Book Review: The Broken Heavens (The Worldbreaker Saga #3) by Kameron Hurley

The Broken Heavens by Kameron Hurley

Rating:  ★★★★

The Broken Heavens is the third book in the Worldbreaker Saga (be warned, possible spoilers for book two ahead). I enjoyed it even more than the previous two installments. All the issues I’ve had with the previous two books, the chaotic POV shifts, the occasional lack of clarity, the excessive description, were trimmed away neatly and left me with just the story. Of course, it could also be that by the time we reach the last book in any series there’s simply not much extra left to tell.

The Broken Heavens takes place about one year after the events of Empire Ascendant, in which the Tai Mora successfully invaded the Dhai territory and left most of our main characters scrambling in the wilderness. If you’ve been following the trilogy up to this point, you know that we said goodbye to some characters in book two, and the improved focus and amount of quality time we were able to spend with each character in book three made me appreciate them all that much more. (I also noticed that Hurley took the time to start each first line of every chapter with a character name, which was one of my main complaints about book one.)

The action is almost non-stop from the very first page and the story didn’t feel at all bloated. Every chapter left me wanting to know what happened next. Perhaps most importantly, at no point in this book did I ever feel like I could guess what was coming next. I genuinely had no idea how it would end or which characters would survive. This series had already surprised me so much. It’s refreshing and feels completely unique.

If I have one complaint- it’s that this book occasionally felt like it had everything but the kitchen sink thrown in. I don’t always mind this, but in a series that feels so gritty, a fantasy that feels like it’s meant to be taken a little more seriously, I found myself occasionally rolling my eyes. I think it would have been fine if there had seemed to be some more rules governing these things, or references to them happening in the past, but at some point I just had to shrug my shoulders and accept that this was a fantasy world in which anything goes.

Overall- I’m glad I finished out the trilogy. I don’t think it changes drastically enough to make it worth reading if you didn’t enjoy book one, but if, like me, you felt a little ‘meh’ about it, I can say that each book is better than the next.

The Broken Heavens released on January 14, 2020 and can be found on GoodReads or ordered on Amazon.  Thank you to the publisher for supplying a review copy.

22 thoughts on “Book Review: The Broken Heavens (The Worldbreaker Saga #3) by Kameron Hurley

    • Me too! I’ve been saying from the beginning she was cramming too much in, and then each book kept getting more and more streamlined, and the writing got stronger and stronger. Have you read anything else by Hurley? Do you have any recommendations?

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  1. I just didn’t enjoy the first book very much so I never read any further. I think I had the same complaint, there was just too much stuffed into the story to make it enjoyable. But congrats on finishing!

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    • Yes! You know- I’m not sure how you’d feel about this series? I know you don’t review everything on Book Wyrm Knits- but I haven’t seen very much in the way of epic fantasy. It’s not really more complex than say… Game of Thrones, but I think it’s much denser if that makes sense.

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      • Denser does make sense! I have enjoyed epic fantasy a lot in the past, but I haven’t read it much lately. (Partly because neither Game of Thrones nor Wheel of Time interest me, and those are the epic fantasies I’ve been most often suggested when I mention it.)

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      • Yeah… I was smacked in the face when I first started reading this that I also don’t actually like epic fantasy… lol. I’m not big on Game of Thrones and have very little desire to subject myself to Wheel of Time. Lol. So I don’t blame you- I do think this series is much more interesting than either of those simply because the structure/world building are so different than anything out there.

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      • I’ve tended to make a distinction for myself (though I don’t know that anyone else uses it or would agree with my assessment). I tend to feel that I don’t really like Epic Fantasy, but that I love High Fantasy. The problem is from what I’ve seen most people don’t distinguish between those two, instead mashing them together into one epic fantasy genre.

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      • So you’re definition actually would make sense- since epic events are probably world changing and dark to some degree- while character focused could be a coming of age type story (and hopefully not as dark).

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      • Cool, then I’ll just pretend I had some deep explanation for it all along. 😉 But really, what it comes down to is I like sweeping fantasies as long as they’re ultimately hopeful. That’s where I am with all of my reading preferences, though. They don’t have to be happy to make me like them, but they have to have hope.

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    • It does! And the matriarchal politics are much less of a focus in the following books. I’d actually be very intrigued to see what you thought of it since our reactions were so different! But I totally understand not wanting to continue too.

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  2. When I was teaching a fiction writing class, rule number one was that your world had to have rules, and you had to abide by all the rules. Other than that, you could get is wild as you wanted. It may sound overly simplistic, but I did find the students wrote some really creative stuff that would occasionally get a little wacky, but it still made total sense. I was really pleased with their final stories. It sounds like this author didn’t really have rules for her world.

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    • Yes it definitely felt that way at times. I described it once as an “everything but the kitchen sink” book. Lol. I still had fun with it, but it just got to a point where enough was enough.

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  3. Pingback: Month in Review: January 2020 | Hamlets & Hyperspace

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