“But he left, and he’d promised he wouldn’t.” Unable to keep still, she crossed her arms and let her feet wander.
Garen watched her pace for a few moments and then sat, crossing his legs. “Sometimes, we can’t always keep our promises.”
I received this book via the publisher, Untold Press. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Broken Promise by Jen Wylie
Series: The Broken Ones #3
Published by Untold Press on 2014-10-07
Length: 284 pages
Reviewing eARC Rating:
A year of turmoil takes its toll on Arowyn Mason and her companions. After delivering the Elven prince to his homeland, they decide to ride out the winter in the city of Westport before starting their quest to heal the Fey. Like most things in Aro's life, nothing goes according to plan.
As Kei struggles with the prophecy bound within him, his sanity begins to unravel. A prophecy and a promise are broken, and forgotten threats resurface with dire consequences. The Dragos is watching and the Were king is displeased with the disregard of Were law. Aro scrambles as yet another threat emerges. The Elves, displeased with their prince, exploit his only weakness…her.
Aro is forced to find a new ally, a cold-hearted, ruthless pirate named Roan. He is more than he seems and Aro must learn who she can trust, or it will cost more than just her life. She has grown stronger, but is it enough to save herself, her family, and the Elf she loves?
The small fire crackled and popped. A light breeze sent embers swirling up into the air, each disappearing suddenly as their little sparks died.
Exhaustion made Arowyn’s eyelids heavy, but her mind whirled with too many thoughts for sleep to come.
They’d finally returned Prince to Rivenward, and just in time. The final leg of their journey began the previous night as the sun set. They’d reached the gates before noon and sent him off before heading back to the forest. Being awake for a full day didn’t help with her mood.
She closed her eyes and tugged her cloak tighter around herself. The fact Prince was gone didn’t want to settle in her mind. Part of her couldn’t believe it. The rest just wanted to cry. She missed him. His absence made everything feel…wrong. Another of her boys gone. At least he wasn’t dead…and he’d promised he’d see her again one day.
He couldn’t have been any more vague, and she ground her teeth in frustration.
“Aro, you need to get some sleep.”
Her gaze flicked over to Bo, resting on his side by the fire. “I know. I will soon.”
Firelight reflected in his brown eyes as he watched her worriedly for a moment before letting out a loud sigh. Large fingers rubbed at the scar on his cheek. “I miss him, too.”
With a small smile, she nodded and ducked her head, not wanting him to see her struggle not to cry. She’d promised herself no more tears. So far, she’d somehow managed and hoped to keep it that way. Her life had been too full of tears.
Kei walked into the light, having returned from checking on the horses. She smiled when he sat down gracefully next to her.
“You look tired,” he said quietly.
“I am. I was waiting for you.”
He grinned but shook his head. The firelight danced across his golden skin and brought out the gold in his spikey, light brown hair. His golden eyes caught hers, searching them to see how she was doing. Her eyes matched his now, thanks to Fey magic. “Are you…”
“I’m doing fine,” she insisted. “Don’t worry about me.”
Shrugging a shoulder, he looked away, but his lips curved up in a wry smile. “I always do.”
She rubbed her tired eyes. It wasn’t very late, but she needed sleep. They’d borrowed an extra horse from the Were and would leave early in the morning to return it. She needed to be awake and on her guard. The alpha, Rhee-En, had taken an interest in her, not romantically, but still an interest. Alphas wanted strong packs, and though she was human, she could mind-speak, take the fury from Fey, and now even heal herself with borrowed Fey power. More importantly, she hadn’t been afraid of them, or of the Dragos, Damon. The Were appreciated such strength. Or thought her insane enough to be of use to them.
Kei patted the ground beside him. “Come. Try to sleep.”
She settled down next to him, rolling onto her side to face him as he did the same. As always, he took her hands in his to hold between them.
“Have good dreams tonight,” he whispered.
A deep sigh escaped her. “I’ll try.”
He frowned, his eyes searching hers. “Why so sad? He’s home safe now. He’ll be better soon.”
“I know,” she mumbled. Elves were bound to their land and its magic. Being gone so long from Rivenward almost killed Prince. Her thoughts turned back to their parting. “He kissed me.”
Kei grinned. “We saw.” His brows drew together at her solemn face. “That’s what you wanted, wasn’t it?”
