My Kyrosmagica Review of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner


Goodreads Synopsis:

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive — alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

This February I joined in the Booksplosion Readathon, book of the month, These Broken Stars, Starbound#1,  moderated by book tuber Jesse (JesseTheReader) on Goodreads.

My review:

Major Tarver Merendsen war hero, is stationed on the Icarus, the “Newest, fanciest ship to come out of orbital dock.”  Tarver approaches Lilac, a girl who he’s attracted to, but his well-intentioned attentions to Lilac LaRoux are rebuffed, in a very nasty manner. Tarver doesn’t know who Lilac La Roux is, to him she’s  just an attractive young woman that he’d like to date. Later Tarver finds out why. Lilac happens to be the spoilt brat daughter of the wealthiest man in the universe. Lilac expects everyone to recognise her, and everyone normally does, no exceptions. Even though Tarver is a war hero, he is not someone who Lilac would socialise with.  Her friend Anna warns her: ” Who cares how many medals the major managed to wrangle in the field? He’s still just a teacher’s son.”

When the Icarus suddenly develops problems with its hyperspace engines, Tarver is all too aware of the danger. Even though Lilac treated him appallingly Tarver can’t help but be a soldier hero. He jumps after her to help her escape the riot of panicking crowds. He escorts Lilac to an escape pod.

Tarver expects to sit beside her on that pod whether she likes it or not. Who can deny him this?  Stuck up Lilac isn’t too keen on the idea of Tarver frequenting the same pod as her, but Tarver isn’t about to listen to her:  “The soldier lifts both eyebrows. Miss LaRoux, there are five seats in that pod, and I mean to use one of them. We may not have five minutes. It seems like something’s pulling the ship out of hyperspace before it’s supposed to.”

Lilac and Tarver crash-land on a deserted planet. Lilac initially seems more concerned with her, “Two thousand Galactics’ worth of shoes,” than with anything else, but it turns out that Lilac isn’t just a pretty, empty headed spoilt brat. She knows a lot of technicalities about “interdimensional travel,”  hot-wiring, and electrical circuitry. They soon realise the shocking truth that they are the sole two survivors stuck on this strange planet.  Will Tarver and Lilac be able to stand each others company?  Will they survive and make it home?

These Broken Stars  is a blend of sci-fi, dystopian, paranormal and romance all in one. The book has a lovely cover that just matches the endearing contents inside. I particularly liked the romance in this book, the characters grow and develop so much as the novel progresses. The romance unfolds slowly, and this makes it all the more heart-warming and believable for the reader.

I love the romance!!!!

Lilac changes from a stuck up spoilt brat daddy’s girl, to a young woman who appreciates that life is precious, much more so than her previously prized material possessions. The friendships that she had aboard the Icarus were built on snobbery and hollow values.  Those expensive shoes, and dresses may look lovely but are worthless on this planet. She finds out some shocking truths about her dad, reveals a new-found strength of character, and discovers that her father can’t manipulate her any more.

Tarver remains pretty solid throughout, there are no massive surprises with this guy, apart from the fact that this soldier has suffered heartbreak in his family life. This human side adds depth to his character. He isn’t just the perfectly trained soldier equipped to deal with every crisis, he has emotions, and feelings too. I loved how the book allowed us to see the thoughts of both Tarver and Lilac through dual points of view. These Broken Stars relies heavily on these two characters as we spend practically all of our time with them so Tarver and Lilac have to be engaging and interesting to carry this of.

The Icarus reminded me of the Titanic of the Sci-Fi world. The space ship that should never had crashed but did, killing so many people. “But who names a starship the Icarus? What kind of man possess that much hubris, that he dares it to fall?”

Lilac starts seeing ghostly images, hearing whispers, and simple life forms such as a flower, start resurrecting. There is a touch of the paranormal in this novel which adds another element of interest that readers will enjoy.

Throughout the book, and before the start of each chapter there are transcripts of single page interview sessions being conducted with Tarver after his rescue. I found these an interesting way to break up the chapters but at times I felt that they revealed a little too much about the plot.

The emphasis in These Broken Stars is on the developing romance and growing love, understanding and respect that slowly develops between Lilac and Tarver. That suited me! But possibly Sci Fi fans may be a little disappointed at the lack of detail about the space ship Icarus, and the planet that they crash-land on.

It works well as a standalone novel, as the story comes to a very satisfactory conclusion. I am looking forward to reading more in this series.

I would recommend it for readers of Young Adult, Sci Fi, Dystopian, Paranormal, Aliens, Fantasy, and of course Romance.

My rating:



Favorite Quotations:

“Abhorrent though it may seem to you, we are going to have to spend a night together. Brace yourself.”

“And there it is, against all hope, like the sun peeking out from behind the clouds. The smallest hint of a smile.”

