Heavenbreaker by Sara Wolf

May 22nd, 2024 Kimberly Review 8 Comments

22nd May

Narrated by Ashley Bryce, Heavenbreaker by Sara Wolf is the first novel in an unnamed series that blends science-fiction and fantasy. I enjoyed this tale of revenge, Jousting, artificial intelligence and unexpected romance set against a corrupt ruling class in space.

Heavenbreaker by Sara Wolf
by Sara Wolf
Narrator: Ashley Bryce
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Narration: 4 cups Speed: 1.5x

Bravery isn't what you do. It's what you endure.

The duke of the powerful House Hauteclare is the first to die. With my dagger in his back.

He didn't see it coming. Didn't anticipate the bastard daughter who was supposed to die with her mother—on his order. He should have left us with the rest of the Station's starving, commoner rubbish.

Now there's nothing left. Just icy-white rage and a need to make House Hauteclare pay. Every damn one of them. Even if it means riding Heavenbreaker—one of the few enormous machines left over from the War—and jousting against the fiercest nobles in the system.

Each win means another one of my enemies dies. And here, in the cold terror of space, the machine and I move as one, intent on destroying each adversary—even if it's someone I care about. Even if it's someone I'm falling for.

Only I'm not alone. Not anymore. Because there's something in the machine with me. Something horrifying. Something...more. And it won't be stopped.

Contains mature themes.

dystopian fantasy Kick Ass Heroine scifi

Heavenbreaker opens with Synali, our protagonist, killing her father, the Duke of House Hauteclare. It’s basically a suicide mission. We learn she is his bastard daughter and that the Duke and others plotted the assassination of her and her mother. Only Synali survived. As she makes her escape, she ends up being mistaken for a rider and takes part in a jousting match. The story that unfolds was a curious one with robotic steeds, noble families and a unique offer for revenge.

It took me a minute to settle into this author’s style and the world we find ourselves in. We’ve got noble families ruling a failing world with social classes, greed at the top and desperation in the lower classes. After her accidental joust, Synali is offered a deal from Dravik, of House Lithroi. For each battle she wins, he will kill one royal from each house involved in her mother’s assassination.

The steeds aren’t horses or birds, as the cover suggests, but these giant robotic suits known as steeds that the riders sit in. Synali rides a giant lady carrying a sword. The story touches on artificial intelligences and I’ll leave you to discover that for yourself. Despite Synali’s suicidal plans, I liked our complex heroine. She is driven almost desperately so by her need for revenge. This need drives her to win each competition even if she knows the houses will never let her live.

The romance is a slow burn and a side plot to the story. The love interest is Rax, from House Velrayd. It’s a forbidden romance. We learn Rax’s story through backstories, his point of view, and interactions with Synali.

Other key characters were Dravik, who mentors Synali and aids in her revenge. I am curious for more of his story. Then we have Mirelle from House Hauteclare. She is Synali’s biggest rival and a standout character with bite. Then there is Rain, the assassin who carried out the murder of Synali’s mother.

Time in the arena was my favorite part and Wolf did a wonderful job of bringing the battles to life in vivid color, but overall I wanted more world-building and found myself frustrated by the tidbits we learned. While I don’t like info dumps, I struggled to fully visualize the world and civilization.

Ashley Bryce narrates and did a great job of capturing Synali’s personality and giving voice to the other key players.

Overall, this was an engaging listen with an engaging plot and I look forward to listening to Hellrunner the next audiobook in the series.

Amazon | Audible

About Sara Wolf

Sara Wolf

Sara Wolf adores baking, cats, and screaming helpfully at her own imagination. When she was a kid she was too busy eating dirt to write her first terrible book. Twenty years later she mashed her fists on a laptop and created the Lovely Vicious series. She lives in Portland, Oregon where the sun can't get her anymore.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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8 Responses to “Heavenbreaker by Sara Wolf”

  1. Jan Farnworth

    I just got my pre order of this one today the stenciling is so cool. Can’t wait to read it.