Fractured (Guards of the Shadowlands #2) by Sarah Fine

Title: Fractured
Series: Guards of the Shadowlands #2
Author: Sarah Fine
Publisher: Skyscape
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Pages: 357, Hardcover
Source: ARC obtained at BEA

In the week since Lela returned to Rhode Island as Captain of the Guard with Malachi as her second in command, local news has been dominated by chilling sightings of human-like creatures running on all fours. Lela knows there’s only one explanation: the Mazikin have arrived in the land of the living.

Needing to maintain the appearance of a normal life for her foster mother, her probation officer, and her classmates, Lela returns to Warwick High along with Malachi. At night they secretly hunt for the Mazikin nest. To assist, two new Guards from very different parts of the Shadowlands are assigned to Lela’s unit, including the bad boy Jim, who repeatedly challenges Lela's authority. Lela struggles to keep all her Guards on the right side of the law, but their mistakes come at a terrible cost.

As one painful revelation follows another and the Mazikin start targeting those closest to her, Lela finds herself more vulnerable than she’s ever been, wanting a future more than she ever has. With an enemy determined to separate soul from body, one question remains: how much is she willing to sacrifice to protect those she loves?


Recently I listed 5 of my favorite books that I wish more people would read. Sanctum was number one on that list. I loved Sanctum, and after reading Fractured, this is easily one of my new favorite series. Right up there with the likes of Throne of Glass. I actually think Sanctum was a stronger first book than Throne of Glass was. Yes, I said it. That should be reason enough for everyone to go pick up this book now. There is literally nothing I dislike about either the first or second book. I think they are that great.

Since it’s safe to assume that anyone reading this review hasn’t (yet) read Sanctum (I don’t understand why this series isn’t hugely popular), I am going to attempt to write this review spoiler free for both books.

So what makes a great book? Well, I think really strong characters are essential. But I also think the relationships between the characters are equally important. And this series excels on both accounts. Lela and Malachi are not only amazing individuals but they are now one of my favorite couples. Both are such complex characters with dark histories, and both are among the most capable, passionate, smart, loyal beings I know. And together? Holy sexual tension. Gosh the chemistry between these two has a physical presence in this series. Think Rose and Dimitri from Vampire Academy. Lela and Malachi are akin that relationship. The secondary characters are strong too. In fact, I think Fractured does a better job with the secondary characters than did Sanctum. By the end of the book I cared just as much about Jim, Henry, Ian, and Tegan, as I did about Lela and Malachi. And that’s just to name a few. There are few series where I love all the characters as much as I do here.

Setting and world building can also make or break a book but Sanctum/Fractured will not disappoint you on this front either. The Suicide City that Fine created in Sanctum is so eerily fantastic that it gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. I marvel at her imagination. And even though the second book takes place in Rhode Island, Fractured is just was exciting as Sanctum, so let me put to rest any worry over the setting change right now. Fine manages to make RI feel just as dark and ominous. In fact, I may be scared of Rhode Island now too. And from the way things ended in Fractured, readers can look forward to what should be one hell of a third book.

Now let’s talk about the plot and the writing. In my opinion, Fine has some serious talent. Both books are extremely well-written, with a good mix of story and character development and plenty of action and suspense to keep the pace moving. What was started in Sanctum was nicely continued in Fractured, with no signs of middle book syndrome whatsoever. Actually, I think Fractured is a stronger book than Sanctum. Sanctum was Fine’s debut novel, and it was a great one, but to me there are signs in Fractured that she is becoming more sure of her storytelling and willing to take more risks plot wise. There are a lot of emotional moments in Fractured and one explosive ending. The third book is easily one of my most anticipated 2014 releases (as was this book for 2013).

I don't think I know of anyone who has read either book and disliked it. Christianna from The White Unicorn gave both Sanctum and Fractured 5/5 stars. Lili from Lili's Reflections gave Sanctum 5/5 stars. Sam from Realm of Fiction gave both Sanctum and Fractured 4/4 stars. There are more out there but you can see the trend forming... I am not the only one who loved these books!

I understand that there are a lot of great books out there, and all of our TBR piles are overflowing. Even though I'd like you all to go out and start this series right away, I know that is unrealistic. But I highly HIGHLY recommend this book and cannot imagine anyone would wind up disappointed by it. So it can't hurt to bump it up the TBR, right?



  1. YAY for awesome review for awesome books that totally deserve them! Seriously, you hit on all the points that I loved about this book, without being as spoilery as me, which I know must have bee hard! Also, thanks for the shout out girl! Oh and if anyone is reading the comments, yes READ THESE BOOKS NOW!

  2. Ok, I admit I didn't read the review because I haven't read Sanctum yet and I didn't want to read any spoilers, but I'm getting it from the library this week. I saw the 5 stars so you obviously loved it. I'm looking forward to reading Sanctum soon, the premise sounds amazing. ~Pam

  3. I bought Sanctum a few months ago when it became crazy cheap for the ebook. And I also preordered Fractured when that ebook went crazy cheap. So I have every intention of giving this series a try, but unfortunately I haven't been able to yet. I've been hoping that some Fractured reviews would help me bump this series up on my list, but I've been afraid of spoilers, so thanks for sharing your spoiler-free thoughts! This does sound like a series I'd really enjoy, and solid writing and good characterization are among my top requirements when reading, so I'm glad to hear you feel those are strong aspects of this book.


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