Her cheeks flushed remembering the kiss. A passionate, frantic kiss that stole her breath away. “I don’t know what I wanted,” she admitted. “I love him. I wanted him to love me, too. But…I know it can’t work, not with him being a prince, and an Elf, and immortal.” Sighing again, her chest tightened. “It’s not fair to him, to love me but have to watch me die. I wouldn’t do it to you. I shouldn’t expect it of him either.”
Kei watched her quietly for a while. “Love is love, Aro. Sometimes it’s all that matters.”
“He never said he loved me.”
Broken Promise by Jen Wylie is book three of The Broken Ones. The story picks up later on the same day that Aro, Kei, Bo, and Garen left Prince at the gates of the Elven kingdom. Returning to the werewolves, they learn that the Were King is now coming to speak with Aro and he isn’t happy. Thanks to the generous reward from the Prince for his return, they have more than enough money to winter and rest in the nearby city of Westport. But nothing goes the way they plan. Kei is restless, the Damon is watching them, the Were King is waiting, and the Elves aren’t happy with Aro’s relationship with Prince. Will Aro be able to save herself and those she loves?
Old and New Friends
I cannot say enough just how much I love this series and the characters within! In another life, you know the one where I live in the same world as the characters, Aro would be my bestie. She is independent, fiercely loyal, and most definitely a tomboy. She is emotional at the beginning of this book, but has every reason to be. After traveling with Prince for nearly a year, he is gone. A Were King is angry with her and his punishment could be death. And then there is Kei, who seems to be angry with her as she tries and continues to fail when learning about their bond and how to use it. There is tremendous growth with Aro this book as she continues in her quest to save the Fey.
Then of course I can’t forget Aro’s boys: Bo, Garen, and Kei. For some reason, I’ve pictured Bo much older than he actually is, which is finally revealed in this book (twenty-eight). I saw him in his mid- to late-thirties and more a father figure to Aro then a brother. During this book though, there is more about Bo than in the previous two and I just fell in love with him. He is so sweet, tender-hearted, and protective when it comes to Aro. The werewolf Garen, thanks to a rune from Prince, is able to winter with them in the city disguised as a large dog. He is very loyal to Aro and cares for her, but he is still so mysterious. I want to know more about him (like why can’t he turn human, where did he come from, how old is he, etc.), hopefully book four will shed a little light on him. And Kei….he is perhaps the character I missed the most between books. He is loving, wild, and devoted to Aro, but the city makes him stir-crazy and he feels that Aro is giving up / not working hard enough on the quest to save the Fey. He becomes angry and because of his anger he lands himself in a whole heap of trouble.
During this book, we are introduced to several new characters, but two stick out in my mind as important. Roan is a bit of a local celebrity. He’s a pirate who when he is in port makes sure the locals behave according to his own set of laws. He also has a big secret that only Aro knows. The other is Baelan, an elf who claims is sent by Prince. He is unlike Prince in every way. He actually shows emotion and seems to smile all the time, though if you ask me I pictured him to look a bit deranged. Through a series of events, Aro must trust both at one point with her life, but the question remains, can she?
What’s Going On?
The plot of this book differs from Broken Aro and Broken Prince as it focuses mainly on character growth and development. Aro is hurting again, the Fey rely on her to heal them, the Elves and Were King are angry with her, and Kei seems to be as well. Aro struggles and perseveres in this story. She overcomes, and I felt like she is tried more in this book than the previous two. Just to give you an idea of what is to come without any spoilers (in other words I’m not telling you who or when these things occur): kidnapping, drugging, torture are just a few of the things that Aro and her boys must deal with.
I found the storyline to be a bit on the darker side than the others have been as Aro and the boys must overcome what is thrown their way. In fact, a few tears may have been shed on my part (yes, they most definitely were). Between the Elves and the Dragos, Aro has her plate full, not to mention this wedge that has come between her and Kei. I think of all the things that occur to our characters in this book that wedge was the worst for me.
I think if you’ve read this far that it is obvious I loved the book! I love the characters and it is Aro’s plight that drives the plot. The suspense, the new characters, all of it just adds to this amazing epic fantasy that Wylie has created. I really do not want this series to end, but I can’t wait to find out what happens next! If you enjoy fantasy, young adult fiction, and a bit of suspense 😉 or if you’ve read the first two books, then you do not want to miss this installment of The Broken Ones.
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