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Fragile Chaos Paperback – July 11, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Mortal Cassia and god of war Theodric take turns telling their story as a loose tribute to "Beauty and the Beast." As Cassia's homeland is besieged by war and she is left without a family, Theodric struggles with the challenges of being rendered powerless by his brother. When a group of devoted followers kidnap Cassia and sacrifice her to the god of war, Cassia finds herself on the other side of life. She learns if she and Theodric "consummate" their relationship, he will owe her peace in her homeland. But there may be something else she wants, and she's willing to play the game to get it. Meanwhile, Theodric faces power struggles among his siblings—gods of other concepts, including death. Although without a strong sense of place or time, this novel, with a political plot woven with romance, will engage fans of the postapocalyptic and fantasy genres. Theodric differs from typical male love interests; he's more emotionally aware, if easily angered, than the usual brooding loner. While Cassia is somewhat less defined aside from her love of scavenger hunts and general feistiness, the chemistry between the pair is undeniable. This is an admirable debut with well-developed relationships in an uncertain setting and lots of romance to go around. VERDICT Fans of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones and Holly Black's Tithe will enjoy; purchase where reimaginings and urban fantasy are popular.—Abby Hargreaves, D.C. Public Library
FROM SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
Gr 8 Up–Mortal Cassia and god of war Theodric take turns telling their story as a loose tribute to “Beauty and the Beast.” As Cassia’s homeland is besieged by war and she is left without a family, Theodric struggles with the challenges of being rendered powerless by his brother. When a group of devoted followers kidnap Cassia and sacrifice her to the god of war, Cassia finds herself on the other side of life. She learns if she and Theodric “consummate” their relationship, he will owe her peace in her homeland. But there may be something else she wants, and she’s willing to play the game to get it. Meanwhile, Theodric faces power struggles among his siblings—gods of other concepts, including death. Although without a strong sense of place or time, this novel, with a political plot woven with romance, will engage fans of the postapocalyptic and fantasy genres. Theodric differs from typical male love interests; he’s more emotionally aware, if easily angered, than the usual brooding loner. While Cassia is somewhat less defined aside from her love of scavenger hunts and general feistiness, the chemistry between the pair is undeniable. This is an admirable debut with well-developed relationships in an uncertain setting and lots of romance to go around. VERDICT Fans of Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones and Holly Black’s Tithe will enjoy; purchase where reimaginings and urban fantasy are popular. –Abby Hargreaves, D.C. Public Library
“A great book for anybody who loves the myth of Cupid and Psyche…I loved the…mashup of modernity with the mythological” – Abby Reed, Author of When Planets Fall (Soul Mate Publishing)
“This mash-up of modern times and mythology combines elements of Beauty & the Beast and Hades & Persephone to create a totally original retelling” – Kati, To Be Read
“A story full of romance, betrayal, and chaos is sure to attract those teens that enjoyed Percy Jackson but are ready for something more mature” – Jenny Yergin, Goodreads Reviewer
“Filled with folklore, violence, epic battles, and tons of drama, Fragile Chaos is a gripping thrill ride” – Jordan, YA Book Madness
“Fragile Chaos is a great story of the follies of pride, the consequences of abusing power, and the power of love to heal all wounds” – Liza, Quite the Novel Idea
“If you love a good young adult romance, mythology, and a story with high-stakes then you definitely need to read Fragile Chaos by Amber R. Duell” – Olivia Chanel, Galaxy of Books
"The slow smoldering romance that Theo and Cassia can’t deny greatly pushes each page with anticipation" - Tawney, Twinning for Books
"This author's first novel is an extreme display of promise" - Rachel, Rachel's Book Reviews
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Top customer reviews
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I loved Cassia’s character. Even though she is sacrificed to Theodric, God of War, she isn’t a weak character. Cassia has some serious spunk.And I loved her internal monologue. That, and the clashing / sexual attraction between her and Theo. I read the synopsis when I signed up for the tour but by the time the book came to me, I had forgotten what it was really about. So imagine my surprise when the zealots sacrifice her right away at the beginning and the entire book revolves around her and Theo in his realm.
Surprised? Yes. Disappointed? Absolutely not. This book was intense. And Theodric? I can’t help it. I hear God of War and, thanks to the techy / gamer hubs, this is what I thought of. Brooding, kick-butt Kratos. Although, Theodric has a romantic side (much as he tries to deny it throughout the book).
