Adventure, fantasy, magic, and the fate of the world in jeopardy is a tried and true combination. But it takes a certain ability to make it engaging but not feel rushed or annoyingly dragged out. Victoria Aveyard exhibits this ability in Realm Breaker. However, while it was a good read, there wasn’t much about it that was particularly amazing that would make it especially notable.
There are five main characters whose perspectives rotate each chapter. Corayne: a strong-willed and smart pirate’s daughter, everyone either wants to help or kill her. Andry: a squire of Galland, whose strong morals and dedication drive him to complete a previously failed mission. Domacridhan, or Dom: an Elder from another realm desperate to destroy the dark forces that killed his friend. Sorasa: an assassin who never thought her skills would get her caught up in any world-saving business. And Ridha: the queen of Galland, who lives life like a game of chess and is the key to helping save the world – if the mismatched crew can get her on their side. Everyone had clear and unique personalities, and it was nice to see them grow as the story went on. And for the most part, each backstory is deep and interesting.
The book starts with a prologue from Andry’s point of view. It introduces the magical tears between realms called Spindles found across Allward, the fictional world the story takes place in. They had been closed for centuries, and few reminders of their ever being open still remain. However, it’s one individual’s goal to reopen them – no matter the cost. As the story progresses, we learn more about each of the main characters, and what tricks of destiny bring them together.
Overall, it’s a good book. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with it, and it stays interesting through all of its 563 pages, but there isn’t much about it that’s necessarily spectacular about it either. It is definitely unique, and the characters are diverse, which I appreciate. There are also many things introduced at the beginning that come back around without leaving unsatisfying plot holes. The perspective shifts create suspense and dramatic irony, but there are some weird chronology shifts that come with it that make it a little confusing. And terminologies and locations take a while to get comfortable with.
Whether you’re between books or in a bit of a reading slump, or just looking for something long that you can take at a slow pace, Realm Breaker is a great choice. While it’s enjoyable in the moment, it’s not the most memorable of books. But no matter, it’s well-written characters and interwoven complexities make it a solid choice for anyone who likes a nice long read.