Title: Broken Kei (The Broken Ones, #4)
Author: Jen Wylie
Publisher: Untold Press
What is this book about?
The time has come.
Aro and Kei must head to the Were forests to heal the Fey. As always, obstacles stand in their path. This time it is not just others between them and their goal, but themselves.
Kei is a battered and broken shell of who he once was. Aro still struggles with her addiction to riath and dealing with all the losses in her life. Now she needs to find a way save Kei from himself before it's too late. To face the trials to come and heal her friend, she must to learn to trust and rely on others, even enemies.
She will need to learn and grow stronger to survive the forest. Healing the wild Fey will be dangerous itself never mind the forests which are anything but safe. With relationships that are tenuous at best and the Vor growing in numbers, mistakes are now deadly, especially when everything is falling apart.
To survive, she needs to protect those she loves while protecting her own heart as well. With the help of a broken Fey, a pirate, and a crazy elf, anything is possible...
Who wrote this?
Jen Wylie was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. In a cosmic twist of fate she dislikes the snow and cold.
Before settling down to raise a family, she attained a BA from Queens University and worked in retail and sales.
Thanks to her mother she acquired a love of books at an early age and began writing in public school. She constantly has stories floating around in her head, and finds it amazing most people don’t. Jennifer writes various forms of fantasy, both novels and short stories.
Jennifer resides in rural Ontario, Canada with her two boys and a disagreeable amount of wildlife.
Tough act to follow
Broken Kei was a good fourth book in the Broken Ones series, however not as good as the first three. I had a hard time appreciating this book.
Going from Broken Promise to Broken Kei was pretty intense. Broken Promise brought the story to a grinding halt, making us wait and reflect on the story. Then we get to Broken Kei, and we immediately get thrown into a chaos of characters and story. Everything in this story felt rushed, almost too fast paced.
The Prophecy? Oh yeah...
One of the biggest problems I had with Broken Kei was that the most important part of the entire Broken Ones story was not the center focus of the book, at least not fully.
We finally get to the part of Aro's journey where she starts to fulfill the prophecy; she's healing the Fey. However, we don't get to experience it with her. Wylie glosses over a handful of events that I would consider major, and instead focuses on characters. While I agree this can be a strategic move on her part, to keep focus on the characters, that's a hard thing to accomplish, and I just felt like I missed out on the main course of the story.
Healing the Fey is the whole center of the Broken Ones series. I just expected the book to be more involved in the process rather than vaguely mentioning how it's going once in a while.
All that being said, we do see a lot of back and forth between Aro's group and people who want to interfere with or push the prophecy forward, which was very interesting, and in some cases scary (I love it!).
Not-so-scary scary guy
While Wylie didn't keep the focus much on the bigger plot points of the story, she did follow Aro and her inner journey very closely. We witness a shift in her personality; Aro becomes a different person over the course of Broken Kei, and it's jarring. With where the story went, it makes sense, and I am so excited to see what comes of her change in book five.
Here's another issue I had with the book, that again made everything feel rushed: throughout the series, we hear about the Were King, whom Aro pissed off pretty bad. She has nightmares about him, and is warned by multiple people about what he might do when they finally meet.
Then it happens. They finally interact, and... it sucked? For all of the energy Wylie put into making the Were King seem a certain way, all of the fear he instilled in everyone around him, their interaction fell flat, and it really disappointed me.
Some good things now! Kei, beautiful, amazing Kei, has come back to us, in pieces. It's up to Aro to put him back together. I loved their interaction, the completely different way they act around each other now. I love that everything didn't just go back to normal. Wylie is making these characters work HARD.
And now, Prince. *Sigh*. I'm not entirely sure what to say, so I'll just keep it to, please don't ruin the one character I so desperately love. Let him be good please 😭
Don't push too hard
I think the biggest message I got from Broken Kei was that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. While the characters aren't back fully to how they were before, I believe they are on their way to becoming better and stronger.
On the other hand, there is a theme of pushing the limits. I believe Aro is on the brink of pushing her limits too hard. I'm interested to see what happens to her in the next book.
Broken Kei seemed rushed. Too many highly anticipated events were cut short or very anti climactic. I really love this series, and I hope that the author either redeems herself in the next book, or takes the time to go over this one again. I'm fully invested in this story and these characters, I really hope it ends well.
I'm going to give Broken Key 3 stars ⭐⭐⭐
Now we await the release of book five, as patiently as we possibly can.
Until then, read on.
~ Hayley's Reviews xo