“For a moment the image before us is frozen: our world, our lives, reduced to a handful broken stars half lost in uncharted space. Then it’s gone, the view swallowed by the hyperspace winds streaming past, blue-green auroras wiping the after-images away.

Until all that’s left is us.”

“Where will I sit?” Sit? Why, on this comfortable chaise longue I’ve carried here for you in my pocket, Your Highness, so glad you asked. I clamp my mouth shut, struggling not to say it aloud.”

“I reach for her hand and wind my fingers through hers, turning them so the rain patters down onto her palm. I trace a circle there with my thumb, smoothing the water in her skin. I want to show her there’s nothing to be afraid of.”

“You’re you,’ he repeats, his eyes full of grief. ‘You’re the same girl who crashed on this planet with me, who I dragged through forests and over mountains, who climbed through a shipwreck full of bodies to save my life. You’re the same girl I loved, and I love you now.”

Have you read These Broken Stars? Do leave a comment below I’d love to hear from you.

Bye for now.


Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

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My Kyrosmagica Review of Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson


Goodreads Synopsis:

In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with colour once more?
In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage – Allomancy, a magic of the metals.

I joined in Jesse the Reader’s  Booksplosion Readathon of  Mistborn via Goodreads, THE FINAL EMPIRE // MISTBORN | BOOKSPLOSION READ-ALONG] JANUARY BOOK OF THE MONTH!

So, my thoughts. Mistborn was slow to start. There seemed to be so many facts to pack in, so much information to absorb. There’s even an appendix at the back of the book to explain the various terms that the author uses. But, I’m so glad that I discovered this novel because when you get to grips with the magic system this is one AMAZING book.

What did I love about it?

The short answer would be everything! Well the characters are so well crafted, and considering there are so many of them Brandon Sanderson does an incredible job of bringing them to life. I have a soft spot for Vin, aka Lady Valette. She and her half-brother Reen have had a hard life. They are part of a thieving crew with no true alliances. Her brother Reen beats her, but this is his way of toughening her up, teaching her to survive in a world that treats Skaa like animals rather than people.  Being a Skaa female is the worse fate of all, especially if you are pretty, one of the noblemen could sleep with you, and then you are put to DEATH. No mercy, serious stuff, no half measures here, no mingling of Skaa blood with nobility, this is just not allowed. Though it does happen…..

When Reen runs off and leaves Vin alone she feels deserted. But she has an ability, a gift of Luck that she doesn’t quite understand, that makes her survival in a thieving crew all the more likely. She meets Kelsier who teaches her about this gift, and joins his crew. A crew much different from any she has known before. A crew built on friendship, trust, loyalty, and above all else good men. Given her background she finds it hard to believe that such men exist. Kelsier rises up against the terrible atrocities directed at the Skaa populace. He inspires men to follow him to rebel against the ruler and Vin joins him in this task. He becomes like a father figure to her, a man she trusts and admires. A true friendship and respect grows, one that warms the heart and inspires hope. Her place in this uprising is to  act as a spy, to attend parties and balls in Luthadel to spy on the nobles. A task which she finds hard given she has lived the life of a street urchin, and now has to behave like a noble woman. She learns etiquette and manners and is accepted into a society in which terrible truths about the nobles’ cruelty are hidden behind a veneer of supposed respectability.

Kelsier enjoys stirring up trouble, in fact he seems to thrive on it. He’s a survivor of the mining Pits of Hathsin,  where atium, the most powerful metal used for Allomancy, is mined. When his wife Mare is killed on a heist the grief and trauma of the event make him “Snap” to become a Mistborn with superhuman powers. His pain and suffering at the loss of his wife is great and her alleged betrayal of him makes him suffer even more. Kelsier is determined to bring down the Lord Ruler, who controls the Skaa, and treats them like slaves.The Lord Ruler’s right to do this is never challenged. He controls and dampens down the populace with his ability to control their thoughts.

Is the Lord Ruler a God, an immortal being, or is he able to die?

Is Kelsier’s reasoning driven by pure revenge, or does he really care for the Skaa?

Is Vin the most powerful Mistborn of all? Can she be the one to save them?


Breeze is known as a Smoother. He Pushes on emotions. This guy soothes the emotions of others, making them trusting. Believe me this ability is needed in this rebellion!  Pulling on emotions has the opposite effect making a person less trusting and more determined.

Dockson “Dox” is a skaa plantation runaway, he is Mr Organiser, the space and supplies officiando.

Ham is a Thug. This tough guy handles security as well as training their army.

Clubs is a Smoker. No he doesn’t smoke cigarettes! He stops the bad guys sensing what the rebellion crew are up to, and stops them being discovered by Inquisitors.

