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Five Broken Blades | Review

Overall Avg. - 2.75

Characters - 3

Humour - 4

Smut - 1

Plot 3


The best way I can initially describe Five Broken Blades in this review is that it's not the book that's sold through the blurb. I went into this thinking there was going to be some real sneaky stuff, some espionage, some real intrigue, but instead, it was an InstaLust Fest without any actual smut.

My issue with this is not only the missell, but the simple fact that if you're going to make this a story about lovable rogues finding love, then at least put your big girl pants on and actually follow through. For three separate couples to have a slow burn that just fades to black is extremely childish. I don't care how childish that makes me sound for wanting it lol, but it basically set the book up to be a tease. It starts out with content warnings for fuck's sake, and nothing about this was remotely worthy of a warning sign, so I was really annoyed by the setup to not actually follow through.

Book cover for five broken blades
Five Broken Blades Cover (Teal)

I didn't go in with any expectations or knowledge of what this was, so for those expecting romance, it might not have been such a letdown. For those like me who thought it would have more substance, then I was left a little confused if I'm honest. A big thing that let this down was the repetitive nature of the writing. It was quite immature and all very obvious, with more telling than showing. We knew what was motivating them all the time; there was no real mystery about anything. Even the reveals at the end were fairly predictable, and I had guessed all but one by the end, which, while not terrible, just felt a bit unfulfilling.

What I did like, however, was the play on the title. Five Broken Blades does not refer to any physical blades being broken, but rather to the broken psyche and lives of the killers in the story. I appreciated that each of them had some kind of backstory or past that motivated them to take part in this heist. The plot itself was fairly straightforward, although a little repetitive as mentioned.

There are quite a few characters in this, and even though I listened to the audio, it was actually difficult to differentiate between the characters. Mikhail, Euyne, and Tiyung all sounded the same. Only Royo made me laugh, and his way of speaking really messed me up, haha, so funny. I actually laughed out loud so many times with him that it really helped me stay engaged for the rest of the story. Aeri was really childish, and even though this was explained by the end, it didn't really help after disliking her so much at the start. She just felt silly.

So much more could have been done with Sora being a Poison Maiden, aka an assassin, but not much was shown of that either.

There was an overall negative portrayal of women throughout the novel, which wasn't really well-established for me. Sure, men didn't really like women a lot in this world, but it was never explained...why. So there was just random misogyny for no reason, which didn't help me connect to the world in the best way.

Overall, it was just a little lackluster for me.



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