The Unbroken by C.L. Clark

The Unbroken (Magic of the Lost, #1)

by C. L. Clark

In a political fantasy unlike any other, debut author C. L. Clark spins an epic tale of rebellion, espionage, and military might on the far outreaches of a crumbling desert empire.

Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought.

Luca needs a turncoat. Someone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet’s edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne.

Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren’t for sale.

Reviewed by Quirky Cat on

4 of 5 stars


C.L. Clark is back with another brilliant fantasy! The Unbroken is a novel that I've heard so much about it lately. Fortunately, it's also the first in a series (Magic of the Lost), so this is not the last we'll be seeing of these characters.

Touraine was not born to be a soldier – but she was raised to be one. She was taken as a child and forced to work her way through the ranks. Now, she's been sent back to the very land she was stolen from – and she's going to have to make a choice.

Then there's Luca. She's in need of a spy willing to cross the line, take risks, and in general, ignore concepts such as treason. What she needs is a rebel. And it's looking like Touraine may fit that bill.

“Stupid, stupid. Instinct alone saved her life. She lifted her arms just in time to get a slice across her left forearm instead of her throat.”

Guys, there is so much to love about The Unbroken. It is a fierce and compelling tale – one that will tug at your heartstrings one moment and throw you into the center of the action the next. Needless to say, I loved it.

This is probably not the best book to read if you're looking for something bright and happy. The Unbroken is incredibly bleak at times – but that just makes other moments shine all the brighter. It's a fine balance and one that C.L. Clark found.

I think that it wasn't until I was a third of the way in that I found myself getting truly emotionally invested in the story. Don't get me wrong – the horrible things happening in this book were still hitting hard (perhaps too hard). But it wasn't until I started rooting for the characters that it felt more intense and real.

I love how much was fit into The Unbroken. It's fantasy and a little bit science fiction. It's got action, world-building, character development, and did I mention that it's GLBT? I love it so much, and I sincerely cannot wait to hear news of the sequel.

Thanks to Orbit and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Check out more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

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Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 26 March, 2021: Finished reading
  • 26 March, 2021: Reviewed