, past attempted rape, threats of rape, threats of torture

I am desperate to get my hands on the sequel. I need to know what is going to happen next asap.

I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Book Hype.
The Story Graph.
Goodreads.
Amazon.
Waterstones.
Book Depository.

Check out the rest of the stops on the tour by following the bloggers included in the graphics below:

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