Balance Broken is the second in the Starbright series. In the first book, Justice Buried, Astrea fights to remain independent in a world which demands she submit to an ancient prophecy. In Balance Broken, she learns that independence means little when the world is depending on her.
The world cries for Order, but she’s igniting a revolution.
One hundred years before, the Great Sickness reduced the world to three cities. Now, Asphodel no longer lingers underground, and the Starbright Maiden of Justice has returned.
Everyone has faith in Astrea’s ability to save the world – but only she knows the dark truth about her powers.
Astrea teams with Stian, Lexan, and Zarea to enlist the help of Lord Hadeon of Tartarus. They hope Hadeon will aid in attacking Asphodel’s First Leader Keirna, but the Destroyer usually takes lives, not sides.
As Astrea discovers life outside of Asphodel, she begins to wonder whether the remaining world is too broken to save – especially since the price of freedom just might be her own life.
“My name is Astrea, and I am from the hidden cave city of Asphodel.
Many people have taken years, spent resources, and lost lives looking for our city, and specifically for me. They have all hoped to claim my power for their own and rescue a dying world with an ancient story.
I once thought I would disappoint them all. But here in the wilderness, I have seen the truth, however difficult and strange it may be for me to accept:
I am the StarBright Maiden of Asphodel’s prophecy. The Lady of Justice.
I have with me the Scale of Balance.”
At the beginning of the story we feel as though we have stepped into a contemporary romance, rather than a post-apocalyptic fantasy, complete with angst and love squares! Yet as Hilary Thompson evolves this romantic thread we realise its significance to Trea and her acceptance of the StarMaiden role. To fulfil her destiny she must find ‘balance’ in all areas of her life, with love as well as the justice she delivers.
Throughout this novel Trea seeks her strength and independence and this is a difficult journey for her. To achieve her goals she has moments of vulnerability, both emotionally and spiritually and finds that in these states she can be taken advantage of.
I love the fact that despite Trea’s personal development Lexan is a constant in her life. We watched as their relationship developed in Justic Buried, but in Balance Broken it is still changing as they realise that being together is necessary for their powers to develop. Hilary Thompson cleverly builds an emotional tension between them and we are never sure what the outcome of their decisions will be.
Lord Hadeon, Balance Broken’s newest character, contributes a chilling ingredient to the story. He is amoral, manipulative and self-absorbed. He rules Tartarus with fear and delivers his own form of justice in the Arena. Lexan and Trea plead with him to help them save Asphodel, but instead he uses Trea’s powers for his own pleasure.
Hilary Thompson has taken her original story from Justice Buried and perfected it in Balance Broken, adding more romance, mythology, uncertainty and suspense. Trea is unrecognisable as the girl we met in the first installment and I am eager to see her character progression in the third book!
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About the Author
Hilary Thompson was born to parents who made a habit of taking roads less traveled. But she was also a first child, and an independent, willful child, so she has made a habit of taking a few roads on her own.
After trying on hats made for artists, architects, restaurant and retail workers, landscape designers, legal secretaries, and professional students, she retreated back to her first loves of education and writing.
Hilary now teaches high school full time, writes whenever and wherever she can, and reads as much as her eyes can handle. She also tries not to spoil her own independent, willful children or neglect her wonderful soul-mate of a husband too much. She tends to ignore laundry baskets and dirty dishes.