"A perfect military fantasy: brutal, complex, human and impossible to put down." - Tasha Suri, author of Empire of Sand
In an epic fantasy unlike any other, two women clash in a world full of rebellion, espionage, and military might on the far outreaches of a crumbling desert empire.
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
C. L. Clark’s explosive debut is a fantasy for fans of real historical problems—ones that can’t be solved through charm and friendship. Touraine and Luca are trying to figure out how they feel about each other despite being polar opposites. Touraine was stolen from her home as a child and forced into life as a soldier. Luca is a princess clinging to her precarious position as heir to the whole empire. Clark doesn’t flinch from tackling colonialism or racism as these two compelling women navigate their connection against the backdrop of a kingdom on the brink of rebellion. We loved the touches of magic that make their world feel so distinct, as well as the ways the author keeps their world grounded in reality—Clark’s vivid writing admirably captures the complex loyalties of war. There’s murder, intrigue, politics, and power struggles in store for these wonderfully real characters as they make some questionable decisions in pursuit of peace. The Unbroken is a fascinating reminder that there can be a big difference between love and loyalty.
Clark conjures an elaborate fantasy world inspired by Northern Africa and delves into an international political conflict that draws on real histories of colonialism and conquest in their excellent debut, the first in the Magic of the Lost series. Touraine was kidnapped from Qaz l as a child and trained as a soldier for neighboring nation, Balladaire. Over the years, she rises through the ranks of the Balladairan army, eventually becoming lieutenant. But when her brigade is sent to quash a rising rebellion in Qaz l, now a colony of the Balladairan empire, Touraine must return to the homeland she only hazily remembers. Straddling the line between colonizer and colonized, she struggles with both her identity and her allegiance as she faces hard realities about who she is and the world she lives in. Clark's precise, thorough worldbuilding allows this remarkable novel to dive deep into the intricate workings of colonialism, exposing how power structures are maintained through social conditioning and exploring the emotional toll of political conflict. The result is a captivating story that works both as high fantasy and skillful cultural commentary.
I pray for rain cause this was HOT!
This was a FANTASTIC book about two people from differing worlds coming together to try and save the taking of a colony. The racial, ethnical, and class undertones and blatancy really helped me connect to the main character (being black american and queer) and the feeling of double consciousness we suffer so much from. The Author does a great job of creating a story for and by us, where you find yourself confused on who to root for (very much like Touraine). If you want to read a sapphic romance with political intrigue, read this!