BROKEN by C.K. Bryant

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Broken by C. K. BryantBROKEN by C.K. Bryant

Series: The Crystor #2

Rating: 1.5 of 5 stars

With Kira injured and dying, Octavion’s last hope is to plead with the king of Panthera for a cure. But King Ramla’s magic isn’t free. The price he asks Octavion to pay goes against everything he’s fought so hard to protect and could destroy his bond with Kira. Will Octavion trade his crown and swear allegiance to a kingdom feared by all, or will he sacrifice the woman he loves to remain faithful to his father and Xantara? Find out when BROKEN takes you on a journey into the savage and unpredictable world of Ophira.

Back when I first read Bound, I knew I would like it, and for a long time I put it off simply so that I could give it the time and attention it needed. I did much of the same for Broken—which, in hindsight, was probably the worst thing I could’ve done. Not only had I spent so much time away from the story that I forgot all the important stuff (I thought I remembered, but boy was I wrong, and there are no reminders), but I also grew apart from it in a way that I never really regained. Bound and I got along splendidly. It surprised me with its awesomeness, truly. Broken left me hanging in the middle of the road without the hope of hitchhiking down Interested Highway.

Broken’s title is not a misleading one. It picks up right after the events of Bound, with Kira’s injuries having put her in a steep sickness and Octavion’s desperation to cure her of it, at any cost to himself. And this right here is the only reason I probably read this book—for Octavion, and his seriously unmatched love for Kira. He is so completely in love with her that he redeems every other cardboard, skim-worthy element of this book.

Whatever spark Bound had, Broken strips it away and throws it to the dogs. Glimmers of sweet banter between Octavion and Kira—even between Kira and Ussay, the commoner who lives in the Royal’s castle as a handmaiden, and Cade, who I thought should’ve been gay, and Nigel, who seemed incredibly sweet even for his brief air time. So, I guess, it boils down to the reason I read and completed this book was all because the characters.

Other than Kira herself, of course. The girl was mired in insecurity and insipidity the whole way through, and there isn’t a single pet peeve I hate more than a perfectly functional and totally workable relationship coming to ruins at the hands of a girl who, despite all signs pointing north, decides to head south instead. Like, really? The man clearly loves you. All it took was one second—maybe two, at the max—of her misreading a situation to undo everything she and Octavion worked for in their relationship. Besides which, she’s also morphed into this crazily vindictive, bullheaded, petty twerp of a nitpicker.

Coupled with the angle of absolutely nothing of import happening until the last, like, 100 pages, half of which I skimmed because what the fuck, Broken fell apart in more ways than one for me. It felt like an entirely different book than Bound, and, in many ways, you know, it totally is, but at the same time, that’s not exactly an improvement on its part. I really wanted to like this one—at least as much as I did its predecessor—and I even went into it without any preconceived notions of whether I’d like it or not to help boost my chances of enjoying it, but no. This one’s a big fat no for me.

Still interested in the third book, Beloved, though; if for nothing else, then to see how it all ends.

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