Keri Arthur’s "Blackbird Broken": The Race to Be King

 Review by Sharon Tucker

Details on how to enter to win an ebook copy of the book at the end of this post along with a link to purchase it. 

I really have been anticipating this second in the Witch King’s Crown series by Keri Arthur, Blackbird Broken (2020), and the story picks up just where Blackbird Rising ended. However, I think I overestimated how much I would remember between novels and was surprised at how much I limped along initially, remembering who was who and more than a few of the details of how the plot unfolded in Blackbird Rising. I did catch up, though.

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The world of the Blackbirds is an alternate modern Britain full of magic and awaiting the rule of a witch king family, the Aquitaines, all of which your ordinary British citizen has no inkling. In Blackbird Rising, Arthur introduces us to Gwen de Montfort and her “grandmother” Mo who are tasked with protecting the sword of all power until the day it is claimed by the next king. We learned that the sword and other magical artifacts had been stolen or attempted in what was discovered to be preparation for crowning a usurper in league with the Dark Side, peopled by elves and creatures bent on no good to mankind. What became obvious to Gwen as the novel progressed was that someone she knew was eliminating any heirs between him and the crown and stealing magical artifacts—among them the sword of power—to consolidate an illegitimate rule. 

In Blackbird Broken, more lives are in jeopardy as the Dark Side puts plans into action, but fortunately more has come to light for Gwen and Mo about who wants the throne and how it will be taken. The plot deepens as the legitimacy of some of the stolen artifacts proves false and the question begged is where are the genuine artifacts of power. Who is hoarding them and is there a legitimate heir to the Witch King’s crown? How does Gwen de Montfort fit in to what’s happening?

The world Keri Arthur has built here is a comfortable and attractive place to live and walk around in, yet it’s laced with an impending menace most of the world hasn’t a clue about. She continues to write about people who work hard and live full lives in the midst of very practical magic. The supernatural elements here make the evolving plot fun despite the danger and the elements of Gwen’s powers growing stronger and her destiny with Knight protector Luc Durant seems ever more fated despite their best efforts to keep it cool. The sexual tension is quite stimulating and gets ever more in the way. And last but not least, Mo can less and less hide who she is and what her relationship with the Lady of the Lake, Merlin’s Nimue or Viviane, and other characters we remember from legend. I think and hope Merlin will appear in Blackbird Crowned coming in June 2021.

 Do I need to say how much I’m looking forward to the third in the series? I thought not.  

To enter to win an ebook copy of Blackbird Broken, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "blackbird,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 9, 2021. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter.  You can read our privacy statement here if you like.  

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Sharon Tucker is former faculty at the University of Memphis in Memphis TN, and now enjoys evening supervising in that campus library. Having forsworn TV except for online viewing and her own movies, she reads an average of 3 to 4 books per week and has her first novel---a mystery, of course---well underway.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Great series. Looking forward to the next one

  2. Sounds like a fascinating book. Thanks for the chance.

  3. I got this next in my Que on my kindle and cannot wait! Sounds amazing and thanks for your thoughts on the series/books.


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