Lord Renoux is an imposter.  His role is to procure armaments and supplies. Vin pretends to be his niece. Later he becomes a kandra, a sentient mistwraith, a creature that absorbs bodies and replicates the person who originally inhabited the body. Yuk!

Sazed is a Terrisman, a Keeper who specialises in religions and languages.  He is a eunuch who has been bred to work as a Steward.  His role is to teach Vin and protect her, a job that he does admirably. He is a Feruchemist, who is able to store metals and uses up their attributes later.

Marsh is Kelsier’s brother, a Seeker, and the former leader of the rebellion.

Spook… is a guy with a weird pattern of speech, who develops a crush on Vin/Valette.

Master Elend Venture, son and heir of House Venture.  A romantic diversion for Vin/Vallette! His character develops from a rather uncertain young man to a much more enlightened fellow as the novel progresses.

Lord Straff Venture is his horrible, uncaring father. His family’s  source of wealth is the mines in which the Lord ruler’s Atium is mined.

Yeden is the rebellion’s  financer who has hired Kelsier to supply him with an army to make the rebellion possible.

Obligators witness contracts and events, and enforce the Lord Ruler’s law.

Inquisitors are talented mistings, “unmatched warriors”, who maintain law and order for the Lord Ruler.

A Misting has the ability to use one of the magical system gifts. Skaa can be mistings but this is rare. Skaa can only be mistings  if they have noble blood. Vin’s father is a high prelan obligator in the steel ministry.

Mistborn  means that you can use all the magical system gifts and are entitled to wear this amazing cloak! Loved the cloak!

Brandon Sanderson’s novel  delivers several genres together in an almighty extravaganza: a thriller, political intrigue, a coming of age story, as well as a fantasy, martial arts, and romance.

Brandon Sanderson delivers the intricacies of the magical system in a way that made them accessible and understandable to the reader. He names the metals as they are being used so we could see their amazing effects in action, and boy do I mean ACTION. There is a lot of Amazing Action in this book, and a bit of gore too so be prepared! This is one superb magic system. It kind of made me imagine a martial arts kind of magic system, so controlled, awe inspiring, and visually stunning. A big high five kick for that! There is so much originality in this novel, wherever did Brandon Sanderson come up with all of his ideas? Just when you thought he couldn’t possibly think of anything else to add into his magical mix he came up with burning metals to enhance powers, and the whisperings of another unexplored metal….. the eleventh metal.

Here are the reasons why I think you should read this book:

Excitement: An army of men hidden from the soldiers, Inquisitors and the Lord Ruler.

Incitement: Create rumour, chaos, and uncertainty in the Great Houses to overthrow the Government.

Disruption and Confusion: Of the economic wealth of the great houses, and the Garrison.

Threat: To the all powerful Lord Ruler himself.

Intrigue: Who is the Lord Ruler? Is he good or bad?

Magic System: Awesome, clever, imaginative. Loved it. Kick Ass Martial Art Amazing.

Characters: Wonderful

Dialogue: Absorbing

Plot: It just got better and better as the novel progressed.

Trust and Sacrifice: The nature of trust, love and the willingness to make enormous sacrifices for the good of all.

Hope: A wonderful sense of hope against all the desperate odds for the downtrodden Skaa.

Ending: Great twist in the tale.

An almost impossible task but can the rebellion be accomplished?

Is it a fool hardy dream? Is the Skaa rebellion doomed to failure? Read the book and find out!!

I am looking forward to reading more in this series, this is Book one of The Final Empire series.

My rating:

Well Victoria Schwab gave it 5 stars, I tend to agree! So I’m giving it 5 Martial Arts High Fives!


This book was recommended by two fellow book bloggers:

K H Lim, a guy who just likes to read, read, read! and my eldest daughter, Tasha Mallon who is studying English Literature at University and is an excellent source of advice on what to read. She likes to read, read, read too!

Favourite quotes:

“But you can’t kill me, Lord Tyrant. I represent that one thing you’ve never been able to kill, no matter how hard you try. I am hope.”

Our belief is often strongest when it should be weakest. That is the nature of hope.”

“How do you ‘accidentally’ kill a noble man in his own mansion?”
“With a knife in the chest. Or, rather, a pair of knives in the chest…”

“The right belief is like a good cloak, I think. If it fits you well, it keeps you warm and safe. The wrong fit however, can suffocate.”

“Women? Women are like…thunderstorms. They’re beautiful to look at, and sometimes they’re nice to listen to-but most of the time they’re just plain inconvenient.”

“Honestly, for an evil god of darkness, he certainly can be dull.”

“And Vin liked solitude. When you’re alone, no one can betray you”

“Are there any religions on your list that include the slaughter of noblemen as a holy duty?”

For more information, author annotations, deleted scenes, and expanded world information:

Have you read Mistborn? Do leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.

Bye for now,


Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

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