Goran (Theo’s right hand man) and Astra (Theo’s sister / Goddess of Love) come in tied for my favorite minor character. I loved Goran’s easy acceptance of Cassia and how he treated her kindly right away. When things went all haywire, he was also the one who gave her a chance to tell her side of the story. And Astra . . . she’s a little much to handle at first but her personality definitely grew on me. And, though she gets a bad rap later on, I think her heart was definitely in the right place. She, like Goran, sees Cassia as more than just a sacrifice, but as a person. I really enjoyed both of them.
Things take off pretty quickly at the beginning of the novel, and although the action slows down a bit after that, the characters and their interactions are so enjoyable that I stayed glued to the pages throughout. There's lots of romance, sibling rivalries, and chances for everything to go horribly wrong. I really loved the characters, as well as the unique world and take on this type of mythology. In particular I was a fan of the blending of old and new between the two worlds explored in the story. Not to mention Duell's writing is crystal clear and flows smoothly!
I definitely recommend giving it a read!
Amazing novel, written by an amazing woman. I cannot wait to read more from her :)
“War is a captivating, magnetic disorder. And it’s mine. Only the God of War can decide when and how it ends, and right now I’m perfectly happy to let it rage on despite what my brother wants. He may be older, and the King of the Gods, but this is my decision.”
I love the mythology aspect of the story. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of Greek and Roman mythology. However, despite the similarities, the mythology present in Fragile Chaos is that of its own. In Fragile Chaos, there are six realms of the gods and goddesses and all of the gods are siblings. The siblings are Ebris, the King of the Gods; Drea, the Goddess of Life; Brisa, the Goddess of the Sea; Leander, the God of Death; Astra, the Goddess of Love, and lastly, Theodric, the God of War and the protagonist of the book. The thing about Fragile Chaos is that it feels new and different in comparison to a lot of other books I’ve read based on mythology. First of all, Fragile Chaos focuses on the God of War which I have never seen before. Moreover, the whole world that Amber R. Duell has created is intriguing, draws you in and makes you want to see more of it. I have always loved books that feature gods and goddesses and I’m really happy that Fragile Chaos managed to surprise me, which I didn’t think it’d do. Fragile Chaos is gritty and manages to keep you at the edge of your seat until the very end.
However, what made me really fall in love with Fragile Chaos is definitely the main characters. We have Theo, the God of War, who is misunderstood by his siblings and wants them to see him for who he is, and for them to trust his judgments. Then we have Cassia, who despite being all alone in the world is strong and never gives up without a fight. Both of them are headstrong and have a soft side to them not everyone gets to see and that is what makes them such interesting characters.
To see Theo and Cassia fall in love was seriously a pleasure. My heart was weak the entire time, especially during the moments when Theo turned soft in the presence of Cassia while at the same time everything was on fire between them. The tension between Theo and Cassia was electric, and their chemistry and the way they were around each other throughout the book will make you fangirl. Another aspect of their story that I love was the fact that their love didn’t come easy. They both struggled with their emotions for each other and that made their connection that much deeper in the end. Theo and Cassia made me root for them, fangirl over the way they looked at and thought about each other, and their kissing scenes had me squealing. I just love it when a book does that.
“She collides against my chest. My breathing hitches. Each place her body touches mine feels as if it’s exploding. I push her away, stepping back at the same time, and drag in a breath.”
The one aspect of the story I think could have been written differently is the way Cassia’s skin color is described. She is clearly a woman of color, especially based on the book’s cover. However, in the book her skin color is described as tan and bronze. Tan is a very ambiguous word. Anyone can be tan no matter if your skin color is pink, beige, brown and black etc. and that’s why I thought her skin color could have been described better and therefore clarified. Two quotes from the book that highlights this issue are the following,
A girl in an oversized khaki jacket is sitting at the edge of the firelight’s glow. Shadows flicker over her tan skin, dancing in time to the flames. She can’t be more than sixteen. “Last roll,” she says.
My skin is almost as bronze as hers, my hair just as black, and if it weren’t for my blue eyes, I could easily pass as a fellow islander.
All in all, Fragile Chaos is a great young adult book about six gods and goddesses and the world they are a part of, for better and for worse. This book will make you fangirl and root for the protagonists until the very end. Theo and Cassia’s story has its ups and downs, nothing is ever easy for them, but their chemistry is amazing and you will want them to end up together despite all their flaws. If you love a good young adult romance, mythology, and a story with high stakes then you definitely need to read Fragile Chaos by Amber R. Duell.
Most recent customer reviews
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Fragile Chaos is an incredible book.Read more
This was an AMAZING audiobook from the start, I was hooked and could not stop listening.Read more