Kingdom Society

Broken Reality

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
364 Pages
Reviewed on 07/11/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Parul Sood for Readers' Favorite

Broken Reality by Nathan Helm is an action-packed new installment of the Kingdom Society series. Building upon the foundation established in the first book, The Black Hood, Helm takes readers on a grander adventure. The beloved characters from the previous book make a return, with protagonist Alyeth Zane leading the charge. Accompanied by Cindrel, Xylok, and his new allies Ezra and Koren, Alyeth starts his training with the powerful warlock Pyrres Galhon in Stonehaven. As he delves deeper into his studies, he unravels the mysteries surrounding his enigmatic teacher. But what initially appears to be normal soon takes a perilous turn when Alyeth finds himself trapped in a situation orchestrated by the devious Game Master. Alyeth must rely on his own instincts and intuition to locate and save his crew. As he faces these unexpected challenges, Alyeth is also confronted with a new choice of power, further complicating his already tumultuous journey.

In Kingdom Society, Nathan Helm skillfully explores the development of Alyeth's character, as he grapples with his own internal conflicts and matures in the face of adversity. The narrative builds up to a crucial decision that has significant consequences for the future of Targus, leaving readers captivated and eagerly wondering about Alyeth's choices and their impact on the world they have come to love. Helm's seamless blend of sci-fi and fantasy adds depth and excitement to the narrative, keeping readers engaged from beginning to end. The author provides an in-depth perspective into the mind of a chosen hero, showcasing the protagonist's growth, struggles, and emotional journey. With the introduction of greater cosmic forces and their deceptive offers, readers are challenged to question their own objectivity and consider the true nature of power and choice. With its well-crafted characters, action-packed storyline, and a perfect blend of sci-fi and fantasy, this book is highly recommended for fans eagerly awaiting the next chapter in Alyeth's journey.

Ronél Steyn

Alyeth Zane returns for another adventure in Kingdom Society: Broken Reality by Nathan Helm. In this epic fantasy, Alyeth is at the castle of Pyrres Galhon in Stonehaven for training, together with Master Xylok, Ezra, Cindrel, and Koren. They have much to learn from this powerful warlock. During an extensive training expedition, Alyeth struggles with his inner conflict and learns of external forces that have sinister plans for him. Alyeth has to save his friends and family from this new evil and release them from their prison. Using the tools he was previously gifted, as well as his new training, will Alyeth make the right choices to save the love of his life and his own family? Will he be able to save everyone, even though they might not deserve it?

Nathan Helm brings to life a fast-paced fantasy world with amazing, lovable characters. This book can be read as a stand-alone, but I would advise reading the series. I recommend this book to young adults and adult readers alike. The main character is relatable with phenomenal personal development from start to finish. This book is filled with magic, medieval fighting, love, loss, hope, and playful banter that will leave a smile on your face. Much focus is placed on the inner thoughts of our protagonist and the reader’s imagination will be in overdrive with the scenery, which makes this book distinctive. There is a perfect balance in this story that makes you feel fear, hope, and joy.

Miche Arendse

Kingdom Society: Broken Reality by Nathan Helm follows Alyeth and his companions as they head to Stonehaven to train under Pyrres Galhon, a warlock who has been around for thousands of years. Things start to go amiss when Alyeth is visited by a strange being known as Tal who wants him to become an emissary of Darkness and warns that if he chooses not to, there will be dire consequences. It is only upon the arrival of the Game Master that he realizes how dangerous things will become.

Kingdom Society by Nathan Helm is an interesting mix of sci-fi and fantasy that slowly grew on me the more I read. Helm has a distinctive writing style and I enjoyed his world-building. The different kingdoms and worlds along with the various creatures readers will encounter all made for such an entertaining book. The characters were also endearing, particularly Alyeth, as we see how far he progresses from the start of the book to the end. Alyeth seems to have an almost childlike innocence at times but quickly proves himself to be a fierce warrior especially when it comes to protecting those he cares about. The story is well-written and the pacing allowed me to settle into the activities of the settings and characters. There was plenty of action and the compelling storyline of good versus evil, which was neatly wrapped in an epic sci-fi, made this such a great read.

Asher Syed

In Kingdom Society: Broken Reality by Nathan Helm, Korath seeks vengeance for his father's death by village invaders. Alyeth trains extensively with Pyrres, Lord Stark, and others after an encounter with a messenger of Darkness, and for the grueling Nature Extravaganza. During the Extravaganza, Alyeth's team faces attackers and their training proves fruitful until Alyeth enters the battle arena and finds his opponent has an advantage that can be crippling. Trapped in a perilous realm and a reality that takes a devastating turn, all odds imply that Alyeth and the team are unlikely to successfully rescue two companions and survive a beast aptly named Crusher, ice demons, robot-cyborg warriors, and, most deadly of all, a showdown of power in the climactic battle against a formidable Game Maker.

I enjoyed how conspirator elements in Kingdom Society: Broken Reality began to show themselves, parceled out in jaw-dropping revelations with the restraint that only a skilled novelist like Nathan Helm can effectively deliver. The action and pacing are well done in this fantasy-science fiction hybrid, and the balance of character arcs and the plot drivers that propel them keep the training aspects from losing steam. Going in we know that Alyeth is not perfect, but he has a moral compass aligned as close as one can get. This is tested beautifully to the absolute extreme and in a near messianic moment we understand why he is the protagonist and a true leader who can get even the most unlikely in line. I loved the battle scenes. I hate the word 'epic' but I don't know a better way to describe it. Staffs and swords and spells that are accompanied by robots added a grittiness to the landscape that was so creative. Fantastic. Truly.

K.C. Finn

Broken Reality penned by author Nathan Helm is a work of fiction in the fantasy, action, and adventure subgenres, and forms the second book in the Kingdom Society series. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience. In this continuing adventure filled with magic, mayhem, and the call of destiny, we are reunited with Alyeth as he struggles to combat his personal demons in the face of new options of power and connections. Suddenly plunged into a dangerous game where treachery and tragedy await at every turn, Alyeth must count on what he’s learned from those he trusts the most in order to survive and grow on his hero’s journey.

Author Nathan Helm raises the stakes in this second book in his epic fantasy series to ensure that readers are even more invested in Alyeth’s adventures than ever before. One of the features that most impressed me about the work was its commitment to total immersion, from the logical structure of the worldbuilding to the atmospheric, multi-sensory descriptive methods used to show us Alyeth’s world. There’s a really physical, visceral sense to his struggles that comes from the depth of the narrative, so that we feel every ounce of the physical trials, every heartbeat of anxiety, and the strain that his inner turmoil takes on his mind. When you combine this with the layered and complex challenges of the plot and swift twists that land us in new suspense and danger, it makes for a tale with a hero you feel deeply connected to and root for from cover to cover. Overall, I would certainly recommend Kingdom Society: Broken Reality for fans of the existing series, and I can’t wait to see where it takes us next.