Before the Broken Star by Emily R. King

Overall: 4.5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫
Steam: 💋make out only
Feels: 😫😆😲😰😬😤

Tear jerker: No
Paranormal/Fantasy: Yes
Location: Various, including Wyeth/Dorestand, Dagger Island, The Everwoods
Character age range: late teens/early 20s
Lead: Everley/Evie Donovan
Love interest(s): Jamison Callahan
HEA: No – cliff hanger

Kindle Unlimited: Yes
Audible: Yes – Narrated by Lauren Ezzo
Series: Yes – The Evermore Chronicles – Book 1
1. Before the Broken Star – released 6/1/19
2. Into the Hourglass – releasing 8/20/19

Sex/kink type: None, kissing only
Possible triggers: murder, betrayal, mention of rape

The Quick and Dirty:
Compelling characters –

Complex and vivid world building –
Strong story arc complete with plot twists – 
Revenge storyline, strong female characters, epic sword battles, monstrous sea beasts & a quest into a fabled land where trees have the power of creation, all while fighting against time – ✅✅✅✅✅✅

Everley is a girl whose family was murdered by her father’s partner, Markham. She was thought dead but her uncle saved her by fashioning her a clock heart to replace her beating one. When she learns Markham is in town but about to set sail for Dagger Island, she finds a way onto his ship, intent on exacting her pound of flesh. Fate has bigger plans for her than just revenge though. Everley learns Markham’s true identity and finds herself on an epic journey that will test her wit, her resolve and the strength of her heart.

I love Emily King’s world building. Her descriptions are always vibrant and so vivid that you can easily imagine yourself as a bystander, watching the action unfold before your eyes. My only qualm was how badly poor Jamison was treated. I hope Everley realizes what an asset he is in the next book! There were also moments where he felt more like an ancillary character or an after thought than part of the main cast, though after the last chapter in this book, I anticipate that will change.  Can’t wait to read Into the Hourglass!

A fierce young female adventurer battles time itself to claim her destiny in a sweeping new fantasy saga from the author of the Hundredth Queen series.

Everley Donovan is living on borrowed time. The lone survivor of her family’s unexplained assassination, she was saved by an ingeniously crafted clockwork heart. But the time she was given won’t last forever. Now, every tick-tock reminds her how fragile her existence is and hastens her quest to expose Killian Markham, the navy admiral who shattered her world and left her for dead. But Everley’s hunt for justice will be a long and hard-won voyage.

Her journey takes her to a penal colony on a cursed isle, where she will be married off and charged to build the new world. It is here, and beyond, that hidden realms hide, treasures are unearthed, her family secrets are buried, and young love will test the strength of her makeshift heart. When Everley discovers Markham may not be who he seems, her pursuit for truth is bound to his redemption, her tragic history, and her astonishing destiny.


Emily R. King is a reader of everything and a writer of fantasy. Born in Canada and raised in the USA, she has perfected the use of “eh” and “y’all” and uses both interchangeably. Shark advocate, consumer of gummy bears, and islander at heart, Emily’s greatest interests are her four children. She’s a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and an active participant in her local writers’ community. She lives in Northern Utah with her family and their cantankerous cat.