Representation + Trigger and Content Warnings
- Protagonists of color
- LGBT protagonists
- f/f main characters
- m/m side characters
- Nonbinary side character
- older women
Trigger and Content Warnings
- Depictions of colonial violence (physical and emotional) and destruction
- Past attempted rape
- Threats of rape
- Threats of torture
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.
C.L Clark’s The Unbroken is a jaw-dropping, unique addition to the fantasy-action genre. There is so much to love within this story and it pains me that this book just released because that means I have to wait too long until I get to meet Touraine and Luca again. Those two frustrated me in the best way and I completely fell in love with both of their characters.
To start the women in this novel are phenomenal. Seeing woman in power and knowing that they would be able to whoop some a** if they needed to just makes my heart sing. Touraine’s aspiration to be promoted to Captain and seeing her drive towards her goal at the beginning of the novel was refreshing to see. I have not read many military-esque novels where women were featured at the center of the story and this just made me love Touraine even more. She wanted to be the best soldier and leader that she could be and it is rare that we see this from a female’s perspective. Her critical thinking skills in relation to her military background were really well written as well. Another thing to note is that Touraine wasn’t written from the template of the generic soldier who is tired of their circumstances, she was written as herself, a woman pursuing her dreams of furthering her career as it slowly morphs into something else. Her change of life goals was very organic and really worked well for her character, however, you’ll have to read to find out what her new motives are!
Character development as a whole was done fantastically well. We see Touraine and Luca grow into the people they are meant to be and the story would simply not be the same without this. And while Luca and Touraine both make some heartbreaking decisions in this story, we come to understand why they did what they did, even if we don’t agree with them.
Sapphic relationships in books also get me really giddy because they are just so beautiful. If you’re looking for sapphic rep, you need look no further. Touraine and Luca’s situationship made my cheeks burn and my heart race and I found myself trying to read faster to get more of the tension that forms between them every time they’re in the same room as one another.
The story itself was also so well throughout and carefully planned. Information about the world and it’s history is slowly fed to us through strategic moments in the novel. This ensured I was constantly invested in the story and that the character’s individual struggles meant something to me because I fully understood what they were going through. I always think I have read it all when it comes to books with their stories and tropes, but The Unbroken truly surprised me.
Overall, this book has entered my list of all time favorites alongside The Rage of Dragons. It’s just that good. The action, the story, the romance… just *chef’s kiss*.
*includes tour schedule
Meet the Author
Cherae has been a personal trainer, an English teacher, and an editor, and is some combination thereof as she travels the world. When she’s not writing or working, she’s learning languages or reading about war and post-colonial history. Her short fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, FIYAH, PodCastle and Uncanny. The Unbroken is her debut novel..
Meet the Cover Designer
After 15 years designing and art directing book covers, Lauren Panepinto has worked in every publishing genre and collaborated with artists of all disciplines. As the Creative Director of the Orbit Books division of the Hachette Book Group for the past nine years, she has been developing covers for commercial fiction, genre fiction, and graphic novels, as well as overseeing the advertising and promotion visuals of the imprint brands overall. She has designed bestselling covers for Iain Banks, Mira Grant, James S. A. Corey, Brent Weeks, and Gail Carriger, among many others.
Not content to just design covers, Lauren has written about science fiction and fantasy art for ImagineFX magazine, io9.com, Orbitbooks.net, and as a columnist at Muddy Colors. Lauren has been very active in the role of art business education, not only at a panelist, presenter, and portfolio reviewer at San Diego ComicCon, New York ComicCon, Spectrum, and Illuxcon, but also as an adjunct professor in the graduate level Center for Publishing at NYU, as well as a frequent guest lecturer at numerous art schools. Lauren has curated gallery shows for the Society of Illustrators in New York City and Krab Jab in Seattle. She is a frequent art competition judge, most recently for the Society of Illustrators in New York and Los Angeles, Infected by Art, and ImagineFX’s Rising Stars issue.
Lauren graduated from The School of Visual Arts with a degree in Graphic Design and Advertising. She has worked in fashion (Perry Ellis), television (MTV), and for boutique design firms, but found her true calling in book publishing. She has worked at three of the “Big Five” publishing companies: St. Martin’s Press/Picador Books, then Doubleday/Random House, and now Hachette Book Group.
*photo by Allan Amato
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