Title: The Broken Heart of Arelium
Author: Alex Robins
Publication Date: March 16, 2021
Number of Pages: 232
Over 400 years ago, twelve great warriors united the beleaguered armies of men and scoured the war-torn lands of evil, pushing the enemy back into the underground pits and caverns from whence they came. To ensure their legacy, each of the Twelve founded fortress monasteries to impart their unique knowledge of war and politics to a select few, the Knights of the Twelve.
But now the last of the Twelve have long since passed from history to legend and the Knights, their numbers dwindling, are harbouring a dark and terrible secret that must be protected at all costs.
Merad Reed has spent half his life guarding a great crater known as the Pit, yearning for some escape from the bleak monotony. Then the arrival of Aldarin, one of the few remaining Knights of the Twelve, sets off a chain of cataclysmic events that will change Reed forever.
To the north, Jelaïa del Arelium, heiress to the richest of the nine Baronies, must learn to navigate the swirling political currents of her father’s court if she hopes one day to take his place. But the flickering flames of ambition hide the shadow of an even greater threat.
And deep within the earth, something is stirring.
Thank you to The Write Reads for organizing and inviting me to participate in this blog tour. Thank you for providing me with a copy of this book and tour materials in exchange for an honest review.
The Broken Heart of Arelium is the first book in an epic fantasy series full of amazing world-building, memorable characters, politics, betrayal, and action. Even though this isn’t my usual genre, it was easy enough to read, and I read the entire book in a day.
This book has lots of memorable, multi-dimensional characters. I liked getting to know more about them as I read on and watching them struggle with all of the challenges they were being faced with as the battle loomed and eventually raged on. I wish that we would have gotten more from Jelaïa though because I think she could be a much stronger character than she was.
I also liked the world-building in this book. I thought this book was a great introduction to the world that the author was creating for this series. I liked the scenes where Aldarin, one of The Knights of the Twelve, explained the world’s history to Reed, and I thought this was a good tool for explaining this fictional world. I also liked the politics and betrayal that were going on in this world; it made the book interesting because I was trying to figure out who was being genuine and who was being two-faced.
This book was too violent for my liking, but generally speaking, I try to avoid violence in books. This book features a lot of battles, wars, and bloodshed, and it was a lot to handle at some points for someone who doesn’t normally read books full of battles, war, and bloodshed.
Overall, even though this wasn’t my normal genre, it was still an enjoyable read. I don’t think I’ll read the rest of the series, but I think if you’re interested in epic fantasy, this book is definitely worth checking out.
Rating: 3 Stars!
At the age of twelve Alex moved across the channel to Nantes in France. Speaking very little French, the first few years were difficult and sometimes lonely as he scrambled to get a grip on the intricate grammar and vocabulary of the French language. His taste in books branched out from epic fantasy to science-fiction, mysteries, thrillers, and historical fiction, but he always came back to his favourite fantasy authors when looking to escape the outside world.
After degrees in agronomy, project management, and computer sciences, Alex founded his own company dedicated to online voting. He met his wife during a game of badminton and they spent several years getting trounced in various regional tournaments before getting married. Alex now lives in the sunny Loire Valley in western France, surrounded by imposing castles, sprawling vineyards, and two children. After reading fantasy books for the last thirty years he decided to write one. The Broken Heart of Arelium is his first novel, and the first in the War of the Twelve series.
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