ARC Book Review: The Unbroken
The Unbroken by debut author C.L. Clark is unapologetically raw, masterfully crafted, and contains such a vivid and realistic view on colonialism. The reader gets a point of view on both sides of the colonialism battle between Touraine and Luca. Touraine, a conscript solider, is almost ping-ponged throughout the whole book with where her heart and loyalty truly lies and how, in the end, could she possibly make the right choice between her people, the rebels, and the princess. Luca, the heir to the throne of the Balladaire Empire, is set out to end the rebellion and create peace in Touraine’s former home of Qazāl, but peace is easier said than done when so many lives are on the line. On top of that, growing romantic feelings between the two only add to the chaotic and violent fire they both create.
This book was an absolutely thrilling read with beautifully developed North African inspired world-building and equally beautiful diverse and queer characters. There’s lesbian, bisexual, Black, and disabled characters, it ticks all the boxes for there to be a character almost everyone could relate to. The story centers heavily on colonialism and its privilege and devastation on both sides. It’s raw, it’s messy, it’s brutal, but it’s an entirely unforgettable and intimate story. The magic system really drew me in. The concept of what magic can do is so incredibly intriguing and unnerving at the same.
Touraine and Luca’s romance is equally raw, messy, and brutal. It packs a punch to the enemies-to-lovers romance with intertwining the harsh reality of rebellion, politics, and betrayal. The romance does not take the forefront of the story, it’s more small hints of it here and there, but the longing is fierce, yet shaky, and it adds all the more angst throughout the story. Both characters are flawed, both desperate to save their own people, both struggling and failing with the choices they made… They’re both a chaotic mess and it only adds to the wonderful storytelling.
The Unbroken has easily become a favorite read of 2021, and I eagerly await the next book!
(also let’s keep Touraine in sleeveless shirts to show off those biceps!)
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
The Unbroken releases March 23rd, 2021!
Where to purchase:
Check with your local Indie Book Stores!