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The Unbroken (Magic of the Lost, 1) de C. L.…
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The Unbroken (Magic of the Lost, 1) (edició 2021)

de C. L. Clark (Autor)

Sèrie: Magic of the Lost (1)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1494145,877 (3.69)6
Títol:The Unbroken (Magic of the Lost, 1)
Autors:C. L. Clark (Autor)
Informació:Orbit (2021), 544 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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The Unbroken de C.L. Clark

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CW: mentions of past rape(or attempted), violence and gore, torture

I’ve been so excited to read this book since the first time I saw the stunning cover and realized it was sapphic fantasy. And I truly never expected Orbit to approve my request for the advance copy, so I’m definitely thankful to them for being able to read this wonderful book sooner.

The writing in this book is stunning... that’s it. I don’t even wanna extrapolate more about it because the author’s words speak for themselves. The vivid descriptions of the desert city make you feel the heat and dust, the characters’ inner monologues makes you feel so connected to them, and the unfairness of the world makes you feel despair. The pacing is also perfect (though not everyone might agree with me) - it starts off slow and takes time to get interesting, but the buildup the author creates makes for excellent payoff towards the end where everything happens at breakneck speed and we are left catching our breath. But the book is also pretty grim throughout with hardly any levity nor much hope, which can make for a depressing reading experience but the excellent writing, exciting plot and complicated characters more than make up for the bleakness.

I mentioned in another review of mine recently that I seem to gravitating a lot towards fantasies these days which explore the themes of colonialism and prejudice and racism, and this was no different. The author shows through her world how centuries of colonization entrenches prejudices, which become so ingrained that people don’t wanna look past them even for the sake of their own prosperity. It just becomes easy to oppress and punish and subjugate the colonial subjects, rather than treat them like an equal part of the empire; even if it foments rebellion leading to destruction for both sides.

The author’s exploration of identity, through the eyes of the soldiers who were long taken away from their homes and trained to fight for the empire, now being turned on their own birthplace, was pretty emotional. It was heartbreaking to see these soldiers unable to forget their years of training and hope for some equality and respect, while also being conflicted about oppressing the people who are their own. Not feeling like they belonged anywhere was quite distressing and the author perfectly captured this anguish.

The cast of characters are splendid. Touraine, the conscripted soldier and Luca, the rightful queen make for an excellent source for conflict and yearning and the author does it to perfection. They are also immensely flawed, making many decisions without thinking through the consequences, leading to most of the unexpected twists and turns throughout the book. This makes them not likable at all times - there were moments I hated them and then wanted to hug them right after - but they both are immensely sympathetic characters and you hope that things go in their favor. My only gripe is that the amount of yearning and the number of loving interactions they had with each other didn’t feel proportional, and I wish their relationship was developed more.

The side characters were also equally well written and memorable, I kept wanting to know more about them. Particularly Aranen, Djasha, Bastien, Gil - I wanted to know more of their backstories coz they were so interesting. There were also quite a few who I truly despised but they were not the kind of mindless villains we sometimes encounter, so I enjoyed their portrayals too.

Truly, this is an excellent debut and I’m glad that I got to experience another new author this year. If you want rebellion and intrigue and magic interspersed with complicated characters you don’t know what to feel about, then this is perfect for you. If you can wait out the slightly slow buildup and don’t mind your fantasy worlds bleak, then you’ll be blown away by the time you reach the end. I definitely was and I can’t wait to see where the story goes next. ( )
  ksahitya1987 | Aug 20, 2021 |
According to her author bio, Clark has a keen interest in post-colonial history, and this really shows in her writing. She has conceived engaging characters whose unique experiences serve to explore the complex fallout of colonialism from contrasting–but not necessarily polarised–points of view. This alone makes The Unbroken a worthy edition to fantasy shelves already packed with tales of invasion.

Cleverly crafted characters and complex relationships really lifted this story for me. Unlike many of the southern soldiers who secretly pray to forbidden gods and hold on to the hope that they will one day return home, Touraine plans to use her time back in Qazāl to earn a promotion and prove to Balladairan society that the Sands are ‘civilised’. Even when a Qazāli rebel recognises her face as similar to her lost mother’s, she judges the rebels harshly and discourages any sympathy for their cause. Her reality is certainly challenged throughout the book as circumstances and relationships change, but it is not an easy journey for her.

Then there’s Luca who claims she has the people’s best interest at heart, yet believes in her father’s legacy which was to break the Shālan Empire and subjugate its people. Luca is not always likeable, but she’s a fantastic POV character. I enjoyed the insight into her strategies and motivations, which made it easier to understand her. Fantasy books sometimes portray royals as distant and cold, perhaps cracking a window into their inner moral struggle and vulnerability, but I liked this more intimate take.

‘Flawed characters’ is a favourite phrase used by us bloggers to describe books with emotional depth, but in The Unbroken I would simply describe them as angry. And justifiably so. There is not one relationship in this book that isn’t fraught with tension, often stemming from differing schools of thought. Yet almost all of the characters are relatable, and their decisions–good or bad–are usually understandable.

The Unbroken reflects its stunningly illustrated Tommy Arnold cover as a story about gritty characters determined to make their mark on the world. ( )
1 vota jakeisreading | May 23, 2021 |
This was somewhat of a hard read, but more in an emotional sense than the writing style which was really good.
C.L.Clark was very good in developing her characters and you felt with them through the whole book. Especially the two main characters who both just want the best for themselves, and trying to do good to other as well and both kind of failing in this task over and over again, by unintentionally sabotaging their goals. Like the helplessness of Touraine was at points really raw, her need to belong but not fitting in anywhere or Luca trying to be different than her ancestors but not being able to shed this role.
Even the side characters had a good amount of depth, paired with a nice world building in general, one was able to dive right into the story, while having the feeling to be walking through the streets oneself.

Will be interesting to see where the story of next book will take us. ( )
  Black-Lilly | May 16, 2021 |
C. L. Clark's The Unbroken is the first in the new series, Magic of the Lost. In it, we follow the perspectives of two characters - Touraine, a soldier, raised in Belladaire and returning to her homeland with a contingent of soldiers; and Luca, a princess vying for her rightful throne - who make decisions to stop a rebellion and build a nation.

I really liked the author's world-building for this North African-inspired fantasy. I really liked the setting, and the descriptions of the architecture (especially of the Grand Temple) and culture was very well done. The only thing I would have liked more of was the magic system, though I have a feeling this will be described further in future books.

I was also a big fan of the characters, even if they didn't always do what I wanted them to do... There was a great amount of representation - a plethora of f/f relationships (including the main and secondary characters), a minor non binary character, a trans character, equality of men and women in roles of authority, disability (Luca's leg), etc. The characters themselves were complex and, at times, morally gray with questionable motives; even then, their actions were done for what they considered to be the "right" reasons (it reminded me a little of Rin in R. F. Kuang's The Poppy War trilogy, though Rin was more ruthless). There was a lot of betrayal and calculated moves and plotting, and I was there for it.

I can't wait to read more about these characters (and their political machinations) in the rest of this trilogy! ( )
1 vota Allison_Krajewski | Dec 28, 2020 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
C.L. Clarkautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Arnold, TommyAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Panepinto, LaurenDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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A sandstorm brewed dark and menacing against the Qazali horizon as Lieutenant Touraine and the rest of the Balladairan Colonial Brigade sailed into El-Wast, capital city of Qazal, foremost of Balladaire's southern colonies.
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