Book Review: A Vow So Bold and Deadly – Brigid Kemmerer

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Format: Paperback
Release Date: January 26th, 2021

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Reviews for: A Curse So Dark and Lonely / A Heart So Fierce and Broken

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I really wasn’t sure what to expect going into the final book of this trilogy. I loved A Curse So Dark and Lonely, but didn’t think A Heart So Fierce and Broken was as consistently good, though I still enjoyed it. But the third book takes the best elements from the first two, and brings the trilogy to a solid end. It does in some places still have the elements that niggled at me from the second, but not every book can be perfect.

Whereas Book 1 focused on Harper and Rhen, Book 2 introduced us to Lia Mara, and gave us more of Grey’s POV. Book 3 combines all four, allowing us to see what is happening in both Emberfall and Syhl Shallow as they edge closer and closer to war.

Grey has given Rhen sixty days to prepare for war. Harper struggles with her decision to remain with Rhen, while Lia Mara tries to rule Syhl Shallow without the fear her mother installed. Meanwhile, Rhen has his own secret – the enchantress Lilith has returned, and is pushing him away from peace.

I get that sometimes hiding secrets is a good way of breeding conflict between characters, but at this point it’s really hard to see why Rhen doesn’t tell Harper about the enchantress’ return. The opening of this book is definitely the weakest part, with the words “Washington, DC” repeated so many times it started to feel almost disorientating. We don’t need the whole thing, admittedly – it feels like something an editor should have picked up on. Harper also comes across as incredibly whiny, throughout the whole book, and she isn’t really given much to do compared to Book 1, where she seemed to make more effort to take control of what was happening.

That said, the chapters we got in Syhl Shallow were really strong, giving us an insight into the country, and the struggles both Grey and Lia Mara are facing. There are clear contrasts between the two couples. Where Rhen and Harper bicker and give each other the silent treatment, Lia Mara and Grey work together, seeking a way to unite her kingdom and allow her people to accept Grey and his magic.

I really liked the growing relationship between them, the way they worked towards their separate goals while supporting each other, but still had some conflicts – they felt more like a couple than Rhen and Harper.

This is a good ending to the trilogy overall, giving us some good character arcs while avoiding introducing brand new plot points. I fell in love with these characters right from the first book, and Kemmerer does an excellent job of keeping the reader feel invested and intrigued by all of them, even if they can, at times, be just a little annoying. Although  I did struggle to get into this one, after the first few chapters when the plot does pick up a bit more, I became really keen to find out how it was all going to end.

I wouldn’t call the trilogy amazing, but it is a sold, fun, enjoyable series with some really strong elements, great characters, and is carried through really well. The only other thing I felt was a negative was how, by the third book, it didn’t really matter that there were characters in this world that were from a completely different universe, it felt like that aspect was sort of just left, and only mentioned when absolutely required for plot points.

But my negatives are minor, and if you haven’t checked out the Cursebreakers trilogy yet, I’d recommend it. If you’ve read the first two and are wondering if it’s worth diving into the third, I really do think it is. It’s a good conclusion to a good series, and I’m glad to have read it.

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