The Unbroken Review

E-Book, 464 Pages
Adult/ Fantasy/ LGBT
By: C.L. Clark
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 1/2

“Touraine was starting to think it was impossible to come from one land and learn to live in another and feel whole. That you would always stand on shaky, hole-ridden ground, half of your identity dug out of you and tossed away.”

I like to explore fantasy books in all areas and I realized that I haven’t read many books with African settings so when I saw the cover of The Unbroken along with the fact that it is published by Orbit, I knew I had to pick it up asap!

I have a small disclaimer: I want you to take this review with a pinch of salt, I read it in a not good time, if you know the political situation in my country you know what I am talking about because there was a war -still going on at the moment I am writing this- while I read this one. My brain was all over the place and it was harder for me to focus but I desperately needed a distraction. The funny thing is that this is a book about colonialism so it should have hit differently. I still think I have my criticisms despite everything.

The book is literally about colonialism, we have two POV, one is the native that has been stolen to the colonialism side and the other is the colonizer. I think it is one of those books with a great synopsis, I think it is explanatory without giving much so read it if you wanna know more.

The writing is good, I think I enjoyed the dialogues the most, the beginning was a bit confusing but things got better after that, the middle was interesting albeit a little bit too long and finally the ending which was satisfying! The beginning is confusing because the two characters sounded similar and I had to keep checking the beginning of the chapter to see who was it, the other thing that bothered me stems from something I actually liked. I liked the way the world was built, I like the fact that there were many strong women in many high positions and that queerness was normalized without making a big story out of it. The thing that I did not like and confused me were the titles used, someone would be first introduced as lord or sir and they are married to a woman but then I would find out that they are two women, I think the titles should have been changed to go with the world because sir is not stronger than Ma’am in my opinion!

The characters are okay, I don’t think they are characters that I will remember for years, it took me a while to know who is who and what side they are on. The two main characters had similar voices as I said above but later they were more distinguishable. I think I was not a big fan of Luca and as the colonizer I think that was the whole point.

I liked the world building from the feminist side to the magic to the African settings! I think the pacing was toward the slower side specially that it has much politics at its core, there was going back and forth in the middle which could have been cut off resulting in a shorter, faster read!

Summary: I enjoyed this story for the most part with a few things that I thought could have been better. I am no stranger to colonialism but I think anyone interested in Africa will enjoy it even more than I did. I think it does have an important message at the end of the day and the author did not hold back when it comes to that! I will see if I want to continue book 2 when it comes out!

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