Book Review: Thronebreakers by Rebecca Coffindaffer

About the Book:

Title: Thronebreakers

Author: Rebecca Coffindaffer

Series: Crownchasers

Page Length: 384

Publication Date: Oct. 12, 2021

Publisher: Harper Teen

Synopsis: Alyssa Farshot never wanted to rule the empire. But to honor her uncle’s dying wish, she participated in the crownchase, a race across the empire’s 1,001 planets to find the royal seal and win the throne. Alyssa tried to help her friend, Coy, win the crownchase, but just as victory was within their grasp, Edgar Voles killed Coy—and claimed the seal for himself.

Broken-hearted over her friend’s death, Alyssa is hell-bent on revenge. But Edgar is well protected in the kingship. Alyssa will have to rally rivals, friends, and foes from across the empire to take him down and change the course of the galaxy. 

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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Coffindaffer on Goodreads:

After what happened at the end of Crownchasers, Alyssa Farshot is like:

And Hell Monkey is dealing with this fallout like:

And everyone else is kinda:

And the plot is basically:

But, y’know…make it scifi.

My Review:

After reading Rebecca Coffindaffer’s debut novel Crownchasers, I couldn’t wait to read its sequel, Thronebreakers. Then, I saw what Coffindaffer posted on Goodreads, and I knew I was in for another epic space adventure! Rife with danger, intrigue, epic space battles, and antagonists coming from every direction, Thronebreakers is a heart-pounding, brilliant conclusion to the Crownchasers duology!

Alyssa is such a fantastically developed character, and I love her growth over the course of the novel. After everything that happened in Crownchasers, Alyssa is emotionally devastated, and she deals with all of the grief and anger and helplessness. On top of the personal trauma, Alyssa also faces a chaotic and dangerous transition of power, and she seeks vengeance for what happened in Crownchasers. Alyssa sees that the current political system has flaws and doesn’t work for all, and she wants better. Alyssa has come a long way from the start of the story, yet she still maintains her compassion, strength, and humor.

The story delves into so many different types of relationships and shows how those relationships define and guide the characters. Alyssa’s relationship with her uncles, as well as her grief over the death of characters in the first book, very much fuel her in this story. You learn more about her life with her uncles, which totally made her the person she is in the story – fierce and brave and brilliant and so loved. Other relationships are as deftly developed and layered as this one, including a unique and lovely bond between one of the antagonists and his caretaker, which is pretty intriguing in itself. All of these connections highlight the positive impact of developing deep and lasting bonds with people you care for and how all relationships, good and bad, influence one’s life. They also reveal that relationships aren’t easy. New and old relationships are tested, and bonds break or are put into question. All of these relationships take work, communication, trust, and more, and Coffindaffer shows this in a multitude of ways.

Of course, my favorite relationship is the one between Alyssa and Hell Monkey. I love a good romance, and theirs is wonderful. It’s not the main focus of the novel, but it is so integral to the story. Alyssa and Hell Monkey have a deep bond, and their chemistry is fantastic. They are so well attuned – from the way they address each other depending on the situation and their feelings to the subtle (and not so subtle) ways they comfort and support each other, and I love how their relationship progresses. And Hell Monkey is the perfect counterpart to Alyssa. He understands her so well (and she him), and his patience, understanding, love, and perseverance really shines in this story.

Now, as much as I adored the characters, this is a sci-fi novel, and I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the impressively immersive, vivid, and intricately developed universe Coffindaffer created. It’s fantastic and original, and well crafted. From topography to faith, culture, politics, mythology, and more, each new setting is as layered and unique as the one before. The imagery makes it so easy to picture the different worlds, settings, and ships described, and I was easily drawn into this amazing universe so unlike our own.

Though this takes place in a futuristic space setting, the messages and themes are universal and relatable. One that really stands out to me is the introspection about grief. Coffindaffer puts into words the myriad of ways people deal with and feel about grief, and I like that the book doesn’t shy away from the pain and trauma of loss. Alyssa has lost a lot, and she struggles with her grief, as do many other characters in the story. Yet, they all deal with their loss and pain differently. It’s hard and it’s ugly, and it changes a person, much like it changes Alyssa and her friends.

Grieving. I never thought of it having a sound, but it does. I can hear it all around me – some of it soft, some of it loud. Everyone is just oozing out their grief until it lies on me like the worst blanket. Grief as a weight. Grief as a tangible thing. Now that’s something I’m more familiar with.

The story deals with some heavy topics, including grief, betrayal, the obsession for power, greed, and more, but there are some lighter, fun moments too. Several fun nods to other sci-fi shows and films, a hilarious and sarcastic AI, which is unexpected and delightful, and fantastic banter throughout the story bring a bit of levity and humor at times when it is most needed. There are so many twists and turns and revelations, and it is super intense and a bit dark at times. However, through it all, there are feelings of hope and determination, which makes for a nice balance.

I also love the inclusion of correspondence from Alyssa’s uncle. In it, we learn more about their universe and the political burdens he faced, and we also learn why he did certain things in his political and personal life. These scenes provide great context and show the reader how loved Alyssa was. It is a wonderful way to show a beautiful relationship with a fresh perspective. I also love that the story includes news headlines that recount what is happening across this vast universe. It really shows how skewed the media can be and how it is used to manipulate and persuade populations. There are many social and political messages like this throughout the story that completely resonate with our world and society.

There is also a ton of action and intrigue, and it is truly a race against time to stop Edgar Voles from becoming the leader. But holding Edgar accountable and revealing his role in the death of her beloved friend isn’t the only obstacle Alyssa must face. Religious zealots, corrupt politicians, manipulated media, and many other antagonists stand in her way. Her life is in constant danger, and with the ever-increasing governmental control, there is nowhere to hide. This is a universe on the crux of war, and Alyssa and her friends are desperate and determined to stop it. It sure is an intense, nail-biting, death-defying journey!

Thronebreakers is an exceptional conclusion to the Crownchasers duology! I‘m sad that it’s over, but I’m thrilled that I had the opportunity to read this brilliant story. It made me feel all the feels, and I’m so thankful to Rebecca Coffindaffer and Harper Teen for sending a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

The character devlopment.

The dynamically developed setting.

The action and suspense!

Favorite Lines:

I want to reach for him – I know he’ll reach back if I just try – but I can’t bring myself to do it. I don’t entirely trust myself. It’s like I’m covered in spikes and teeth lately. One second I want to be held, and the next I just want to taste blood.

This is the kind of plot twist I can get behind.

I have seen the weight of this universe extinguish too many bright fires. I wanted to give you space to grow and breathe and explore until your fire burned so big, so intense, so fierce that nothing could smother it.

You get what you get with me. You’re welcome in advance.


Want to learn more about the duology? Check out my review of the first book!

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