The Unbroken (Magic of the Lost #1) by C.L. Clark - Book Review

Write on: Fri, 05 Mar 2021 by  in Max's Reviews Read 10807

What would you do for the ones you love? Whom would you betray if it meant the betterment of the many? What is a true family – blood or found, and which one takes precedent when freedom is at stake? C.L. Clark explores all of these questions in The Unbroken, an achingly personal and epic tale where moral quandaries abound.

Torraine is a lieutenant in the Balladairan military, taken from her home in Qazāl as a child and raised to fight for the empire. Now on a mission in her long since forgotten homeland, she is forced to play sides in the growing conflict between the empire she knows and serves, and the rebels whom she had once lived amongst as a young girl. 

I found The Unbroken to be a beautiful yet devastating read, and I believe this to be the case due to its timeliness. A North African inspired fantasy, Clark does not shy away from including topics of injustice that parallel the goings on in our world today (and have been for decades, or rather, hundreds of years). But these issues are not added for the mere sake of inclusion; they enhance an already strong narrative through a genuine, carefully considered plan.  

This is an incredibly well-crafted story of loyalty and duty – a showing of how the two concepts intersect, interplay, and conflict with one another when love and ambition are thrown into the mix; it’s a story of oppression through implicit and explicit silence, and the desire and fight for change; it’s a story of revenge, revolution, and redemption, and the intertwining of the three. 

Child soldiers. Military might. False kings and would-be queens. Forgotten magic. Subjugation. Rebellion. Fierce, brutal, and important, The Unbroken reminds us that justice is deserved. Just as the rebels demand revolution, The Unbroken demands your attention. 

Thank you to Orbit Books for the review copy of The Unbroken.

Last modified on Friday, 05 March 2021 02:47

Max’s passion for fantastic stories began with weekly trips to the comic book store as a child. Now an English teacher at a boarding school, he is always reading. Max has written for sites like Geeks of Doom and SF Signal, where he created the Indie Author Spotlight. Max lives in Connecticut with his wife – who graciously embraces his need to display action figures all over the house – and daughter, who is inheriting her parents’ affinity for books.