ARC Review: Broken Web // Rich and immersive sequel

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Title: Broken Web
Author: Lori M. Lee
Series: Shamanborn #2
Genre/s and tags: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy. POC, LGBTQ+
Publisher: Page Street
Publication date: June 15, 2021
Content warnings: Violence, gore, war, blood, death of a parent
Goodreads synopsis: 

Broken Web book cover

The sequel to the hotly-anticipated Forest of Souls, an epic and immersive tale of destiny and sisterhood. Perfect for fans of Susan Dennard, Sarah J. Maas, and Netflix’s The Witcher!

The Soulless has woken from his centuries-long imprisonment. Now, he lurks in the Dead Wood recovering his strength, while Sirscha and her allies journey east to the shaman empire of Nuvalyn. Everyone believes she is a soulguide—a savior—but Sirscha knows the truth. She’s a monster, a soulrender like the Soulless, and if anyone discovers the truth, she’ll be executed.

But there’s nothing Sirscha won’t risk to stop the shaman responsible for the rot that’s killing her best friend. While the Soulless is formidable, like all shamans, his magic must be channeled through a familiar. If Sirscha can discover what—or who—that is, she might be able to cut him off from his power.

With Queen Meilyr bent on destroying the magical kingdoms, Sirscha finds herself caught between a war brewing in the east and the Soulless waiting in the west. She should be trying to unite what peoples she can to face their common enemies, but instead, her hunt for clues about the Soulless leads to a grim discovery, forcing Sirscha to question who her enemies really are.

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Received an ARC for the publisher! Thank you Page Street!
(This, of course, did not affect my overall opinion of the book.)

Hello book nerds! I have another book review to share with you! And quite frankly, I’m a little embarrassed and annoyed at myself that I took long to pick this up! But then again, I’ve long reconciled with the fact that I won’t be able to read everything immediately because life happens, you can get busy, and more. That’s okay! Let’s not be too harsh on ourselves and allow ourselves to breathe before getting back to our TBRs. But, oof. Let’s get back to the topic at hand. 😅 *record scratch* *tape rewind*

Broken Web is a sequel that does not disappoint! From the rich (or should I say even richer) world-building, to the fantastic plot twists, all the way to the complex villain, it all just comes together to form this exciting and immersive sequel.

My thoughts on Broken Web

I seriously wanted to just lay down and stare at the ceiling after reading this. This had been incredible. *cries*

Diving into this book, I was excited to pick up where we left off. The first 30% was slow, and there was little to no action (which is a bummer, I think I would have liked more action). However, as you read, you’ll find that there’s so much details to uncover, a lot of history and magic, and I love that.

Sirscha as main character just has your attention. It was hard to look away from the book because a) she’s a compelling character and you want to root for her b) the little plot twists and the details from her perspective catch you off guard and by then you want to keep reading.

As for the other characters, I really wanted to see more Price Meilyk and Saengo and just dive into their characters more. While I didn’t exactly get that, there was one character that pleasantly (or oddly?) surprised me–The Soulless. Here, I thought we’d have a villain that needs to be defeated, that’s it. But as Sirscha gets to know a little more about The Soulless, I started to realize that there was more to it. There was a part that made me pause because he was starting to make more sense than the supposed “allies” and I was starting to sympathize with him. Don’t get me wrong, I still think he’s a manipulative jerk. But damn, his backstory and the depth that the author gave him just got to me.

The world-building, wow. I loved reading the first book especially in terms of world-building. But somehow Broken Web was even richer! I loved reading all about their lands, and the history of the kingdoms, the people, their struggles and their conflicts from the past until the current. It was all so riveting. This book reminded me why Fantasy the genre that made me fall in love with reading. Because of this. Because the fictional world pulls you in, because the magic and mythology makes your mind run wild, and because the same time, it also reflects bits and pieces of reality and humanity. I just really loved this.

Also, I have to talk about something and just highlight something in this review: Sirscha is bi. The way I gasped when I saw the author confirm it on Instagram/Twitter days before I started to read the book. I was super excited, and so elated! Reading the first book, there was a small part of me that thought Sirscha might be queer and that she might have feelings for Saengo. There was just a lot of times that I felt like her love for Saengo is more than friendship. But I discarded that thought because nothing happened between them in the first book. Now though, reading Broken Web, I am honestly living for bi Sirscha. And I’ve definitely started to ship Sirscha and Saengo. I can’t help it *cries*

Overall, Broken Web was a great read! I regret I wasn’t able to read this sooner, and I try not to be too harsh on myself about it because I know life happens. But reading this now, wow. In some ways, it felt like a respite. Like it was the book I needed and read at just the right moment.


Buy Broken Web

Amazon | Book Depository | Bookshop | Barnes & Noble


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