Title: THE FRACTURED EMPIRE
Series: WORLD APART #1
Author: ROBIN D. MAHLE
Publication Date: OCTOBER 19, 2018
Clark and Adelaide think their lives can’t get any worse. Until they meet each other.
Adelaide—heiress to the wealthiest man in the Ceithren Empire—has felt a void since her sister’s death. Just as she’s resigned herself to the empty life her father chose for her, a relic from a world that shouldn’t exist plunges her into chaos.
Clark—son of the greatest terrorist the empire has ever known—is still reeling from his father’s death. Since then, his life has boiled down to two things: his brothers and his next mission. When his mission to bring back a mystical artifact goes awry, he’s forced to choose between getting the job done and saving the life of a spoiled socialite.
But Clark isn’t the only one after the artifact. He and Adelaide must work together to survive…if only they can manage to avoid killing each other before their enemies have the chance.
I didn’t know what to expect before I started reading this book. But, I’m glad that I ended up enjoying it. It was a very intriguing story, full of surprises, betrayal, and secrets.
The story started off a bit slow, but it picks up right in the middle, and that’s where the fun started, and the ending was quite intense. There was a lot of great actions in the story, especially swords fighting. I really loved books that have swords fighting/battle in it. The actions was written very well, it was smooth and yet intense.
There was also a little bit of magic in the story, like the necklace that Nell put on Adelaide. I’m sure it does have its own power if they know how to use it. Learning about its history made me think that it does contain a little bit of magic. I’m really looking forward to see how the necklace works if they use it in the next book.
The setting of the story was quite beautiful, the way I imagined it. This story takes place in Central Island for the majority of it, but what I’m excited to see the most is Levelia. The characters mentioned it a lot of times, and I want to see what it looks like and how magical that place is. It was said to be a myth, and that just boost up my excitement to see Levelia. Hopefully, the sequel will take place there, if not then perhaps in the third book.
The pacing of the story was quite alright for me, it was fast which exactly what I like the most, especially for a fantasy book. The pacing, the tone of the story, the storyline as a whole and the plot was on point. The storyline was excellent, although I have some problems with characters that keep secrets. But, the plot was so intriguing and it had so many surprises in store for the readers. There are some incredible twists that I didn’t see coming which makes the story more interesting.
In this story, it shows how some groups are working when it comes to following orders and carry out their missions. The Men of High Purpose works differently than the Red Sons, and then there’s the Court of Yomi suddenly making an appearance that really shocked me. The Men of High Purpose are proved to be just as menacing as the Red Sons. But the Red Sons are untouchable, they’re really strong. I don’t know how the Court of Yomi works, they’re the only one who was still a mystery to me, but from Clark’s flashback, they was pretty ruthless.
Speaking of mystery, the necklace as people called it, ‘Tear of Hila,’ was a mystery at first. But I’m glad that the author included the history of the necklace and how it was created in the first place. From what the characters said in the book, someone used the necklace for the explosion that killed many people. That made me think that the necklace hold a powerful force like some sort of magic. But, how powerful is the necklace? Can Adelaide control the power of the necklace since nobody succeeded in removing it from her?
The story also shows a lot of heavy things that the characters had to deal with. Trust issues and keeping secrets are the two things that got me so frustrated with the characters sometimes. This happens in a lot of books—mainly YA books—where the characters keep secrets from each other and then when the secrets are out in the open, things get really-really ugly. When will these characters learn that keeping secrets will make everything worse??? I get that they have trust issues and they’re afraid they will lose the person they care about, but still, they should’ve been honest with each other, especially when it’s your own siblings—be it blood-related or not!
Some of the characters are likable, and some are not. There are also some great side characters that are much better than the main ones.
Locke is one of the side character that I really-really liked. He was so protective and did his duty excellently, and to me, he deserves a standing ovation for doing his job protecting a rebel heiress who seems to get in trouble a lot. I hope he will team up with Clark in the next book, considering the situation they’re in at the end of this book.
