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Parents' Guide to

Realm Breaker: Realm Breaker, Book 1

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Slow-starting but riveting quest has potential to turn epic.

Realm Breaker: Realm Breaker, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (2 ):

Despite a slow beginning and overlong plot, this series starter benefits from compelling characters, extensive world-building, and the promise of an even more interesting sequel. Author Victoria Aveyard knows how to build a world, but there's almost too much exposition to follow in a seamless way. Adding to the almost convoluted nature of the plot is the multiple points of view. Aveyard knows how to balance the large ensemble, but readers will still enjoy some points of view more than others. One of the villain's chapters, while disturbing, is refreshing for how frank she is about her ruthless ambition. Another stand-out perspective is the female assassin Sorasa, who has been exiled from her guild and keeps to her own morally gray code of honor. Andry defies expectations as Corayne's probable love interest. He's no six-pack-sporting alpha male; he's a soft-hearted, thoughtful, and loving squire-turned-rebel.

One of the more surprising parts of the story is that it doesn't focus on romance. The Red Queen saga was downright messy with its various romantic entanglements, so it's unexpected that Aveyard chose to focus on the character-building and plot without an overt central love story (for now). The potential is there for a few different "ships," but this is more about the Lord of the Rings-style fellowship than some overarching one true love. Those who prefer more romance in their fantasies may need to wait until the next installment, but there's more than enough flirty banter to keep readers invested about who will get together. It may take some readers a while to keep the many threads of the story straight, but once the crew is assembled and the action picks up, this book will ultimately feel unputdownable.

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