Blog Tour Reviews

🎧 The Broken Heart of Arelium (War of the Twelve #1) by Alex Robins @WriteReadsTours

ALC Featured Image - War of the Twelve - The Broken Heart of Arelium by Alex Robins - Read by Jay Forrester

Hello, fellow audiobook addicts. Today’s my stop on the blog tour for The Broken Heart of Arelium written by Alex Robins and read by Jay Forrester. I’m sharing my thoughts about this first book in Alex’s epic fantasy series, War of the Twelve.

My thanks to Dave @The Write Reads On Tour for organising the blog tour and to Alex for supplying me with an audio format of his book.

What is The Broken Heart of Arelium about?

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🎧 The Broken Heart of Arelium (War of the Twelve #1) by Alex Robins @WriteReadsToursMy Rating:
Title: The Broken Heart of Arelium by Alex Robins
Series: War of the Twelve #1
Published by Bradypus Publishing on 23 September 2021
Genres: Action & Adventure, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy
Narrator: Jay Forrester
Length: 7 hours 52 minutes
No. of Pages: 232

Some Things Must Never Be Forgotten.

Over 400 years ago, twelve great warriors united the beleaguered armies of men and scoured the war-torn lands of evil, pushing the enemy back into the underground pits and caverns from whence they came. To ensure their legacy, each of the Twelve founded fortress monasteries to impart their unique knowledge of war and politics to a select few, the Knights of the Twelve.

But now the last of the Twelve have long since passed from history to legend and the Knights, their numbers dwindling, are harbouring a dark and terrible secret that must be protected at all costs.

Merad Reed has spent half his life guarding a great crater known as the Pit, yearning for some escape from the bleak monotony. Then the arrival of Aldarin, one of the few remaining Knights of the Twelve, sets off a chain of cataclysmic events that will change Reed forever.

To the north, Jelaïa del Arelium, heiress to the richest of the nine Baronies, must learn to navigate the swirling political currents of her father’s court if she hopes one day to take his place. But the flickering flames of ambition hide the shadow of an even greater threat.

And deep within the earth, something is stirring.

©2021 Alexander Robins (P)2021 Alexander Robins

Source: ARC

I received this ARC for free in exchange for an honest review. This doesn't affect my opinion of the book or influence the content of my review.

Review Format: Audiobook
Purchase Links: Amazon* ¦ Audible* ¦*

Listened to: 17th – 24th January 2022

What did I think about it?

angry warriors holding weapons while looking at the camera
Photo by Gioele Fazzeri on

A Compelling Start To This Epic Fantasy Saga.

The Broken Heart of Arelium is Alex Robins’s debut novel and I was highly impressed with his writing style. I found myself captivated by the fantasy world he created; its history, the different levels of society, and geography. The language and word choices Alex uses throughout help to propel you into his fantasy. The characters he created were varied; all playing their part in moving the story along or showing us an aspect of life in this medieval-like world.

Jay Forrester is a new-to-me narrator.

I loved the pace at which Jay read this story and the emotions he conveyed. He created some wonderful voices for Alex’s characters – and they are many in this fantasy tale. 😉 I was never confused as to whose perspective we were listening to or who was speaking during the conversations. Jay brought the story to life in my ears!

And, while we’re taling about the story…

I thought that it was an intelligent story that felt well planned out. The way Alex weaved realistic human behaviours, known historic attitudes and etiquettes into his new fantasy world made it feel believable. The battle scenes were incredible – my adrenaline was through the roof! Alex allows both his protagonists – Merad Reed and Jelaïa del Arelium – to lead the reader with their own chapters/sections. This not only gives us a chance to know their inner dialogue but enables us to visit other parts of the world and follow the action there. I really liked this approach because it helped me to gain a further depth of understanding, empathy and connection to both of them.

I loved listening to The Broken Heart of Arelium.

The many threads within the story captivated me. The political posturing kept me guessing while the battles and fighting kept me on the edge of my seat. I’ve got to confess, tears did trickle down my cheeks – quite a bit – at the injustice and brutality of the world! But fear not, dear reader there were enough moments of dry humour and banter to keep my despair at bay. 😘

I can’t wait to get my hands on the next audiobook, The Ashen Hand of Kessrin.

Keep reading to find out more about Alex Robins. But first, I want to share the War of the Twelve series with you.

War of the Twelve by Alex Robins

None can resist the ravages of time. Knowledge is lost. Memories fade.
But some things must never be forgotten.

The Knights of the Twelve are a secretive order of warriors created over three hundred years ago by the Twelve themselves. They were once hundreds strong, with garrisons throughout the nine Baronies. Then, without warning, they disappeared.

Books in the Series

  • The Broken Heart of Arelium (War of the Twelve #1) (2021)
  • The Ashen Hand of Kessrin (War of the Twelve #2) (2021)
  • The Burning Tears of Morlak (War of the Twelve #3) (2021)

Or, read for free using your Kindle Unlimited subscription! 💜 🥳 💜

Finally, here is Alex’s bio and social media links.

About Alex Robins

Author - Alex Robins

Alex Robins was born in Norwich, England back when it was still trendy to wear lycra tracksuits and bright pink headbands. Norwich School Library was where he first discovered his love of reading, an old converted undercroft packed to the rafters with books. The first fantasy series he read was The Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis & Tracey Hickman, quickly followed by The HobbitThe Lord of the Rings, and David Eddings' The Belgariad.

At the age of twelve, Alex moved across the channel to Nantes in France. Speaking very little French, the first few years were difficult and sometimes lonely as he scrambled to get a grip on the intricate grammar and vocabulary of the French language. His taste in books branched out from epic fantasy to science-fiction, mysteries, thrillers, and historical fiction, but he always came back to his favourite fantasy authors when looking to escape the outside world.

After degrees in agronomy, project management, and computer sciences, Alex founded his own company dedicated to online voting. He met his wife during a game of badminton and they spent several years getting trounced in various regional tournaments before getting married. Alex now lives in the sunny Loire Valley in western France, surrounded by imposing castles, sprawling vineyards, and two children.

After reading fantasy books for the last thirty years he decided to write one. The Broken Heart of Arelium is his first novel and the first in the War of the Twelve series.

And as this is a review for an audiobook, here’s Jay’s bio and social media links too.

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my thoughts about The Broken Heart of Arelium. Have you read it yet? Do you have any audiobooks narrated by Jay Forrester on your shelves? As always, I’d love to chat and compare notes.

Before you go, check out what my favourite genres are and why I like them.

Flora's Signature 2

Bye for now,

Flora x

About Me

I'm in my late forties, my interests are varied but since menopause hit a few years ago, I find myself becoming a "grumpy old woman" all too frequently - where has my infinite patience gone!?! Lol!
I bought a Kindle in the summer of 2013 and haven't stopped reading since. If you want to know more about me, check out my blog -

(4) Comments

  1. Fantastic review, I’m glad you enjoyed it so much and can’t wait to read it myself!!

    1. Thanks Ellie.

  2. Wonderful, Flora, thank you!

    1. Flora says:

      Fantastic audiobook, Alex, thank you.

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