Also Perry, he may have a small appearance here, but I do appreciate all the things he did to help Adelaide and Clark. I don’t know whether he will be in the next book or not, doesn’t seem like it to me. Anyway, if he did, I want to see him doing his duty as a prince. I want to see more of him and the royal family—his family—doing a better job at ruling their people and give commands. When the royal family were mentioned in the story, I expected them to have a major role. I expected them to act like an actual leader to their own people, but instead Adelaide’s father was the one looking like he has a lot of power. Perry deserve better. He was actually nice and very playful, but at least he has a good heart.
Nell is also a side character—that’s just how I see it. She was a girl full of mysteries. It was quite shocking for me to see what she’s capable of doing. Her teleportation ability never fail to amazed me. Knowing where she came from wasn’t too shocking, I knew right away after she showed her teleportation ability. I’m so curious about her, curious to see what she will do next, what are her connections with the necklace, Hila, and Yomi. Honestly, I didn’t expect her to be the one who have a special ability and came from a magical place. There is more to her than what she revealed here, so I’m really looking forward to learn more about her and to see the progress of her character.
Adelaide aka the heiress, who is the heroine or should I say, the protagonist of the story, well…she is a bit likable. I liked how she just exudes a strong confidence, and doesn’t easily back down. But there are some parts in the story, especially the one scene from her flashback that she was just this stuck up girl who think she is all that. The way she was being a bit rude to her teacher made me disliked her character even more. Not only that, she was being rude to Clark even after learning what happened to him in the past. She doesn’t treated Perry as good as I hoped for, even though they were close friends. The whole time, I had mix feelings about her character. I pitied her for what she had to go through. The beginning made me feel sorry for everything she lost. I know it wasn’t easy for her, but I expect her to have a better character development. I hope I’m able to warm up to her character more in the sequel.
Clark on the other hand is a bit complex. Sometimes he was all kind and soft, the next he was all hard and cold. At first, he was a mystery, but when everything about him finally came out, I can understand him better. He went through a lot of tough things in his life. I get where he came from, and why he was being so hard on his brothers and Adelaide sometimes. He had to fight off his own demons, which doesn’t always work but I can see that he was trying. As the hero of the story, he was doing just fine. I like him better than Adelaide actually, which isn’t surprising. He work so hard to get to where he is now, and from all the flashback scenes about his life, I can tell that whatever challenge he’d face before were never easy, and any challenges after that will be just as hard. I liked his small character development in the story, it just made his character more better and very likable. I hope he stays as awesome as he is here for the next installments.
There was a strong brotherly bond between Clark and his two brothers—Gunther and Xavier—in the story. Even though they aren’t blood brothers, their bond is undeniably strong. I loved seeing the difference in their characters, it helps me view their characters differently. The flashbacks from Clark’s POV showed how these three came together and become brothers, what kind of life they had before they were brought in together, and how their lives was like growing up. Their backstory was very painful, the things they had to endured was very deadly. I loved seeing how they bonded as brothers and how they always had each other’s back and took care of one another. These three brothers certainly knows how to complete dangerous missions, and all them possessed unique skills. I need to see them working together again, they’re so good at handling things.
There was a little bit of sweet moments between Clark and Adelaide too in this book. I didn’t see anything romantic, maybe that’ll change in the sequel. I enjoyed their banter, and find it so amusing. Their dynamic was great, and they sure do have a nice chemistry, but their sudden attraction just feel so rush and it didn’t make much sense to me. I do appreciate the author’s effort for making Clark and Adelaide’s relationship to be as believable as it can be. I don’t see anything romantic between them still, just two strangers thrown into a dangerous and crazy paths together without expecting it. I loved the conversation they had with each other, especially when they were going as deep as they can to get to know one another. There is definitely no doubt that these two will be in a romantic relationship with one another, after their first kiss, I’m sure that’s the direction the author will go for. I hope their relationship will have a good development, and they definitely need to work on their communication skills because I can’t handle both of them keeping secrets from each other and then get mad after their secrets are out in the open because the other didn’t tell the truth. I don’t need to see any more drama. There are so many things that need an improvement if Clark and Adelaide were to become a couple.
The story was great, there are some nice adventures in the story, and also it has a huge cast of amazing characters. The ending left me with more questions, but I’m excited to find out what’s next to come for the characters.