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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

Copyright © 2021 by Cherae Clark

Excerpt from The Jasmine Throne copyright © 2021 by Natasha Suri

Excerpt from Son of the Storm copyright © 2021 Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Cover design by Lauren Panepinto

Cover illustration by Tommy Arnold

Cover copyright © 2021 by Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Map illustration by Tim Paul

Author photograph by Jovita McCleod

Hachette Book Group supports the right to free expression and the value of copyright. The purpose of copyright is to encourage writers and artists to produce the creative works that enrich our culture.

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book without permission is a theft of the author’s intellectual property. If you would like permission to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), please contact permissions@hbgusa.com. Thank you for your support of the author’s rights.

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Hachette Book Group

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First Edition: March 2021

Simultaneously published in Great Britain by Orbit

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Clark, C. L. (Cherae L.), author.

Title: The unbroken / C.L. Clark.

Description: First edition. | New York : Orbit, 2021. | Series: Magic of the lost; book one

Identifiers: LCCN 2020027495 | ISBN 9780316542753 (trade paperback) | ISBN 9780316542692 (ebook)

Subjects: GSAFD: Fantasy fiction.

Classification: LCC PS3603.L356626 U53 2021 | DDC 813/.6—dc23

LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020027495

ISBNs: 978-0-316-54275-3 (trade paperback), 978-0-316-54267-8 (ebook)

E3-20210219-JV-NF-ORI

Contents

Cover

Title Page

Copyright

Dedication

Map

Part 1: Soldiers

Chapter 1: Change

Chapter 2: A Homecoming

Chapter 3: The Governor-General

Chapter 4: Captives

Chapter 5: The First Broadside

Chapter 6: A Family

Chapter 7: The Governor-General, Again

Chapter 8: The Lieutenant

Chapter 9: The Court-Martial

Chapter 10: The Assistant

Part 2: Turncoats

Chapter 11: The Modiste

Chapter 12: The Ball

Chapter 13: A Dance

Chapter 14: The Bookseller

Chapter 15: Rebellions

Chapter 16: Another Broadside

Chapter 17: Little Talks

Chapter 18: Shālan Lessons

Chapter 19: History Lessons

Chapter 20: For Research

Chapter 21: Grains of Sand

Chapter 22: An Alliance

Chapter 23: A Hope in the Dark

Chapter 24: Citizenship

Chapter 25: A Family, Broken

Part 3: Rebels

Chapter 26: A Duty

Chapter 27: Waking Up

Chapter 28: A Line in the Sand

Chapter 29: The Many-Legged

Chapter 30: A Hunger

Chapter 31: A Warning

Chapter 32: A Family (Reprise)

Chapter 33: A Family, Broken (Reprise)

Chapter 34: A Matter of Faith

Part 4: Martyrs

Chapter 35: An Unearthing

Chapter 36: Reparations

Chapter 37: A Reminder

Chapter 38: A Sickness

Chapter 39: A Panic

Chapter 40: A Sacrifice

Chapter 41: To Unknit

Chapter 42: The Rain (And Yet Another Broadside)

Chapter 43: Waking Up (Reprise)

Epilogue: To Knit

Acknowledgments

Discover More

Extras

Meet the Author

A Preview of The Jasmine Throne

A Preview of Son of the Storm

In Memoriam

Samira Sayeh: Le soutien, l’inspiration, et la sagesse

Clarence Lewis “C. L.” Clark: The O.G.

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PART 1SOLDIERS

CHAPTER 1CHANGE

A sandstorm brewed dark and menacing against the Qazāli horizon as Lieutenant Touraine and the rest of the Balladairan Colonial Brigade sailed into El-Wast, capital city of Qazāl, foremost of Balladaire’s southern colonies.

El-Wast. City of marble and sandstone, of olives and clay. City of the golden sun and fruits Touraine couldn’t remember tasting. City of rebellious, uncivilized god-worshippers. The city where Touraine was born.

At a sudden gust, Touraine pulled her black military coat tighter about her body and hunched small over the railing of the ship as it approached land. Even from this distance, in the early-morning dark, she could see a black Balladairan standard flapping above the docks. Its rearing golden horse danced to life, sparked by the reflection of the night lanterns. Around her, pale Balladairan-born sailors scrambled across the ship to bring it safely to harbor.

El-Wast, for the first time in some twenty-odd years. It took the air from the lieutenant’s chest. Her white-knuckle grip on the rail was only partly due to the nausea that had rocked her on the water.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Tibeau, Touraine’s second sergeant and best friend, settled against the rail next to her. The wooden rail shifted under his bulk. He spoke quietly, but Touraine could hear the awe and longing in the soft rumble of his voice.

Beautiful wasn’t the first thing Touraine thought as their ship sailed up the mouth of the River Hadd and gave them a view of El-Wast. The city was surprisingly big. Surprisingly bright. It was surprisingly… civilized. A proper city, not some scattering of tents and sand. Not what she had expected at all, given how Balladairans described the desert colonies. From this angle, it didn’t even look like a desert.

The docks stretched along the river like a small town, short buildings nestled alongside what were probably warehouses and workers’ tenements. Just beyond them, a massive bridge arced over shadowed farmland with some crop growing in neat rows, connecting the docks to the curve of a crumbling wall that surrounded the city. The Mile-Long Bridge. The great bridge was lined with the shadows of palm trees and lit up all along with the fuzzy dots of lanterns. In the morning darkness, you could easily have mistaken the lanterns for stars.

She shrugged. “It’s impressive, I guess.”

Tibeau nudged her shoulder and held his arms out wide to take it all in. “You guess? This is your home. We’re finally back. You’re going to love it.” His eyes shone in the reflection of the lanterns guiding the Balladairan ship into Crocodile Harbor, named for the monstrous lizards that had supposedly lived in the river centuries ago.

Home. Touraine frowned. “Love it? Beau, we’re not on leave.” She dug half-moons into the soft, weather-worn wood of the railing and grumbled, “We have a job to do.”

Tibeau scoffed.

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