Review: “Broken Blade,” J.C. Daniels

Pros: Trauma isn’t so easy to overcome; fabulous world-building
Rating: 5 out of 5

In book one of J.C. Daniels’s (Shiloh Walker’s) Colbana Files, Bladed Magic, Kit Colbana rescued a missing werecat teenager and fell for the werecat Alpha, Damon. In book two, Night Blade, Kit saved Damon’s life by proving he had a legitimate reason to kill a handful of powerful supernaturals, then was captured and tortured to the breaking point by vampire Jude. Now, in Broken Blade (Colbana Files Series Book 3), Kit is hiding away with her old friend TJ in Wolf’s Haven, tending bar and avoiding the outside world. Before she thinks she’s ready–if she ever will be–TJ pushes her into taking a simple job: help a young woman who’s trying to get in touch with a young werecat she’s had a relationship with. Of course this leads to another job involving an incredibly powerful and ancient woman who’s looking to cause untold trouble.

I appreciate that Damon can’t just kiss it and make it better. It’s clear that he and Kit still love each other, but that doesn’t make things easy. Daniels treats trauma with the seriousness it deserves, and doesn’t just wave it away. It’s a dark and emotional story.

The tale gets into theories of how the various races (weres, vampires, humans, witches, aneira) came to be, what their purposes were, and what they’ve become. I found this really interesting. I also liked that there were no hard and fast answers–it was legends and theories and bits and pieces of evidence.

All the good characters put in an appearance–Chang, Doyle, TJ, Goliath, Damon, Justin, and so on. Even the simplest jobs for Kit turn out a bit crazy, and it’s interesting to learn a little bit more about the aneira.

I followed my gut, which didn’t usually steer me wrong, yet somehow managed to get me in a lot of trouble.

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