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Realm breaker
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Trade Reviews
Publishers Weekly Review
Only descendants of Old Cor, an ancient fallen empire, can manipulate the Spindle gates that connect Allward to other worlds. One such individual, Cortael, believes the Spindles should stay shut, as they have for centuries--not all realms are friendly, after all, and some contain monsters. Cortael's twin, Taristan, however, aims to open as many Spindles as he can find, destabilizing Allward so that the evil entity he worships, What Waits, can take over. When Taristan kills Cortael during a battle for control of a Spindle, Cortael's ally Domacridhan--an immortal "Elder" whose ancestors hail from another land--tracks down Corayne an-Amarat, the 17-year-old daughter of Cortael and a notorious pirate queen, and persuades her to help stop her uncle. Aiding their quest are 17-year-old squire Andry Trelland and 30-year-old assassin Sorasa Sarn, among others. Insufficiently elucidated worldbuilding and late-defined stakes hinder this expansive, action-packed series launch from Aveyard (the Red Queen series). Some point-of view characters lack depth, but the ensemble cast, whose skin tones range from golden to dark brown, features several fierce females whose uncertain fates may lure readers back for the sequel. Ages 13--up. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary. (May)
School Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up--Corayne an-Amarat is a pirate's daughter eager to embark on her own adventures at sea in Allward. But she is also the last of the ancient Cor bloodline and the only one who can use the ancient spindleblade to protect her realm and make sure the Spindles that can open destabilizing passages between realms are closed. Reluctant to embrace this lineage, Corayne joins weary immortal Dom as he attempts to mount a second quest to succeed where the first failed in closing the Spindles. Aided by a mercenary assassin and Andry, a squire and the only mortal to survive the first quest, the group faces numerous obstacles leading to fights, chases, and other derring-do. Aveyard follows up her blockbuster "Red Queen" series with this high fantasy that holds space for women and offers an inclusive cast. The realm of Allward features people with a range of skin tones and backgrounds--Andry is described as "honey brown" while Corayne has "golden skin." Shifting viewpoints, flashbacks, and changing locations cut through much of the novel's potential urgency as the narrative pauses continuously to ruminate on the failed quest seen in the prologue and offer character backstories. VERDICT Aveyard creates a compelling world in this series starter. Recommended where the author's previous books are popular.--Emma Carbone, Brooklyn P.L.
Booklist Review
Spindles--doors to other realms that are closed or long lost--are mostly thought to be a myth, as are legendary beings Immortals and Elders. But when the Immortal Taristan appears with a Spindleblade, ready to break as many Spindles open as he can, a motley crew of adventurers must come together to stop him. Pirate Corayne, Elder Domacridhan, assassin Sorasa, young queen Erida of Galland, and Andry, the squire to a dead knight, must travel to one of the last known Spindle temples and head off Taristan's plans before he can bring myths and fairy tales through the portal and into Allward. One of the group is the last of an ancient line whose potential power might be enough to stop the Immortal from turning the world to ash. Like Aveyard's hit Red Queen books, this series starter is a hefty tome with well-mapped details of lands, monsters, and people. Rotating narrators keep the story fresh and leave readers wanting more. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Red Queen (2015) put Aveyard on the map; the series hit number one on the New York Times best-seller list and gained her a host of fans who will be eagerly awaiting this new adventure.
Kirkus Review
When the realm is in danger, only a small band of misfits can save Allward. An in medias res prologue, told from the point of view of the lone squire accompanying the 12 Companions of the Realm, tosses readers into the thick of a quest. Half the Companions are human heroes and half are immortal Elders; they seek to stop a rogue thief and his wizard accomplice from using a magical Spindle to tear a passage between worlds for nefarious ends. A disastrous battle sends squire Andry fleeing with Cortael's sword so villain Taristan can't get his hands on it. Grieving Elder Dom requires both a person of Corblood (a descendant of human travelers from another realm) and the Spindleblade Andry protects to stop Taristan from bringing ruin to the realm. Dom seeks Cortael's secret daughter, Corayne, a bright but sheltered teenager with a pirate mother. At times the narrative tension is undermined by flashbacks that readers already know the conclusions to and by occasional repetition caused by the multiple point-of-view jumps, but there's a wide variety of action scenes, daring escapes, and betrayals. Many tropes and character types are familiar, but exquisite descriptions and clashing motivations result in a nuanced, sprawling realm with a sense of complicated history. This world is highly diverse in terms of both skin tone and in the refreshing range of roles female characters inhabit. An epic series opener of old-school high fantasy catering to modern audiences. (map) (Fantasy. 12-18) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller!

"A true fantasy masterpiece." --Sabaa Tahir, #1 New York Times bestselling author

The Queen of Fantasy strikes again! This stunning new series from Victoria Aveyard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Red Queen series is a high-voltage, high-stakes adventure where kingdoms hang in the balance and betrayal is only a breath away.

A strange darkness grows in Allward even Corayne an-Amarat can feel it in her small town at the edge of the sea. The long lost heir to an ancient lineage, it's not until Corayne meets a rag-tag group of companions that she learns how to wield the magic slumbering in her blood--and how together they might stop what's coming.

From her seat on the throne, Queen Erida has one aim: build a kingdom worthy of her destiny. While her court hopes to marry her off, Erida will do anything she can to avoid losing her crown--and her freedom. No matter the cost.

Meanwhile, shadowy corpse armies march the hillsides and dangerous beasts creep through fissures in the world, and a great evil grows stronger by the day. As the realm descends into chaos, the choices are clear: Save the world...or end it.

Realm Breaker is the first book in an epic series, told in multiple-POV chapters that follow an irresistible cast of characters through an incredibly imagined world, with action-packed adventure and lethal twists you won't see coming, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Tolkien himself.

Don't miss Blade Breaker, the #1 New York Times bestselling sequel to Realm Breaker.

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